The more research I do into Electric Football and more specifically the community and the tweaking/modifications that the community does, the more I have to admit I’m drawn in to what a solid hobby Electric Football is. If you missed part 1 of my interview with Lynn Schmidt and Reginald Rutledge you can find it here at http://prosportsblogging.com/fantasy/an-in-depth-look-at-electric-football/ For part 2 I am going to focus on the community and share some more photo’s and also a wonderful video that the MFCA produced to introduce people to Electric Football. Please take the time to check out this great promotional video at the top of the article!
How has the hobby of Electric Football evolved since you began playing?
Reginald: I like to feel like I had a tremendous hand in the evolution of the game. I was the one that took the arrows for telling the community we need to go from the Fab 5 (The standard 5 player poses that most games had for decades) into the 21st century. I have been the innovator where many others have just let it stay status quo. So many of the things that people enjoy about the game today, from the rules, weight standards, figures, the ability to own stadiums, Internet TV, radio, and so many other things, was definitely done through my hands and knowledge. Sometimes, that gets lost in the shuffle/discussion. There are so many other things which can bring the game further as I continue to work on them.
I know we will never rival SEGA and Playstation, but this is truly a great game, when taught right, can be a great resource for both young and old. It is the one game where a father and son can sit down, play the game, and discuss what’s going on in the son’s life. It is the best of games. It is the best of times. It’s miniature football.
For you what is the best part of the hobby of Electric Football?
Lynn: There are a lot of things that I enjoy. Recreating the men and fields in detail and then showing the mini player to the real player and seeing his reaction is always great. I have a collection of over 175 autographed bases from Pro players, mostly Kansas City Chiefs and while they are signing they have to ask about the hobby. Some know about it and played it as kids and others are hearing about it for the first time.
The best thing though is finding that perfect base/man combo that performs like a superstar. When you put him on the field and he does exactly what you tweaked him to do is one of the best moments and then putting him in a game situation and seeing how he stacks up against the competition. The next best thing is designing a play that scores a TD just the way you intended it to.
And I couldn’t go without mentioning, the camaraderie and competition of playing against fellow coaches who suddenly become your friend. My best friends live in Indiana, and Pennsylvania and many other places all due to MF/EF!
For you personally what has been the most rewarding aspect of your time in Electric Football?
Reginald: The most rewarding aspect has to be seeing rules that I brought to the game, which were chastise in the 90′s, are now the standard by which many play. I kinda get a tickle out of it. It’s great to be able to teach people about all aspects of the game, from the rules to owning a stadium. I am one of those who hold no information back. If you ask me, and I can help you, I definitely will. For the most part, that’s how all coaches in this hobby are.
Tell me about the community of Electric Football players, and how has that helped build the game to where it is today?
Lynn: The MFCA does not have a giant community..yet…but the coaches/members that are part of it hold the history and future of the game in their hands. Most if not all of the changes to the game over the last few decades have been because of the electric football hobbyist’s suggestions to the manufacturers. In many cases, when the manufacturers couldn’t or wouldn’t create what the community wanted, the coach himself has taken on the role of the manufacturer and started garage businesses that have fulfilled voids in the game. From field covers and scale stadiums to chinstraps and detailed men to all direction dials and better throwing QB’s and kickers; without the hobbyists and gamers of the miniature electric football world the hobby would have stayed in its childhood form, with players spinning and squaredancing around their tiny plain fields. The hobby would have disappeared eventually with the advent of the video game, but for those of us who have found it again or never left it in the first place, there is true beauty to the game that is unmatched by any other tabletop reproduction of football and that includes Madden and other video games. The hobby IS football in miniature!
Reginald: For many years, the community was fragmented. You could see the power struggles from various sections of the country. With guys like Lynn Schmidt, Ray Fanera, Joe Greco, and myself, bridges were forged.
It is a shame that you have to go through those situations but it had a way of flushing out what was bad. Now, we’ve got a good community of people, willing to work together for the good of the game. That’s what’s important.
I, for one, can only hope this hobby continue to grow, but definitely the most essential part to that happening is the continued cooperation of coaches throughout the country.
That’s it for my look at Electric Football. I honestly hope you take a look at http://www.footballfigure.net” and http://www.miniaturefootball.org and give the game a shot! There is likely a league or a coach in your area that would love to have you come out and show you the ropes of this fascinating game.
I’ll once again thank Lynn Schmidt, Reginald Rutledge, and Rob Smith for their time and support without their help this article would never have gotten off the ground.
Have a good one!
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About the Author
Written by Shane Hoopfer
Die hard Flames fan since 1980, and a closet baseball junkie. Also a big Dolphins, and Stampeders fan!