Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Steve Does Adverts. The magic and mystery of See-Action Football

See-Action Football Game
To be honest, it's not been a happy week for those of us who're fans of all things loveably juvenile. Within days of each other, we've seen the deaths of Rik Mayall, Shaggy and Captain Scarlet. Not to mention the demise of Captain Thingy from Allo Allo.

Still, there's one juvenile thing we can all rely on to never go away.

And that's football.

Yes it's true; even as I type this deathless prose, I'm busy watching Belgium vs Algeria in the World Cup of Footsoccerball.

How I love the World Cup. Frankly, nothing outside of the Eurovision Song Contest and the return of Dr Who manages to get me quite this excited in life.

Needless to say, England have shown a versatility many thought beyond them by finally managing to find a way to lose that doesn't involve the use of penalties.

Of course, if the government had listened to me and adopted Kate Bush's Oh England, My Lionheart as the National Anthem, I like to feel we would have swept to triumph. There's nothing like singing about a man dying in a plane crash to get the adrenaline going.

But we should remember that there's another kind of football on this planet.

A kind of football no one can understand.

It's American Football. It seems to involve neither feet nor balls, and one of my strongest memories of reading American comics as a child is seeing the advert above and not having a clue what was going on in it.

I must confess that, looking at it again as an adult, I still don't have a clue what's going. Just how does a field goal differ from any other kind of goal? What is a 5 yards off tackle? And what, in the name of Johan Cruyff, is a 4-3 bump and run?

Whatever it all means, I do feel that, in the interests of money-saving, this is how future World Cups should be played, with the managers televised as they stick various slides in a projector and spout gibberish at each other.

The scary thing is I could see BBC2 actually doing it, with Craig Charles introducing.

Sadly, I fear the BBC's perma-bewildered ubercommentator Jonathan Pearce would have no more comprehension of what was going on in it than he does in real-life matches.


Anonymous said...

The game that really changed my world as a youth, was Stat-O-Matic. A card based game that gave you a realistic version of the sport of baseball. There were different versions for other sports but I played the baseball one. You would roll dice and that would lead you to different columns for the players involved. It had some many different possibilities on each roll that you could spend a good ten to fifteen minutes trying to chase down the result of each roll. Much like the real game, it was slow moving and slow moving. Did I mention it was slow moving? But I LOVED IT!!! And I still have a love for the old 80s computer games. Earl Weaver Bsseball XOR Football. Those games put you in the Manager's/Head Coach's chair. The meaningless chase for an imaginary pennant/championship.

The Prowler (was too small to play the line and too slow to play anywhere else).

Steve W. said...

I seem to remember that, when I was a kid, there was a football (soccer) game that involved pushing down the players' heads to make them kick the ball. I always wanted that, as the thought of pressing down their heads to make them kick always appealed to me.

Anonymous said...

The older game that was still popular when I was growing up was Electronic Football. The players came as unassembled and you could paint them in your favorite team colors and their biggest rivals. Once everything was assembled you'd line the players up, turn on the motor on the metal board and watch them move. Once a defensive player touched the guy with the ball, you'd stop, line everybody up again and go at it. Eventually the motor would burn out and you'd be reduced to tapping on the metal board to get the players to move. Hours of fun but without the slow moving of Stat-O-Matic. Did I mention that was a slow moving game?

The Prowler (once stood next to a cheer leader for almost five minutes).

Phil said...

Off tackle. The center snaps the ball. The player on his left (and right) is the guard. The player on the next position left (and right) is the tackle. Off tackle means the running back runs to the outside of the tackle. As opposed to the inside, 4-3 defense means what it says. Just like football football, four players on the front line, 3 behind. Bump and run means bump the receivers then runs with them. This is to disrupt timing patterns, where the ball is thrown at a set spot and time and the receiver had better be there. Bumping the receiver slows them down. You're only allowed to bump within five yards of the line of scrimmage.
But in fact a lot of boys didn't actually play football. You learned from watching on tv.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Phil. I now feel like an expert. :)

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