Norman Sas, Dead at 87

Who is Mr Sas?

He invented Electric Football.

Don’t forget what was said in the Ken Burns documentary on the game:

Electric football is a metaphor for America: always shaking, always noisy, never really knowing where it’s going. Wait a minute. America’s nothing like electric football. It’s just a stupid game that doesn’t even work!

I had an electric football set when I was a kid. I doubt I ever did more than a half dozen plays before quitting. You’d set up the pieces (which took about five minutes), put the sponge football in the arm of your ball carrier, and turned the thing on.

The ball carrier would run around in circles, or head toward his own goal (assuming he went anywhere at all – the players for notorious for just standing still no matter how you adjusted the vibration screw). The play would take ten minutes to finish, because the defensive players were moving at random and would never come near the ball carrier. until you finally declared the play over. Then you’d spend about five minutes putting the players back into position for the next play.

As for passing, you’d set things up, start the game, and the turn it off. You’d put in the special passing player (who had a hand with a spring so he could throw the ball). You’d then have to hit one of your own players. The passer was completely inaccurate; it was next to impossible to control how hard he threw and in what direction. Usually, the ball flew far past the end of the field and fell on the floor, requiring you spend five minutes trying to find a sesame-seed sized bit of foam rubber in the vague shape of a football.

Kicking was the same, though the ball went even further past the edge of the field.

I think in the entire history of the game, no one actually finished an entire game (or completed a pass).

It is a fond memory, though.

Moved to The Game Room from Cafe Society.

The funeral procession will wander in circles and buzz. :slight_smile:

Seriously, though, this was a blast from childhood. Loved running the game just to see the players running around. My brothers and I would spend hours on it.

You try to play a game of football, maybe for two downs, then you just start setting up players to run into each other. Also you take the quarterback and use the spring arm to toss the little cotton football at your brother. He gets pissed off and you start fighting. Then mom comes in and starts yelling and says no more electric football. Good times.