Dec 5 in Sports History: Dad, what’s a video arcade?


In 1983: As a very prehistoric precursor to the John Madden video game franchise, the NFL introduced its first video arcade game, the creatively titled “NFL Football.” Madden it sure as heck wasn’’t, as there were very few features. In fact, the game’s creators were banking that the kids pumping their quarters in didn’’t mind being the Raiders and the Chargers all the time, because that’s all they were getting. After the play was selected, it showed the play using actual footage from a real NFL game between those two teams. Also, there was no dynasty mode or anything cool (like you could be Marcus Allen and bang OJ Simpson’s wife or Dan Fouts and be really fucking annoying on the air). Unfortunately, the game didn’’t do very well (there was a second edition with Redskins-Cowboys) and production was halted in 1984. (www.klov.com)

In 1981: Speaking of Marcus Allen, football’s most beloved adulterer won the Heisman Trophy as a tailback at USC, edging out Georgia sophomore Herschel Walker in a close vote. Allen was the fourth USC running back to win the Heisman (hey, OJ won one too…Maybe you own it!) but was the only Trojan to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. He was also the first player to run for over 200 yards in four straight games. Allen was drafted by the Raiders in 1982, and he went on to have a hall of fame career and won a Super Bowl MVP in 1984.

In 1982: Herschel Walker finally got his due by winning the Heisman Trophy as a junior, easily outdistancing Stanford‘s John Elway (Dan Marino finished 9th, way behind Tony Eason). Many felt that Walker should have won in his freshman year, when he ran for over 1,600 yards, 15 touchdowns and outclassed George Rogers, South Carolina’s Heisman winner that year, in a key Bulldog’s victory. Only a bias against underclassmen kept Walker from possibly winning an unprecedented three straight awards. Had Walker stayed in Athens for his senior year, he probably would still hold all Division I-A rushing records, as he had over 5,000 yards and 50 career touchdowns with a whopping 5.3 yards per carry in only three seasons. He decided it would be a better idea to try and commit career suicide, however, and he went to the USFL’s New Jersey Generals for three years. (heisman.com)

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