December 25, 2008 8:58 AM
Christmas leaves electric feeling
A few days ago I asked Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups what made his most memorable Christmas memorable.
Billups told me about his green Incredible Hulk Big Wheel - one he might still be riding today if he could.
Something to do with growing into the size of an NBA All-Star point guard.
Billups' story took me back to Christmas Day, 1971. Many of you will recall that on that day, the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs played the longest game in NFL history.
I recall it as being the day Santa brought my first and only electric football set.
This was big deal, because I finally got a toy that required use of an electrical socket. For years we weren't allowed near an electrical socket, because as kids we did dumb things like stick pennies into that socket.
Something to do with shock value.
At age 11, I had finally reached manhood. No more game boards and dice. No more C, D, AA or AAA-sized batteries. I've got a Coleco football set. It doesn't serve a purpose unless you plug it into the wall.
Other kids in the neighborhood already had an electric football set. Mine was the quietest football set in the world, a silent 'bzzzzzzz' to it. And smart too. My players didn't get dizzy from circling in place.
One team sported red pants with white tops. The other had yellow pants and blue tops. They were a plastic version of the Chiefs and Chargers.
But me being in Ohio, the red and white squad represented Ohio State, with Rex Kern at quarterback. The blue and yellow squad was the University of Washington. I saw Huskies QB Sonny Sixkiller on a Sports Illustrated cover. He became my favorite - player and name.
It was hard to tell whose arm was stronger, Sixkiller or Kern, especially when you're flinging footballs - a.k.a. small chunks of magnet - at the base of make-believe receivers.
Unfortunately Jay Cutler wasn't around to settle the argument.
I played with that electric football set every day, until Dad finally pulled the plug.
Something to do with the light bill.