Norman Sas, Inventor of Electric Football, Stops Vibrating

Norman Sas, one of the giants of football home games died late last month at age 87. No he did not invent EA Sports’ Madden NFL or even Tecmo Bowl, instead he was the man behind Electric Football. Unfamiliar with Electric Football? You are showing your age, or lack thereof. Prior to the modern video games there was Electric Football.

The game was around for a few decades before it gained a tie-in with the NFL, which allowed it to use team colors and logos in 1967 and then sales soared for more than a decade, until the advent of electronic versions slowed sales a great deal.

A quick recap of how the game is played. It had a marked football field and two teams of players. When lined up the game was turned on and the board vibrated, sending payers to and fro across the board, sometimes as you wanted them to go and often, at least when I played, into a jumbled mass in the center of the field. There is a quarterback that can actually throw the ball, another skill I never mastered.

However there are obviously some people much better at the game than I as there appear to be several leagues past and present that have competed for bragging rights. Of course the game is still available, and according to this article, it has sold 40 million copies since its invention in 1948. Now available from Miggle Toys the game can be had on Amazon for around $60.