Merry Christmas, PFT Planet

It’s another Christmas morning. And as we enjoy the 24-hour loop of A Christmas Story on TBS, it’s a good time to reflect on Christmas mornings of the past.

The reflecting began last night, when I asked the throng of PFT followers on Twitter to identify the best Christmas gift they ever received. The full collection of responses can be seen right here.

It’s a list that is, from time to time, nostalgic, funny, touching, inspiring, and wrong.

For me, the best gift arrived 40 years ago this morning. I was 10 and hooked on football, specifically the NFL. After all of the presents were unwrapped and I was disappointed that I didn’t get the electric football game that had been perched at the top of the No. 2 pencil-scrawled list, my parents pulled the same maneuver that Ralphie’s used when he finally got the official range model air rifle of Andy Dalton.

In the corner of the living room, propped up against the wall, was a large, flat, rectangular box wrapped with newspaper. I ripped it open, saw the word Tudor, crapped my pants (perhaps literally), and then spent the next four months alternating between 10 minutes of setting up the plastic members of the Browns and Steelers on other sides of the ball and 10 seconds of watching the artistry quickly degrade into a preschool soccer scrum.

Most of the other gifts that made the short list of the best gifts I ever opened on Christmas morning have something to do with football. Helmets, jerseys, jackets, magnetic standing boards, boxes of Topps football cards, and the surprisingly compelling O.J. Simpson See-Action Football, with red team/blue team cartoon-strip action.

The electric football game remains the Holy Grail of ’70s-era Christmas gift. You’ll see some of the players from the various teams I later purchased in the photo at the top of the PFT Twitter page. And the quarterback from that game I ripped open four decades ago still survives. Just like his real-life counterpart whom I tried to kill more than 30 years later.

38 responses to “Merry Christmas, PFT Planet

  1. I mentioned the reported death of Terry Bradshaw the other day and it didn’t make it past the intern screeners of the comments. It was pretty funny, for old school pft fans.

  2. Still have my Steelers helmet found under the Christmas tree in the early 80’s. It hung on the post of my bed for many years and now sits in my living room all year round.

  3. Whatever…even when I pay you a compliment your censors delete my comments. You suck Florio.
    Merry Christmas.

  4. That game looked much better than it was, while Strato-Matic Football was a board game that didn’t look good but was awesome to play.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  5. Florio, you bring back great memories. Mi w was the goal posts that held the gym all helmets and the hats/sweatshirts/jackets out of the Sears catalog NFL section. The 70’a early 80’s were great!!!!

  6. Wow. That’s amazing. I had the same experience, Christmas 1971. All gifts open, large wrapped box left over, marked with my (absent) step-dad’s name. Turned out to be Cowboys vs. Rams, just before the Cowboys won their first SB. I was ecstatic.

    Thanks, Mike, for sharing. Merry Christmas.

  7. Merry Christmas, Mike, and thanks for all you do.

    Your site keeps me informed and the comments keep me laughing. Here’s wishing you and everyone else a happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous 2016!

  8. Greatest.Gift. Ever. – for football geeks, anyway. I still had most of my teams (14-15) from my 70’s childhood until I sold them on ebay few short years ago. Including the number sheets, foam footballs and utility qb/kicker combo.

    Thanks for bringing that up Mike. Gave me a huge smile thinking back on those games vs my brother.

    Merry Christmas PFT followers.

  9. Vince Lombardi autograph. I’d purchased it months prior, but had it sent home when I was deployed. Finally got out of the army and made it home after not seeing my family for a few years truly enjoyed being able to spend Christmas with them again. Went to bed a happy man, but woke up as happy as a little boy on Christmas morning when Mom showed me my pile of eBay packaged that arrived while I was gone. I didn’t forget about the Lombardi, but it was at the back of my mind after ETS’ing, and all the travel and such home.

  10. The electric football game was always a great way to start a fight between my brother and I. Ours was an early model from the 60’s, with yellow and red players, no team designations. They had some kind of scotch tape like strip on the bottom and the players moved when the vibrating board was turned on , usually in all different directions.
    The kicker/ QB was the source of the problems.
    The lone metal player, with a catapult arm. He was used to “pass” the felt football or kick field goals and extra points. Since there was no instant replay, one of us always saw a “completed ” pass ( where the football hit the “receiver” down field on the fly)
    and the other always saw it bounce or not come close. I don’t think anyone ever won or lost the game. My mother didn’t like us playing and for some reason the game would inexplicably disappear for weeks at a time.
    Merry Christmas to PFT staff and readers.

  11. Merry Christmas Mike, MDS, Curtis, Zac, Josh, Darrin and crew! Thanks for another great season and giving commenters an outlet for the “airing of grievances.”

  12. Again Tokyo shows why he has the least amount of class out of every single sports fan in America!

    Merry Christmas fellow NFL fans! Thanks Florio for all the great times this last year!

  13. From a Bengals fan to a rather obvious Steeler fan, Merry Christmas, Florio. I’ve been a regular visitor of your site since 2007. Keep up the good work. Btw, even though I think Dalton is a very good QB, the bb gun crack was a little funny. Just a little.

  14. Merry Christmas everyone and for my present to florio and the rest of the gang I promise to stop sending you expletive laced tirades when you incomprehensibley scrub a post.

    I really do appreciate the work you do, God bless.

  15. Happy Holidays to Mike and the scribes at PFT, and to all the readers and commenters that make this site so entertaining. (That includes all you Viking fans too, Merry Christmas!) 😉

  16. Merry Christmas Florio! I logged hours and hours on electric football as a kid. APBA Football and Baseball took over when I became an adult (Lol). Now that I’m an old man, PFT takes up a good deal of my time. I get to be the GM for 32 teams, and a football know it all. Merry Christmas to all the PFT faithful!

  17. What’s u retesting is that over the past few decades the Brown’s actual play calling resembles the random anarchy you used to see on those old electric football sets

    In fact the electric football Browns have a better record than the REAL Browns! ;)-

  18. tokyosandblaster says:
    Dec 25, 2015 9:32 AM
    Merry Christmas to every fan, except Vikings fans!
    Glad to see that you feel the Vikings are a threat to you.

  19. I had the same game, can’t remember the teams but I do remember giving it theTim Taylor treatment trying like heck to make it more fun. No luck, turns out that putting cooking oil on the surface just makes soggy players, and a pissed off mom when it leaks on the floor.

  20. Wait a second here, i am OFFENDED, this site refuses to say the word REDSKINS, but you say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays!?

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