Buzz Media

Buzz Designer Michael Kronenberg with Buzz authors Earl Shores and Roddy Garcia in Richmond, VA.



Buzz Media — 1 Comment

  1. Gents,

    For some reason, my memories of this game were prodded yesterday (having nothing to do with the book or the website), but I certainly played it as a kid. Since I’m a big fan of irony, some thoughts came to mind. I wrote them up this morning…see below. BTW, these guys were Jets announcers at or right around this era.


    – Stuart

    Another afternoon at the Joe Namath Electric Football Bowl

    Announcers: Merle Harmon and Sam DeLuca

    Merle: Well, it sure looks like this one’s gonna be a heck of a game, Sam!

    Sam: Yep, it sure is. Joe Namath’s having a great year, in spite of having bad knees and one or two of his plastic feet having seen better days.

    Merle: He is. And the way he can throw that little felt excuse for a football with a mere push of a button! I mean, it’s pretty much impossible to actually hit one of those sorry little representations for a wide receiver with it, but that’s never stopped Joe from calling it a successful reception.

    Sam: Yes, there’s a lot of controversy on pretty much every pass play. The defense, in this case, the Raiders, is always claiming that the stupid piece of fuzz never actually hit the receiver, but since Joe’s team’s owner actually owns the game, he gets to make the call.

    Merle: That’s right. You remember the game last year when the defensive team – I think they were calling them the Chiefs at the time – refused to allow one of those phantom receptions, and the game’s owner unplugged the damn game and took it home? We certainly are not looking for a repeat of that performance.

    Sam: No, we’re not. That was the now-infamous “Snit Bowl”. A black mark on the history of the league.

    Merle: Well, thankfully we’ve not seen a repeat performance since then. Almost as fortunately, once more the weather will not be a factor in today’s game, since we’re playing in a familiar venue, Timmy’s living room.

    Sam: Right you are. I’m always looking forward to the halftime ritual here.

    Merle: Is there a band?

    Sam: No, you remember, Timmy’s mom brings everyone peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches.

    Merle: Of course! How could I forget. That, and the chocolate milk.

    Sam: Well, it looks as if we’re getting ready for the kickoff! The owners have lined all of their players up on opposite sides of the field, strung right across on their little plastic stanchions, and the Raiders are set to kick – their kicker has the felt-ball in front of his spring-loaded foot, and it’s up! I’d like to say it’s a high, deep kick coming down to the Jets’ receiver at the 5, but really it was more of a line drive skidding along the surface into what someone thought looked like an end zone. And anyway, the 5-yard line number is covered with what looks like old food. The owner has placed the feltball on the returner, and has snapped the switch on!

    Merle: Just listen to that annoying buzzing! The players are off! Twenty-two plastic representations of players are sort of heading generally towards the center of the board, er, I mean, field!

    Sam: Yes, just look at them go! Some of them are really moving! Those must be the skilled players. Either that, or those with the little plastic tabs on the bottom that haven’t yet been worn down or chewed off by the dog.

    Merle: And here’s the real action! It appears that most of the players have now come together in a huge scrum, right about at the 50-yard line. I see….22, 7, 45, 67….all in sort of a, well, mush.

    Sam: Wait! Look on the outside! That looks like 35! He’s STREAKING DOWN THE SIDELINE, with no one near him!

    Merle: Wow, he sure is! A pity he doesn’t have the “ball”. But he sure looks impressive! Oh, wait, now he’s turning….

    Sam: …and heading back the other way! I’ve never seen anything like this! Except, of course, every time they turn on the switch and start that awful buzzing.

    Merle: It appears that a number of the players have hooked arms and are going around and around in a circle. Quite a number of them, actually. In fact, this appears to be regardless of who is on what team.

    Sam: Perhaps this is some kind of strategy that we have yet to understand. Remember, these head coaches are wily and clever, especially for 11-year-olds.

    Merle: I’d like to believe you, Sam, but we’ve been calling these games for years now and we have seen almost this exact same behavior for every game and every play.

    Sam: Merle, I think you’re right on the money there. Come to think of it, we could save a lot of time by recording our announcing for just one game and playing it back for all of them. I really don’t think anyone would notice.

    Merle: Sam, right you are, but then would we do with our time in the afternoons after school?

    Sam: Well, it appears that the team coaches have finally grown tired of the morass of unrecognizable plastic in the center, and have switched off that horrendous buzzing, and the players have stopped. They’re now lining up the players in some sort of offensive and defensive formation that I’m not especially familiar with, but perhaps that’s less important here. There’s a bit of discussion going on over the placement of the line of scrimmage.

    Merle: Yes, that appears to happen on about every play.

    Sam: Merle, I’m not trying to start a controversy here, but I’m noticing that there aren’t any black players on either team.

    Merle: Well, certainly not on the “white” team, and, it appears, not on the “yellow” team, either. I wonder if it was due to problems with the plastic moulding process.

    Sam: Do you think that’s a problem?

    Merle: Only if someone else notices. Let’s try to keep this one to ourselves.

    Sam: Gotcha. Say, looks like they’re all lined up, and BZZZZZZZZZ! There they go again! Wow, is that loud!

    Merle: Hey, this time I think they’ve really done it! They’re wandering off all over the board. It appears that chaos has broken out, and all order has been lost.

    Sam: Merle, this may be the beginning of the end. Timmy has picked up several of his players and thrown them at the other owner.

    Merle: We may have to get out of here. Wait!!! Just in time! Timmy’s mom must have heard the ruckus and has arrived with the sandwiches and milk. Timmy looks calmer already. Perhaps because the terrible, horrible buzzing noise has now stopped.

    Sam: Boy, has this been a real barn-burner. Really one for the record books.

    Merle: What a game. What an endorsement! Joe Namath must be so proud.