Sunday, June 7, 2009

Texas Out-lazies Kansas State, 7-3

In a lazy, sluggish pillow fight, peppered with solid defensive play, Texas converted on a simple, third down from the KSU 22, on their second possession, for the game's only TD. KSU was picked off twice, including on the game's last play as they attempted to score a TD, and force Texas to answer on their last possession.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Huskers Shuck Packers, 23-14 for First Win

Down 7-3 on their second possession, and facing third down at their own seven after two, big hits in their backfield, Nebraska let a big bomb rip for a TD and a 10-3 lead. The Big Red then scored on their third possession, but the Packers responded with a big TD run of their own, making it 17-14. Nebraska then ripped another big run of 80 yards, for the game winning score, sending Green Bay to the "Cellar-Dweller" game with the Tourney-Season's other win less club, the Dallas Cowboys, that will be played in the next and final round.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What is a Possession Set?

A possession set consists of each team having the ball once. The team that scores the most points in that set wins the set (kind of like a baseball inning). There are four Possession Sets in a game.

Short Board Schedule for Round 3

Consolation Tier:
#16 Georgia Tech (0-2) vs. #13 Dallas (0-2)
#15 Nebraska (0-2) vs. Green Bay (0-2)
#12 Kansas State (1-1) vs. #5 Texas (1-1)
#11 Clemson (1-1) vs. Houston Oilers (1-1) *Clemson automatically awarded win since these teams met in Round 1, and won that contest.
#10 Florida (1-1) vs. #7 Duke (1-1)
#9 Georgia (1-1) vs. #8 Iowa State (1-1)

Title Tier:
#4 Missouri (2-0) vs. #1 S. Carolina (2-0)
#3 Alabama (2-0) vs. #2 Florida State (2-0)

1. Teams are ranked based on number of wins, then their total margin of victory/loss, and then then number of possession sets they won. A possession set consists of each team having the ball once. The team that scores the most points in that set wins the set (kind of like a baseball inning). There are four Possession Sets in a game.

2. This demonstrates how the Tourney-Season works. In the Title Tier, winners continue to advance like they would in a tournament, to determine a champion. But in the Consolation Tier, the losers still get to play against each other in a seasonal format.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Swarm Cowboys in Stunner, 19-7

The last place Yellow Jackets, who've never won a game, opened the third round of this Short Board season by stinging the Dallas Cowboys, 19-7. The Cowboys pounded the ball down the field on their first two plays and looked to be on their way for a TD on their first possession, but the GT defense held them to a field goal attempt, which Dallas missed. Tech seemed to have their backs to the walls, fielding the punt at the 2, but the Jackets were not deterred, marching down the field and hanging three points of their own.

The Cowboys wasted no time on their next play, ripping an 80 yard TD run to take the lead, 7-3. But the Jackets were not done, responding with a fourth down conversion on the Dallas 4, scoring a TD and taking a 10-7 half time lead. Jackets opened the second half with a field goal to make it 13-7. Then, Dallas, with the ball forth and goal at the Tech 4, went for the easy field goal, but Tech blocked the kick, and then ran it back 80 yards on the second down of their last possession to seal the victory, 19-7.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Seminoles Skin Clemson Tigers, 21-12

Clemson overcame an initial 14-0 surge by Florida State, with a 42 yard field goal and a TD, followed by a two-point conversion, on consecutive possessions, cutting the FSU lead to 14-12. However, FSU responded on the first down of its third possession with an 80 yard TD run, sending the 'Noles into the semi-finals in the current Tourney-season.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mizzou Grounds Cyclones, 17-10

Missouri overcame a 10-3 deficit at half time to defeat the favored Iowa State Cyclones, 17-10. On the third down of their third possession, Missouri's quarterback ran 60 yards for the go ahead score. The Tiger defense then stopped ISU on 4th and 15on the game's final play, sealing the victory, and advancing the Tigers into the semi-finals, among this tourney-season's unbeatens.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Gamecocks Skin Wildcats, 21-7

