I love Mattel's old electronic sports games. There was something hypnotically refreshing about the simple red LED lights, a few buttons to move-shoot-hit-kick, and an annoyingly primitive series of beeps that talked to you like some alien language. Before Gameboy, Hell before most any electronic handheld game, these 9 volt battery powered toys kept it down to the basics, and nobody seemed to complain.

Granted this was when two lines smashing a dot back and forth in PONG simulated Tennis for the masses, but these little guys were a huge success. I remember the ad campaigns vividly. Some hotshot baseball player would be at a press conference, getting increasingly frustrated because he couldn't beat the machine. "Who's In there?" he'd shout stupidly, as if he were Darryl Strawberry.

The original Electronic Football from 1977 was a nice treat, but you could only move in 4 directions and, maybe in desperation, kick the ball. Football 2 actually let you pass the ball, and with it's emerald green design, was a pretty good football simulation all around. As long as you could get past that everyone looked like little red dashes. Other sports like Hockey, Soccer, and Baseball were also represented shortly afterward.

Soon, an upstart company called Nintendo started marketing little handheld games that used Liquid Crystal Display, and when kids saw they could play a baseball game with players that actually looked like...well, baseball players, these blinking red dot displays of athleticism were left in the dust.

For a while, the only place you could stumble on these were on eBay and flea markets, but the fine folks at Mattel have re-released their original Football, for only $12.99, which beats all the collector values down. Pretty cool.

And for some insane reason, I thought it would be a great idea to give one of these away to the person who wrote the best story about a Mattel Electronic Football game where it's used for something other than it's intended design.

People write fan fiction about Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, even erotic adventures featuring WWF's Undertaker, but not usually handheld games. And for good reason, it's a pretty damn stupid idea. But from the hundreds of mind numbingly awful entries I received, there were a few fun ones that were worth sharing. At the bottom, we have our well deserving winner.

Though I'm no big fan of teh haxorspeak that the kids these days seem to love so much, this one was just so refreshingly different than the rest that I just had to give it "0987t 098khjg 59875 509875uy", if you know what I mean.

Chupacabra_bitch@yourmom.org (CB) dared porcupine_toilet_brush@dontforgettobringatowel.gov (PTB) to fashion an Ouija board out of salt-water taffy. After completing the Herculean deed, PTB telegraphed gomers_dog@leftagomerpyle.biz (GD) for a sťance, or whatever the fuck hippies call them (OWTFHCT).

CB logged on e-bizay and bought a book of curses. Not for cooz-chicken recipes, but to put a hex, OWTFHCT, on das Ouija. Later, when PTB and GD used the sumbitchin' Ouija, it responded "M-A-R-Y-K-A-T-E-A-N-D-A-S-H-L-E-Y-R-U-L-Z." Evil? Chef_Bizoyardee Evil!!

PH34R not! Electronic_Football_Game, OWTFHCT, appeared! It set itself to "Pro2," which is Latin for "undead_fucker_upper." Tapping "K," it kaptainandtenilled the Ouija to Medicine Hat, Canada.

Game my Prize.
3 dollar bill

You should have seen what this guy's dad did with his life sized Barbie next year.

While driving to Grandma's I started messing with the game, just trying to break it. It wouldn't stop making the end zone 'bleep-bleep-bleep.' As Dad was kinda hung over he started screaming for me to 'shut that damn thing off.' Mom told Dad to cool down and we sat for the next few miles as the game bleeped on, Dad's neck turning red and his knuckles white. I started giggling, this pushed him over the edge. He
pulled over, jumped in back, crushed it against his knee, opened the door and tossed it into the grass. "Fuckin game, goddamn kids."

If I win I'm gonna give it to Dad for Christmas:)

Douglas Knoop

This guy apparently forgot about the "100 Words of Less" part of the contest, but hats off for the Cthulhuesque prose, at least.

The Thing from Under the River by H.P. Lovecrap

I used to have a neighbor who lived down the road on a small farm near Arkham, and we would often fish together in the autumn evenings after chores. I would meet Jeb on his porch by the old dirt road and we would walk down through the hollow behind his house to the little stream that runs from the edge of his land to mine, and then to the river. All of that changed one night last year. One year ago, tonight, in fact. The night our lives changed forever, and I saw the unnamable horror that still chills my bones and wakes me regularly from sleep with nightmare sweats that drench
the sheets.

In my dreams I see the pond, as black and smooth and opaque as an ebony mirror. The willow trees stoop down around the bank, their branches swaying obscenely, although no breeze can be felt. In fact the air is thick and stale and cloying, smelling of rot and decay more ancient than anything man has ever known. We sit on the bank near some rocks in our customary spot, and bait our hooks with earthworms we have dug from the garden. In my dream I believe I can almost hear the screams of the worm as I pierce his slimy, wriggling form with the hook. Deep inside my mind I feel the terror as I plunge the hook again and again through the loops of his tubular flesh, although in school we have been told that the worm can feel no pain - his
nervous system is too primitive to feel pain as we know it. With great effort, I ignore the feeling and throw my line into the water. The bobber rests upon the gently rippled surface for only an instant before it is wrenched under with great force, and instinctively I pull back on the rod to set the hook. In a moment I feel the great tug of a living thing beneath the surface, fighting the pull of the line this way and that,
splashing and frothing wildly.

