Friday, December 6, 2013

Books: Unforgettable Football

(Photo courtesy / Earl Shores)

The Unforgettable Buzz:The History of Electric Football and Tudor Games is enjoyable on so many levels that it's a challenge to herald any aspect of the book without inadvertently slighting another.

Foremost it is a thoroughly researched and readable history of an iconic American toy, electric football, and its founding company, Tudor Games.

Then again, maybe it isn't. Authors Earl Shores and Roddy Garcia have done such a brilliant job of using the game as a lens for viewing so many aspects of American life - including the rise of merchandising, professional football, and television - that foremost it may be a history lesson cleverly disguised as a book about a toy.

Or maybe it's a fascinating look at the often uneasy marriage of manufacturing and creativity, one so seldom explored when considering the 'stuff' that permeates and defines our American lives.

Funny that I didn't notice all these nuances before. After all, I first played the game in 1971, when I was still so young that the only other electrical device in the house that I could use without parental oversight may have been my night light.

But I was just a kid, simply enjoying his favorite game. One that helped me escape to a world where the woeful New York Giants of the era managed to always win, at least when I was captaining both teams.

Shores and Garcia have thankfully given readers another guaranteed winner. - TF