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With the football now repaired, Willie and Charlton now set out to find a suitable playing area for the street touch game. They were in luck! The usual flat stretch on Pelton Avenue didn’t have too many cars parked on it. As long as there weren’t any cars parked on opposite sides of the street from each other, it was wide enough to play.

The standard field length from goal to goal was the distance between three lightpoles. The middle light pole was considered the kickoff point and also the first down post. After your team received the ball, they had 4 downs to advance past the middle light pole to make a first down.

Of course, there were all sorts of local rules to take into account the peculiarities of the playing area. For example, if the ball touched an overhead wire during the kickoff or when it was passed, a call of “ outside interference” was made, and the down would be replayed. Out of bounds was considered anything outside the bordering curbs, as was touching a parked or moving automobile while you were carrying the ball. The overhead transverse wires were also used as the crossbar for field goals and point after touchdown attempts. Of course, on SI there was no such thing as a field goal or goal post…it was “Field GOLD” and “GOLD post”.

Since the game was played mostly in the late autumn darkness, it was not unusual for the quarterback to send one of his long receivers downfield to hide behind a car. After the defenders lost sight of him in the darkness, he would emerge from behind the car and yell that he was free. Even though the quarterback couldn’t see him, he would throw the ball to a previously agreed upon point, hoping that his receiver would be able to see it and catch it.

We’ll continue this discussion later, and hopefully by that time one of you out there will be able to field a team to play against Willie and Charlton’s “Pelton Panthers”.

Hint: don’t forget the “pen is mightier than the sword”, especially in cyberball!

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