South Carolina showed why they are considered the best, as their powerful offensive line cleared the lanes three times for long TD runs, as they easily caged KSU, 21-7. The Wildcats started the second half with a long TD run of their own, hinting at a possible rally, but the Gamecocks spurred that effort with a game-sealing 80 yard TD that sends them on to the semi-final round of this first Short Board season.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tide Cools off Devils' Hot Streak, 16-7

When Duke pinned the Tide back on the Bama two with a failed field goal/punt, it looked like the Tide was stemmed. But Bama's dominating offensive line and a steady running game marched down the field for a TD, and set the tone early. Duke's quick runners simply did not execute, exacting only one big play for it's lone TD, in the first Short Board game to use a 4 Possession-Set format.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oilers Drain Cowboys' Comeback Attempt, 30-21

The Houston Oilers defense made havoc of the Dallas Cowboys on their first two drives and exploded offensively to build a 17-0 lead. Dallas, however, was unfazed, railing off 21 points to pull within two of the Oilers in the fourth quarter, 23-21. However, two big defensive hooking(holding) calls against the Cowboys, on the Oilers last drive of the game, set up an easy fourth down attempt for a touchdown at the Dallas one, pushing Houston to victory, 30-21.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gators Snap Packers, 9-3

Florida produced just enough offense to set up three successful field goals, and overcame a relentless defensive effort on the part of the Green Bay Packers. The key play of the game came in the second quarter when Green Bay decided to go for it on forth down from the Gator nine. A Gator defensive linemen stepped up and stopped the running attempt at the five, in what would be the resulting difference in the game. No TD's were scored in this game; the first such occurrence in recent memory.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Teams Re-Nenamed

Three teams are being re-named to who they actually are, due to sentimental reasons and for added realism. They are:
Baylor reverting back to the Green Bay Packers.
Kentucky reverting back to the Dallas Cowboys.
North Carolina reverting back to the Houston Oilers.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Texas Smashes Yellow Jackets, 33-13

Last place Georgia Tech found some additional talent and hung with Texas through the early downs of the second half. However, a failed short field goal on their first drive of the second half, followed by an 80 yard TD run by Texas, sealed their fate, in this second round game in the Consolation Tier.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What is a Tourney-Season?

I have a discovered a new way to play a season while still having a tournament. I am calling it a "Tourney-Season." You basically play a tournament format with 16 teams. All winners in the first round go to the Championship Tier, while all of the losers go to the Consolation Tier. Then, all of those teams play in their respective tiers so that you wind up with a tournament champion (4 rounds) as you always would, but the other teams still have something to play for. Follow the current Short Board season to see how this develops.

Dawgs Claw Huskers, 30-24

Georgia completed an 81 yard bomb on the game's final play to outlast Nebraska, 30-24, in the first game of Round 2 in the Consolation Tier, in the current Short Board season. The Dawgs also made hay of the Huskers in the third quarter with a 92 yard bomb. Nebraska picked off a Georgia pass and returned it to the UGA 6, to set up a TD for a 24-24 tie late in the 4th, before the game's last play heroics.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cyclones Ground Yellow Jackets, 35-23

The out-classed Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets hung with the streaking Cyclones until a failed fourth down conversion in the fourth quarter while down, 28-23. The high-octane Cyclones then blew past the Jackets with a game sealing touchdown.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

K-State Out-claws UGA, 38-37

In a game of alternating, long touchdown runs, the game was decided when KSU blocked a Georgia extra-point, after UGA ran it 80 yards on the third to last play of the game, giving UGA the lead, 37-31. Kansas State returned the favor with their own 80 yard TD run on the next play, and nailed the doghouse shut with the extra-point, securing the 38-37 win.

