A Look Back at The Roots of Video Game Football

1/22/08 in NFL   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

When you look at how insane the graphics are on current video games, you tend to forget just how crappy games were in the past. So because we have two weeks until the Super Bowl, and I'm sure you're all still desperate for football - even if it's in video game form - let's take a look back to see how we got to where we are now. Because the road to Madden was a bit bumpier than I ever thought.

Believe it or not, this commercial is actually from 1971, even though it looks like it came from another dimension. I realize it's for electric football, but hey, this was THE game to have before video games existed. At least, that's what the commercial seems to suggest to me. By the way, how did that receiver catch that pass?

Ah, yes. The Coleco Head-to-Head football game. Truly a game that pushed video game football ahead. Actually, this game probably set video game football back 10 years. Watch this commercial closely to see the football players in it who happen to be, uh, rectangular blinking lights. This is real competition! No, no it's not.

Soon football graduated to the Atari, where finally the junk moving on the screen actually kind of looked like people, except for that invisible linebacker who sacks the quarterback. Too Tall Jones did the right thing by attaching his name to this game. Best decision ever.

Naturally Intellivision couldn't let Atari corner the crappy football video game market, so they came along with their own version, and had George Plimpton hawk it.

Nintendo followed all of this up with the epic 10-Yard Fight. A game so bad, it didn't even get its own commercial.

Finally a football game worthy of actually being played happened when Tecmo Bowl was released. And it of course begat one of the greatest video games of all time, Super Tecmo Bowl. The game that made Bo Jackson a legend in his own time.

It hasn't all been perfect since then. We've had games like Gerry Glanville's Pigskin Footbrawl, but at least Tecmo got us on track. So just remember, we've got it pretty good right now. And Madden sure as hell beats electric football.
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