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Here we have a cartoon is that is much more normal than the 1944 predecessor,
How To Play Football. This matchup is a battle between Present State (the
modern team) and the Bygones (oldtimers). A young kid and his grandpa argue
about which team is the greatest. The kid claims Present State, but the
grandpa clearly differs. With those differences in mind, Walt puts this
imagination into an interesting matchup.
As the antenna zaps out a woman being shown through static, we finally
see Present State and its numerous teams and formations, including Lipton
"T" (don't ask me why the animators put that in) and the broken wing (just
to make a joke out of the wing formation). All the modern (1953) gadgets...crowd,
coaches, equipment, and atmosphere are used here. When the oldtimers are
shown, their "modern" niches are used, including a camera that busts after
one flash. The coach for the oldtimers talks to his players in a very calm
voice as his crowd (of 15) cheers, while the modern team with its "rah rah"
approach has 40,000 people screaming.
After showing the respective captain (or captains, whichever team you
may follow) for each team, a member of the Bygones press uses his antique
telephone to let the people know his team won the toss and will get the
ball first. The modern press box alerts the fans that "Joe the Toe" would
kick off. Notice that Joe's toe is on a pillow covered in glass, just to
keep it warm. (Oh brother.)
The game starts as Joe kicks off effortlessly to Captain Smith of the
Bygones, and with a "flying wedge" formation, trample the kicking team for
a 90 yard touchdown return and a 7-0 lead. The modern coach has the advantage
of skyward nuances to get plays from his assistant coaches, so with thanks
to a lovely female operator, he gets the call and sends in team 7. In the
meantime, the Bygones dig a little mud to kick off to Present State.
The narrator claims the kickoff was returned to the 5 yard line, but
from our perspective, it looked more like the 22. WDP-TV (yes, for Walt
Disney Productions) gets an inside look at the huddle and the modern team
decides to call a hot play (well, it's a card with a beautiful female on
it). As they break out of the huddle (in squirrel-like fashion), a commercial
suddenly pops up. A Whirling Derbish Dishwasher is being sold by a sponsor,
and then the play finally appears as the quarterback forgot to take the
ball from the center (which would be a 5-yard penalty today for an illegal
snap). Despite the offensive line sending the defense into orbit, the really-delayed
quarterback draw only gains two yards. Lots of plays are skipped for time
restraints, but the modern coach calls in team 12 as team 11 is plowed off
the field. A new quarterback enters the game and throws a touchdown to end
the half as the crowd yells "WOW" (and spells it out, too). With that, it's
halftime with scores level at 7 each.
During the half, the modern team receives the modern treatment by receiving
vitamins and a steam bath, while the oldtimers use hammers to repair cleats
and drink scoops of milk while the head coach milks the cow. (Now I know
why new stadiums were built in the last decade.)
As we switch to the second half in progress, Present State punts to the
Bygones while the Bygones coach holds a sign saying, "Fight Fiercely." The
Bygones pass their own running back on a direct snap for a short gain (which
would be a 15-yard penalty today), then gain 76 yards on a play that featured
everyone on offense sewing a ball to their chest--all to confuse the defense.
The end of that play saw one of the Bygones getting tackled by the moustache.
Then, hunching the ball under his back, the running back sneaks in 2 yards
to give the oldtimers the lead. What they don't show is the extra point
conversion...apparently it was no good.
As the coach of the modern team calls in team 65, they receive the ball
with only 7 minutes to play. From the sky, scout number 8 calls in a trick
play to the coach but gets disconnected before the number could be announced.
As the operator tells the coach to deposit 25 cents for 10 minutes, he scrambles
to his players, the peanut vendor, and the cheerleaders...asking if anyone
had a quarter. The cheerleaders asks that to the crowd and they scream (and
spell out) "NO!" to the disgust of the coach. So, to counter what the Bygones
did at the beginning, Present State comes out with their version of the
flying wedge, and plows the defense over for a touchdown (and literally
out of the stadium). However, Joe the Toe misses the extra point by deflating
the football as he tried to kick, so scores remained level at 13 points
I was very surprised to see that immediately after the extra point attempt,
another Whirling Derbish Dishwasher commercial appears. At that point, we
return home to see grandpa turn the TV off. The kid wonders why...and to
his surprise, the grandpa exclaims that every home should have one of those
dishwashers, so he decides to go out and buy one. What a partypooper.
I guess we'll never know which team was the greatest...that was probably
the purpose of the game staying tied.
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Submitted by eutychus