Friday, April 10, 2009

'Noles beat back UK Cats, 17-10

The Kentucky Wildcats ripped a long TD on the 8th play of the 4th quarter and converted an onside kick, but were unable to overcome the Seminole lead late in the game. FSU's win was keyed with a long run for a TD on their second play of the game. Kentucky blocked an FSU field goal on the Nole's first possession of the second half, but were unable to make anything of it, in the most lack-luster game of the season so far.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Missouri Stuns Florida, 20-17

The Missouri Tigers used a ferocious defense to build a 17-3 lead on the heavily favored Florida Gators, going into the 4th quarter. Florida responded by ripping an 80 yard touchdown run, holding Mizzou to a 4 and out, then running another 63 yard touchdown play to tie the game with three plays to go in regulation. The Tigers then marched the ball down to the Florida 20 on two plays and ended the game, on its last play, with a game winning field goal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tigers Trip Tarheels 50-44 in OT

Clemson forced the game's only fumble in overtime, then scampered 80 yards for the winning TD to beat North Carolina 50-44. The Heels forced OT on their last touch in regulation with a short run up the middle, tying the game at 37. The Tigers join South Carolina and Alabama in the second round of this season's EACF tournament.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Building a New Board!

Well, our family has decided to build a board!!! My Dad will be the chief engineer. My wife will design and paint the field. My Mom will bake cookies and my three year old will ask, "What are you doing?" "Can I help?" "I wanna do it!"

Here are the board design concepts I have in mind. Vote for your favorite in the poll to the right:
1. My Beloved South Carolina Gamecocks only.

2. My Gamecocks in one endzone and my wife's beloved Texas Longhorns in the other.

3. A tribute to those who are building it and our family heritage; We'll call it the McAtee Highlanders with the Scottish, St. Andrews cross somewhere on the field, maybe in the endzones.

4. A tribute to my Father who is really doing much of the work on this board. His nickname in high school was "Savage." We'd call it, "Savage Stadium."

5. Since I'll be flying the college pigskins on this thing primarily, we can call it by it's name, "Electric College Football League (ECFL).

6. "A tribute, I say a tribute to ME, BOY! THE FOGHORN, OF COURSE!!! We'd call it Foghorn field, put my handsome face on the 50 yardlines, call ourselves the fightin' Foghorns and buzz that ole dawg right out of the roost!"

7. Or, an old school, green field with a simple endzone design.

Short Board Tourney Underway

Well, I have started a 16 team Tourney-Season for Electric Arena College Football. Alabama upset Texas in a 28-27 thriller while Baylor tested heavily favored South Carolina before falling, 41-29. The teams participating are:
South Carolina (old, Tutor St. Louis Cardinals)
Alabama (Miggle)
Georgia (Hand Painted)
Kentucky (Old Tutor Dallas Cowboys)
Florida (Miggle)
Clemson (Hand Painted)
Duke (Hand painted as a child)
North Carolina (Miggle Houston Oilers)
Florida State (Miggle)
Georgia Tech (Miggle)
Texas (Miggle)
Baylor (Miggle Green Bay Packers)
Nebraska (Miggle)
Kansas State (Miggle)
Iowa State (Hand Painted)
Missouri (Old Tutor Pittsburgh Steelers)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Practicing Multiple Team Disorder

Don't quite have enough money to buy all of those teams you want? These St. Louis Cardinals from my childhood have spent most of their time playing as my beloved South Carolina Gamecocks. The Steelers can be Iowa, Missouri, or any number of such teams with similar color schemes. See a list of how I am currently practicing this dis-order.

Tissue Box Football!

Tired of ordering foam footballs for no good reason at all? When I was a kid, I had a hard time sticking that magnetic football under my guy's arm. So, I just grabbed a tissue box, clipped a slot off of the opening, folded it in half, and boom, a football! It can also double as a playbook for your running back if he breaks free and has time to read.

Wall Art for your 620

Here, I stuck some of the logos on the wall of my 620, for a very cool feel. You can also see what I have done to spruce up the scoreboard a bit.

Logo Boards

All I did here was print off some logos from a place like The Logo Server and used some plasti-tac (you can find it at a place like Office Depot) to adhere them to a piece of cardstock. Then, I took some binder clips and bound them to the side of the board. On the 620, you can just slip them into the groove that runs along the perimeter of the field, so long as what you have is not too top heavy.

