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Long Island Electric Football League (Established 1972)

(1972) LEGACY OF Long Island EFL is BORN Bay Shore, Long Island Electric Football Super Bowl I, AFC Miami Dolphins vs. NFC Green Bay Packers

If you enjoy reading about electric football, here is a little history about the Long Island Electric Football League: 

This year Long Island EFL celebrates our 49th year in the hobby with Long Island Super Bowl XVI, in the Granddaddy of them all!

In 1971, I had the chance to step on the Miami Dolphins field at the Orange Bowl in Miami while we were on vacation as children. In those days people could just walk right into the stadium without being stopped. I couldn't have been more than nine-years old. We had watched the Monday Night game the night before on television. My older cousin Julio, who was in high school at the time, promised to take us to the stadium the next day. True to his promise, he walked me thru the entire stadium, although you couldn't go into the locker rooms. But the magic of being able to step on the field, which was turf, gave me a mesmerizing and overwhelming sensation because I found a piece of a Miami Dolphins Aqua player's Jersey while people were cleaning the stadium up. A man cleaning the bleachers called me over to him and he handed me a book. It was a Dolphins magazine with Dolphin Quarterback Bob Griese on the front cover. I still have it to this day, but the whole episode quickly made me an instant Dolphins fan.

Fast forward to1972, my love for electric football became contagious when my mother, an International and Olympic volleyball player from Havana, Cuba bought and taught me to play this memorable game. Mom was an avid sports fan and athlete and she saw that the game sparked interest in me after walking onto that field at the Orange Bowl in 1971.  

The first original teams we had were the Dolphins and Packers who played in LIEFL Super Bowl I on December 28, 1974, which we called the AFL Championship Game in which I played with the Miami Dolphins who beat Mom's Green Bay Packers 24-17 on the kitchen table. She didn't look so happy, or maybe she let me win, but her competitive nature got the better of her and in 1975, Mom helped us expand  by ordering from those old order forms that Tudor provided, the Bears, Rams, Steelers, Giants, and Raiders. The game quickly became popular with all the kids in the neighborhood, thanks to our parents, we all joined forces and started collecting all of the NFL teams any chance we had when Tudor Games, located on Johnson Street in Brooklyn, NY., had those massive electric football sales of $1 per team. 

Living close to Brooklyn on Long Island, we now wonder why it took so long for the teams to be delivered because we were less than 30 miles away from the Johnson Avenue Tudor Games facility. But, we received the teams with amazing excitement as we numbered our players to match the stars of the time, and the gridiron of the metal board became our childhood addiction. I am sure the game kept us from a lot of trouble too.  We then graduated to 19 teams with a mixed version of the AFC and the NFC broken into AFC Conference I and II, and NFC Conference I and II by our 1978 season.

As we look through our files it is incredible that we kept all of this information as you can see from the files we have shared thus far. It wasn't long after that we collected all 32 teams in their home and away uniforms making for an awesome league. Check this fascinating fact out. At nine years of age we had the insight to keep meticulous records. As we dig up an entire bin of league records beginning in 1975, you will find our league has a rich history and tradition with all of the details, statistics, standings, and records for all 32 NFL teams that are more than 40 years old.  We have every record of every game in this league, including tournaments against outside leagues since the late 70's as we celebrate our 16th Super Bowl this year 2020 after picking the game back up in 2008.

When I graduated from high school in Tampa in 1981, I traveled back to Miami in May of 1980 a few times because my grandmother lived there and it was completely transformed. There were riots going on in the streets of the Overtown section in Miami the first time I went back. And in 1982, when I visited again, I got to go see the great game between the Chargers and the Dolphins in the playoffs on January 2nd 1982 when Tony Nathan ran the hook and ladder play and the Dolphins lost to the Chargers 41-38 in an epic game. You could no longer walk freely into the stadium in 1982, and in 2008 the historic Orange Bowl was demolished to make way for the Marlins MLB stadium.

2020 is a hallmark year for us.  Thanks to Tudor Games for allowing us all this platform to inform people about our leagues, we will take you inside the LIEFL with all of the excitement and joy it brings us.

Tudor Games inspired us to keep the hobby going!  We understand that our league information may be meaningless to you, but it is the spirit in all of us that spark our love for the game that matters most. LIEFL's rich tradition and yours is what makes us respect and embrace everyone's leagues around the world.

Like all leagues, we fantasize and bring our own vision of reality through our leagues and player figures as metal-board warriors uplift men and women, and children who find joy, laughter and wonderful camaraderie as we all make new friends around the world. Electric Football is nothing less than an outstanding way to commemorate this incredible hobby that only we who play the game would understand. 

In reminiscing, our 2017 season was the beginning of Draft pick strategies that work to affect. Buffalo's OJ Simpson crushed many LIEFL long standing records which collapsed the test-of-time by dismantling our defending LIEFL 2016 Super Bowl Champion Detroit Lions and everyone in their path.  While we thought it was a great match-up on paper, the Bills and the "Electric Company" became our second Wild Card Team to win a Super Bowl, setting a new standard for the league (See the Video Below).

In 2019, we decided to change the rules to better suit the competition, with three guards and two tackles allowed on the front line so that the running game would expand the excitement of the game and the receivers would be three to four inches from the left and right side of the line adding to the excitement of man-to-man coverage. 

In our league you have only 40 seconds to set up your play. The theory of player set-ups changed the game with the outside lanes now open for running backs to risk-reward run and defenses to adjust to 5-I formations in the trenches. Sensation was the result of the changes with players now doing things we never thought possible.  We know you have had the same experiences and that is the cool part of the game as it comes to life!

I am sure this has happened to all of you when a great team does things you couldn't predict, and they play so great in that moment, but fail the following season. That to us is a great league when we use Japanese Kaizen Philosophy as a way to utilize "constant continuous improvement" for the betterment of the league . As we draft new and exciting bottoms the league continues to evolve just like it does in the NFL when new Drafted players compete with the best-of-the-best in an already established league.

All of us in this LIEFL group of childhood friends were athletes who love a variety of sports played here on Long Island from Lacrosse, Football and Wrestling, to Hockey, Martial Arts, Basketball, and even Soccer. Here we are 40 years later transforming the game to never before seen heights for us.  As we have gotten older we set a new standard.  We went from playing a 14 game season to a seven game NFL season with all 32 teams which begins August 1, and ends December 15th. This will be our 5th straight seven-game season and we are loving it!

While we may be a long way from the 1972 start when Mom showed me how to play this game, we will play five more seasons until 2025 and then realize that this ageless game should be donated to someone who treasures the memories just like we did as life comes to a close.  Lets keep this rich tradition of electric football alive and historic so it too creates its own legacy.

For these incredible player figures that come to life in our leagues ... Tudor Games, We Salute You!

This August, we will provide a full range of information as our season kicks off complete with week-by-week schedules, scores, highlights, accurate LIEFL statistics, including Rushing, Receiving, Offense, Defense, Playoff, Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, and Historic games records as the season unfolds.

(See last season's "2019 Season Recap" Below).

God Bless America!

With Love the LIEFL, William O'Connell


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