Electric Football Still A Hit in Chemistry Department
Season Highlights to be Shown at Heinz Field
Several faculty, staff and students in Carnegie Mellon's Chemistry Department share a common interest almost as ancient as the Periodic Table of Elements. When they aren't giving lectures, taking classes, or working, they congregate off campus to play the old fashioned game of Electric Footballa game that recently piqued the interest of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Robert Dalmasse, a lab technician in the Chemistry Department, was one of the founders of the Pittsburgh Electric Football League in 1997. This past April, he helped organize an electric football tournament at Heinz Field during the Pittsburgh Steelers' Fan Blitz. Dalmasse and fellow owners of the PEFL have also hosted a tournament at a private party for Steelers owner Dan Rooney.
The PEFL will also be highlighted on the Heinz Field JumboTron scoreboard this football season during a segment entitled "Moments in Electric Football." "Most adults who see this game again will almost always say, 'I remember that game!' or 'I had one of those when I was a kid!'" Dalmasse said.
The game, manufactured by Tudor Metal Products of Brooklyn, New York, originated in 1947. Although it may seem primitive in today's world of video and computer games, Electric Football is still played and can be purchased from a variety of toy vendors for about $40$50.
Electric Football consists of a metal playing field that resembles a real football field with two teams of 11 miniature plastic players. At the beginning of each play, the "coaches" set their players in position attaching the ball to one of the figures. The game is turned on, and the playing field begins to vibrate. The board makes a loud buzzing noise, and the players begin to moveoften in the wrong direction. The play ends when the ball carrier is touched by a player on the opposing team.
"There is some skill involved, but a lot of the time it's just luck," said Justin Douglas, a two-year member of the league.
Each of the 10 members of the Pittsburgh Electric Football League acts as a head coach for their team. A regular season is played, followed by playoffs and the Super Bowl. Players are hand painted in the team's colors.
This year's Super Bowl was held on Aug. 3. Darren Olson's Minnesota Vikings defeated Brian Diggs' Indianapolis Colts, 14-7.
"For us, it is a social eventa time when we can get together with friends we don't see very often and play a game or two," said Nadine Fattaleh-Diggs, a lecturer in the department.
For more on the Pittsburgh Electric Football League, visit its Web site at www.andrew.cmu.edu/~dduran/EF/
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