Standard Rules for All Games

Here are basic function rules I use for all games:

1. Each team must run at least one running play, typically on first down. All other plays can be passing plays.

2. Passing sticks are used for passing. Defense can use one player for the purposes of intercepting. Defensive players may pivot when the stick is placed on the board and after the receiver catches the ball. Only the receiver may pivot and does so after catching the ball.

3. A tackle takes place when a defensive player strikes the ball carrier's base. The defensive player must be moving towards the offensive player and must strike him with the front, or a front corner, of his base. When chasing an offensive player from behind, the defender must obviously alter the movement of the offensive ball carrier in order for it to count as a tackle.

4. The only penalities are defensive pass interference and defensive "hooking." Hooking is when a defensive player grabs the ball carrier by the harm in a hooking fashion, altering the ball carrier's route. The offense simply gets to repeat the previous down at the spot of the foul.

5. The kicking game from Pizza Box Football is used for all kicking procedures.

How I Play Short Board College Football

Soon, I will start something new. I am combining elements of Arena Football with college football. I am using the board pictured above. Here's the specifics:

1. I am using a 100 yard field instead of the standard 50 yard field of arena ball. The little guys don't know the difference. Plus it fits better with kicking game I am using from Pizza Box Football.

2. I am using 40 downs total; 10 per quarter.

3. Each team has 4 downs to score.

4. 7 players on each team.

5. Failed field goals turn into punting situations.

6. This will be a 4 round, Tourney-Season with 16 teams.

7. Teams must run on 1st and 2nd down, and may pass on 3rd and 4th down.

8. Fumbles are determined by using the fumble rules from Pizza Box Football.

How I Play Now on my 620 and 660

1. Both teams get four possessions.

2. Like Baseball, the visiting team goes first and the home team goes second. This gives a home field advantage similar to that of the college football overtime.

3. There is no kickoff to start the game. The visiting team gets the ball at their 30 yard line. After each score, the other team begins its next possession at its own 30.

4. Game play proceeds as usual. If there is a punt, it is measured 40 yards from the line of scrimmage. If it is inside the 50, it is measured half the distance to the goal, plus 10 yards. The other team begins their possession at that spot.

5. The games ends after each team has had four (alternating) possessions.

6. If there is a tie after 4 possessions, each team gets a 5th possession. Whoever scores the most points, or drives the further est, wins the game.

My Attitude about Electric Football

I don’t know what your attitude is about hobbies but this is mine; life is challenging and hard sometimes. Hobbies should give me a break from that. That’s my attitude about this, my college football polls, golf and other such things. With that in mind, this is how I try to approach the buzzing board.

First of all, I try to remember that what we have is a metal board moving, by vibration no less, plastic pieces shaped in the guise of football players, carried by little green bases, propelled by even smaller shreds of plastic lacing underneath them. None of these pieces of plastic, to my knowledge, has a heart, brain, soul, will or set of emotions. None of them get paid. By nature of the game, they can do just about anything at any time.

Another well taken point; it’s a child’s game. It’s just that most of the children who played it first are 30 years and older now.

Can you get my drift? This isn’t something to get too serious or worked up over. It is, at best, serious amusement. The beauty of the game, as documented by many, is that it is so simple and whimsical. It fosters the opportunity for good community; good clean fun. Most of those participating seem to practice this, and those who lose sight of it are typically brought back down to earth by those who understand this best.

Therefore, I don’t get too hung up on the rules. I’ll change the rules in the middle of a game. I realize I don’t have to consult the teams (remember, they are plastic) and I am the commissioner.

Also, a team can be anyone I want them to be. My set of St. Louis Cardinals can be my beloved South Carolina Gamecocks, Mississippi State, Harvard or anyone bearing resemblance to garnet jerseys, while pants and white helmets. All that keeps it from happening is my imagination. Sure saves a lot of bad paint jobs and money, anyway.

I don’t get hung up on ‘the right formations.’ Just line those suckers up, flip on the switch and see what happens. They way I figure, the vibrations make each play unique anyway; a player’s route, from play to play, is never the same. No real need to tweak bases, spin dials, glue BB’s, etc.