In my dream it seems like much time has passed, but I know it is only a few seconds. Then there is calm. At first I think I may have lost the fish, but the weight is still there, tugging gently but unmistakably at the line. I reel slowly, making sure not to give too much slack, lest my quarry escape. I feel it must be a very big fish from the slowness of my progress, and I turn to tell Jeb of my luck, but he is gone. No trace of him remains in the place he had been sitting; neither rod nor reel, nothing. Then I turn again to watch my line creeping ever closer and I begin to see the blackness take shape at the end. A hideously large mass, far too big to be a fish, slowly transforming, growing longer and continuing to advance to the shore without the impetus of my reeling, which I am too stunned to continue. I stare and watch as it becomes clearer, and I realize it has taken on the vague shape of a man. My heart leaps into my dry throat at the moment that hideous face breaks the surface, and I know I will take the vision of that face to my grave, the face of my friend, Jeb. 

But it is not Jeb! It is a thing of another world; a changeling of plastic white and glittering red dots for eyes. Its visage is a cyclopean nightmare of angular edges and green and red spots that blink and flash in patterns of ever-changing variation. It comes closer, but I am rooted in place, paralyzed with fear, unable to tear my eyes from the sight of the thing from under the river. Red sparks flash, little tones beeping in time. Beeping, beeping! Ever closer!!

They say they found me on the road near my house. I had passed out and my clothes were rent to shreds, and soaked. I have no recollection of my escape, or if I even escaped at all. But I know I will never, ever fish again. I cannot even bear the water of a bath, knowing I will remember the whitened rectangular face with the swarm of tiny red eyes, and the terrible gurgling voice that called out to me as if from the bottom of a pit,"Touchdown!"

-Brian Parker

This one might have one, had he not used so many big words!  Anyone who uses "paroxysms" in a sentence is not to be trusted.

Shivering from the cold I pulled my electronic football machine out of my burlap army bag. I huddled close to its glowing intensity and with dexterity gained from many drained batteries and aching thumbs I began to play. The beeping and electronic squelching, so a part of my psyche filled the bomb shelter where I lay. Paroxysms of the game that had been played with long bombs and grid iron fists, laid to waste my home. The only sounds now of my only friend. Touch down.

-Tim Gunderson

An interesting use of pictures here, if not an incredibly inane tale...

So here's the situation as I see it: Using my vast knowledge of pyrotechnics and so on I will construct several bombs using football games and some common household items.

Then I'll go around the country in a Nixon Mask robbing banks, with the bomb in tow.

The federales will suspect Nixon, cause everyone knows Nixon's a crook right?  So while the feds are distracted, I'll take off on a boat to Cuba and wait for it to blow over.

No wait, Nixon is dead. nevermind.

-Jeremy Adelman

Any story featuring luchadore wrestling God LaParka is OK in my book.  Virtual77 is a blast form the past, as he used to send me stories about LaParka back in 1998 for The Church of LaParka site I used to run.  It's still there on geocities if you want to check it out.

Well, this story is a true one, and it has changed my life. A couple of years  ago, I was down in the Bahamas with a bunch of my friends. I decided to do all of the shitty, touristy stuff while down there, and went water skiing.  Anyway, I went over a shark while water skiing and fell in the water. As I was in the water helpless, a saw an ever familiar figure surfing on a metal chair. It was none other than La Parka! The man in black, came to my aid, stopping only on occasion to do that crazy chicken dance. When he took me ashore, he handed me a Mattel pocket football game. I thanked him, and walked away, only to be hit in the back of the head with the same chair he surfed to my rescue with. I guess I can go to bed a lot easier at night knowing La Parka is out there to protect us.


Alrighty then, here's my story. I remember using this nifty hand held game prior to watching a movie at the drive-in theatre when I was five or so. So there I was, a happy little turd, trying to get my electronic dash into the end zone while trying to block out my older brother's taunting. Then the movie started. To this day I don't know why in the hell my parents chose this movie, but it scared the shit out of me. Although I've recently watched it and made the conclusion that Xtro is a low budget sci-fi gross out horror flick, as a kid I had no choice but to use my Classic Football game to block my eyes from the hideous images on the screen. Unfortunately, the sound still bled through, contributing to many sleepless nights thereafter.

Dave Vaughn

Gotta give this guy 10 pints for balls...

They are giving us a fuckin' football thing that no one has seen since the Atari days. my use is to bash some sense into the Mattel president's head.

-Chris Nichols


I think this Wesley Willis inspired ode to Mattel Electronic Football is my favorite by far.  And kudos for throwing a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots reference in, too!

I used to play handheld football.
It was my only toy.
I played it all the time.

Handheld football rocked my face, handheld football
rocked my face, handheld football rocked my face.

Mattel makes great toys.
Rock'em Sock'em Robots is a great toy.
Handheld football is the best toy.

Handheld football rocked my face, handheld football
rocked my face, handheld football rocked my face.

I liked the bright red lights.
Move up, move down, move forward.
Touchdown motherfucker!

Handheld football rocked my face, handheld football
rocked my face, handheld football rocked my face.

Rock Over London, Rock On Chicago...Lays... You Can't
Eat Just One.

Chad Matchett

Thanks again to all who entered.  Next time I come up with an idea like this, kill me!