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Thursday, July 12, 2012
Why did we love Electric Football so much?

By Paul Lukas

Electric Football
These guys haven't completed a pass in days, but they're still having a blast playing Electric Football!
On Monday I wrote a little piece about the death of the guy who invented Electric Football. I got a lot of reader e-mails in response to that piece, and almost all of them went something like this:

"I had that game too! It was really frustrating -- the plays never worked out the way I diagrammed them, and pass plays were impossible. But it was awesome anyway!"

That's pretty much my memory of the game, too. Why is that? If something doesn't work the way it's supposed to, the typical reaction is "This sucks!" But Electric Football somehow managed to become a classic, beloved by millions, even though nearly everyone agrees that it never worked as well in real life as it did in the commercials.

Is it because there were no video games yet, so Electric Football was the only game in town? Is it because kids liked painting the little plastic players to match their favorite teams? Was there some sort of "so bad it's good" kitsch factor?

Fandom wants to know more. If you're one of the many people who have inexplicably fond memories of Electric Football, post a comment to tell us why.