I like playing seasons, tournaments, etc. But you know what? It’s cool just coming home and whipping out a couple of teams and chilling out.

This isn’t to criticize anyone for all the detail they bring to the game. That’s great if you have all of that artistic ability, attention to detail, etc. I love going to the chat boards and reading what you do and the pictures you crank out. I’m just a simple person with little artistic skill, and not a lot of energy left after a work day to deal with the details of base tweaking. The beauty of the game is that even someone like me, can get a kick out of it.

I hope one day I get to go to an EF convention and see how the ‘real experts’ get it done. Til then, I’ll just keep buzzin’ along.

Buzzin’ Brine

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Own EF History

As with so many others my age, my history with electric football began as a small boy on a Christmas morning, in the early 1970’s. My Tutor made board was just a green field with white lines, and alternating triangles in the endzone. I think I had a green team and a yellow team. I think I made the mistake of trying to paint them. I have continued to make the mistake of trying to paint them even to this age! Some fools never know how to quit.

Like so many my age, I grew frustrated with the electric part; the erratic motion of the players, a vibrating clock that did not work, not enough room in the endzone to run plays from five yards in, etc. In dealing with my frustrations, I quickly uncovered one of my chief spiritual gifts; that of a re-inventor. Fewer games leave themselves open for so much re-invention.

So, I took matters into my own hands . . . literally. I never plugged the board in. I lined the fellers up, took both hands and crashed the two sets of linemen into each other. If there was a whole up the middle, I’d guide the Runningbacks up the middle and assist those remaining defensive players still standing in tackling the running back. I had real tackles; not just base touching. You had to knock the Runningbacks on their bums just like you do in real football. If there wasn’t a whole up the middle, the quarter back got to throw the ball to an open receiver. And I didn’t use that crazy lookin’ kicker/qb thing; I used one of the ‘real’ players for that.

This way, I had real fumbles. When your receivers are really getting crashed into, they really do drop the ball. Oh, and I re-invented the ball. My first set had these dumb magnet-shaped balls. How the heck do you throw a led ball? Lord knows you’ll fumble something that heavy all the time. Besides, you’d break the receiver’s arm trying to stuff under his armpit. I made my own balls. I cut out cardboard small strips from Kleenex boxes, folded them in half, and that was my football. That’s still how I make my balls! It looks like the guy has a King James Bible under his arm, but it works! At least it doesn’t look like I had a snow squall during the game from all of the lent shredding from all of those fumbles, incomplete passes, errant kicks, etc.

When I did not use my board for football, it became a grazing pasture for all of the little farm animals I had with my toy farmhouse. I had a white fence that went with the farmhouse. I’d build it around the sidelines and call that my de-fence; it kept the cows from wandering off during bedtime. Speaking of bedtime, one night my Father stepped on my board while coming in the bedroom to tuck me in for the evening. A few cows were tipped or killed but Dad still walks through my house a bit nervous, lest he run through another defense . . . he knows these days those fences might have voltage running through them . . . ow.

I always like to be the broadcaster for my games. I always thought the old Tutor plugs looked like a microphone. I’d run that cord up my shirt and I’d be the broadcaster for my games. Yep that’s right. I’d have two metal prongs just inches from my mouth, nose and eyes. And to think that my Dad was, and still is, an electrical engineer. Yeah, the whole town has lights but his own kid is about to light himself up in the imaginary booth, just two feet above the de-fense.

The cool thing about my games is that we’d have snow storms. I had a bag of shredded Kleenex (yep, Kleenex was an important element of my early EF experience. Shoulda gotten a sponsor from them, right? As far as I know, the Kleenex were unused), small bits of Styrofoam, and who knows what else. I’d drop that stuff from above before and during a game on my board, then I’d play tackle football in it with my guys. Boy, it sure was trouble when there was a fumble. We’d have to call in the Tonka dump truck and haul some snow off to find the darn thing, then we’d have another pile up of men trying to recover it. Try the snow thing some time and see how that works for ya.

