WASHINGTON – The buzzing sound. The authentically-clad plastic players frozen in a single position. The futility of trying to control the action on the vibrating metal field. The death of the inventor of Electric Football is prompting recollections of the once-popular tabletop game.
Initially used in a vibrating car race game, Norman Sas developed the football game in the late 1940s. He died June 28 at his home in Vero Beach, Fla. He was 87.
With the flip of a switch attached to the game board, a loud buzz and vibrating field signaled the beginning of a play.
In realistic uniforms, the posed players often spun around aimlessly, wandered in the wrong direction or simply toppled over.
Only the team’s quarterback had the movable parts to allow it to actually do something, although throwing or kicking the tiny felt football was predictably unpredictable.
Players often went out of bounds or were stopped by their own teammates.
Still, generations of football fans and their children painstakingly arranged players on the field, with frozen cardboard fans watching, to experience the football fantasy.
Until they got frustrated enough to go outside and actually toss around a football.
Back in 2008, WTOP pitted the Giants against the Patriots, in the week leading to Super Bowl XLII. WTOP brings the video back in memory of Sas.