Somewhere along the way that first board was sold. Then when I was about ten, I got another one. I think it’s about the same size as the current Miggle 620’s. I actually still have it at my parent’s house. It hasn’t made it to mine yet since we live a great distance from each other. The two teams that came with it were my beloved Dallas Cowboys and those hated Pittsburgh Steelers. I used to just marvel at all of the other NFL teams Tutor had pictures of in their sales book, dreaming of having all of them some day, but we were tight on cash at the time. I managed to order the Philadelphia Eagles, and the home and away St. Louis Cardinals. I got the Cardinals because they so greatly resembled my beloved, South Carolina Gamecocks. My first love has always been college football. So, I also got about three blank teams and painted them. Again, my painting skills were poor, but it got me some generic colors I could use for multiple college teams. My imaginations did the rest.

I even had my own way of doing logos back then. I never liked that my college games had “NFC” and “AFC” in the endzones and that the NFL logo was on the 50. So, I’d cover them up with my homemade field covers. All I needed was some construction paper and crayons. I draw them out freehand based on what was in a preseason football magazine on hand (yes, given my artistic ability, they were frightful looking). Then, I’d get some plastic-tacky and plop those suckers on the endzones and the 50 yard line. All was rectified in the Land of Imaginary Football.

Like so many of you, I “outgrew” electric football along about the 9th grade. Somehow sitting in the floor calling your own games seemed a bit childish back then. I didn’t even have the “Atari/video game” excuse back then because, once again, my family really didn’t have the money to buy something like that, and quite honestly, I wasn’t even all that good at video games. I did get caught up in computer based football games. At any rate, the game board then went into a constant state of storage for the next 20+ years. I never even had a clue Tutor had gone out of business.

My interest in computer based football games finally evolved (or, as some might say, de-volved) into mastery of EA Sports NCAA College Football series over the past five years. Then, about a year ago, I’d finally played all of that I wanted. I got tired at looking at screens all day; the computer screen at work and at home, the TV in the living room, and then the TV screen with the Playstation. “Something’s gotta give,” I concluded. It was time for the PS2 to leave the house. I pondered to myself, “What could I find to replace this interest with?” I thought of several things, then I meandered back to my childhood and thought, “Wonder whatever happened to electric football?” Heck, I never really played electric football. I played “cram your players into each other” football. Maybe I’d have more patience for it now. I do still have my game board and all of my players at my parents’ home. I wonder if it still works? I wonder if anyone still plays this game at all?! Does Tutor still exists?” Hmm.

Enter, Google. If God doesn’t know it, or can’t reach you, Google does know and can reach you. I entered “Electric Football” into the search bar. I was shocked. Among plenty of other sites, up pops a news article from the February 3, 2005 Washington Post by Jeff Turrentine (click here for article) which chronicled how these guys had gotten together for this Electric Football Super Bowl Convention. It filled me in on what had happened these last 20 years with the game (or dare I say, “sport”) that my board had been in the closet. Then I clicked on the Miggle link in the article, and there it all was; game boards, teams (and college teams at that!), field covers not made of construction paper or crayons, bases, everything! Then I went and visited some EFL solitaire pages and couldn’t believe how much these guys put into this thing, and the paint jobs! Amazing! And then I went to eBay and was even more stunned at how much I saw being sold there. I was laughing myself silly.

My problem was that I wanted back in the game but my game board was at my parents, and I did not know what kind of condition it was in. So, being still rather strapped for cash, I ordered cheap, not knowing totally how this re-introduction would go. I got the $50 Original Electric Football. I was so stoked when it showed up a few days later. I opened it up. I loved it. It was smaller than I thought it would be, but it was great. I had a blast with it for a few weeks. I made a trip back home to my parents, and to my amazement, my board was in outstanding shape. I drug out all of those old teams I had; the NFL ones I bought and the sad sack paint jobs I made. I brought them all home. I couldn’t get the big board home with me so I ordered a new 620.

So, that’s my story; my journey back to my childhood. It’s good to be back. Time to buzz off, Brian