Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Foosballers - 2020 Documentary

Just yesterday I came across a new documentary about the history of Foosball in the US. Brought back a lot of memories from the 80s and the 90s. See the trailer below.

The documentary followed Todd Loffredo, Tony Spredeman, Ryan Moore, Robert Mares, Cindy Head and Terry Rue as they talked about their Foosball history and how it has affected each and everyone of them and their respective family in varied ways. 

Todd Loffredo and Robert Mares shared their training regime and techniques, while they prepared for the Worlds Championship. 

Other notable interviews were with some of the Foosball greats featuring Federico Collignon, Tommy Adkisson and Terry Moore. Directed by Joe Heslinga and jointly written with Mike Wagstaffe, the documentary traced the history of Foosball from how it originated in Germany to the present, encapsulating in the ITSF (International Table Soccer Federation).

Check out the home of Foosballers here - https://foosballersmovie.com

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Malaysia Foosball Open 2016 Tournament

I just received a tournament invitation from Gavin of Foosball Community Malaysia today. I am so happy to see that foosball is still well and active.

Being way out of touch for so long and only just recently started to migrate my old foosball.info site, I was actually very happy to find out about the Malaysia Foosball Open tournament to be held in September 2016.

I will definitely be there to check it out. If you want to find out more about this open tournament, you can visit Foosball Community Malaysia on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/foosballcm/

For the Malaysia Foosball Open 2016 tournament, check out the event flyer here - https://www.facebook.com/events/1005710652870327/

In the weeks or months to come, I will make an effort to check out the foosball scene and perhaps get in touch with some of the old timers. Heck... I do not even know what is the prevailing foosball table of choice today. Hmm... I wonder if the Tornado tables are still around?

It will definitely be a trip to find out. And when I do, I will certainly update here. Cheers.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Limp Lettuce - Be The Greatest

When I first heard about Robert Ismert's foosball documentary, Limp Lettuce (since renamed as "FOOS - Be The Greatest"), I was both excited and thrilled. So many questions popped into my head that I had to get them answered. So, I then selected the ten best questions that I could think of and emailed Robert in the form of an interview and here it is...

Robert Ismert - Director and Producer of Limp Lettuce
The Intro: 
Thank you for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to discuss this project with you and all the foosball.info visitors.

1. Can you provide a brief background of yourself? (Your professional background, other similar works you might have done in the past, when you started foosing, where you are from, etc.)

Answer: I began foosing around three years ago. A friend and myself were at a local pub and after playing for a few nights I finally hit the ball hard (thanks to a quick tutorial on the roll-over shot) and I have been hooked ever since.

I graduated from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas with a Master's of Journalism degree and then worked as a photojournalist for around six months. Prior to that, I had done some video work in college in addition to multimedia documentaries. As my addiction to foosball grew, so did my interest in documentaries. The movie was a perfect match for both interests. I still live in Denton, TX with my girlfriend (Jodi), our dog (Beau) and our cat (Foos).

2. When and why did you decide to work on this documentary on foosball?

Answer: A few months after I had started playing foosball, I heard of a big money tournament in Austin, TX. That was my first experience with professional players. I watched a match featuring Johnny Horton and Dawn Swan and this was the genesis of the documentary. They are two of the more colorful and excitable foosers of recent history and their intensity aroused my curiosity. Then I saw foosball trading cards. I thought there must be a lot more to this foosball thing. I put it on the backburner for almost two years, and then finally began the project in March of 2003.

3. Is the title of your documentary "Limp Lettuce" - Be the greatest? Er... could you elaborate on it?

Answer: When researching the documentary, I was loaned dozens of old Foos Noos and Table Talk newsletters from the 1970's and 80's. As I browsed through a 1977 edition, I came across an article about "Foosball Handshaking". It described some of the different types of handshakes that players can use to express themselves after the match. "Limp Lettuce" is the 1970's equivalent of the "dead-fish" used today. It is basically a way to show disrespect to the other fooser after a match. After finishing the article, I thought it would make a great title for the movie.

4. Is there a message(theme) you hope to get across to your viewers?

Answer: I attempted to create a movie in which the fall, redemption and temptation of man is examined through the "eyes" of foosball. Foosball can become very addictive and can lead to euphoria. Conversely, it can lead depression and the struggle that accompanies the feelings of lose and hopelessness. The game itself is still striving at redemption in many ways. Foosball exploded in America during the mid 1970's. Big money tournaments. Porches and Corvettes were given away. At one time it was the 8th largest sport in the world. But as quickly as it grew in America, it collapsed even quicker. And whether it is a promoter, player or manufacturer, foosball has many individuals that are still striving to redeem themselves or the sport for personal or professional failures that may have been either self-induced or simply circumstantial. Much the same way as the game itself and the factors that contributed to the collapse of the Tournament Soccer machine in 1981. Promoters attempt to reverse the image of foosball as simply a drunk, bar game. Players attempt to recapture their greatness. Tragically, futile attempts at loving and redeeming each other are part of foosball and the players.

Hopefully, I have put the movie together in such a way as to allow the viewer to decide whether or not redemption is within reach, or even worth pursuing in some cases.

5. What was your impression of foosball and foosers in general before making this documentary? And has your impressions changed after making the documentary?

Answer: I don't know what I was doing as a child, but I never thought about or played foosball until I started playing around three years ago. I grew up near Dallas during the 1970's, which at the time was the hotbed of Tornado foosball. But I guess since there wasn't foosball in Star Wars, I didn't notice any foosball machines.

I have loved foosball and foosers since day one. The learning curve has been so erratic for me. I love the game. I hate the game. I love the game. I hate the game. That is part of the reason it is so attractive. And every fooser I have ever met loves to talk the game and are generally great people when at the table.

If anything has changed since I began this project, it would probably be that my love for the game has grown ten-fold. It's like my girlfriend in a way. I have loved her for a long time, but as I learn more about her, that love seasons my soul and becomes embedded. The more I learned about the history, players and passion of foosball, the more it has become part of my life. It is a family in every sense of the word. I think foosball has always been great. If people haven't been exposed to it properly, a misconception of what it is and who plays the game may be present. That's an unfortunate part of the game and a byproduct of where it is primarily played in the United States.

6. What do you hope will be the foosers' reaction to your documentary after they have viewed it?

Answer: I'd like for any fooser that watches the movie to leave the theater feeling as if they just went deadman on meat-nut at the World Championships for ten-grand.

Hopefully, foosers will take away some of the history of the game and gain or deepen an appreciation of what it takes to become a World Champion or promoter or fan of the game. The dedication that some of the people involved in the sport have is tremendous. Hopefully it transfers well to the screen and inspires foosers and non-foosers alike to become more involved in the sport. And strive to "Be the Greatest" at whatever they do.

7. I am sure you have interviewed a lot of professional foosers... :-) Can you tell us, in your opinion, who are the most memorable and passionate ones and why you think so.

That's another great aspect of foosball. There is an abundance of interesting people in the game.  Todd Loffredo is the wise, "Yoda" figure still capable of amazing things.  Steve Murray is the father-figure nurturing and caring for the foos family.  Bob Furr (inventor of the Tornado table) is the analytical, logical engineer returning to the game after many years and discovering the fate of his invention.  Scott Moreland is the grinder that still plays 5 days a week and hasn't missed a tournament in countless years.
I could go on, but the most engaging person I interviewed was Johnny Horton.  His passion for the game in addition to his unique ability to translate that passion into words and emotions on camera is unmatched in the movie.  And he has experienced quite a roller coaster of a ride in his foosball career that is quite interesting as well.

8. When will Limp Lettuce be released? And where?

Next year, I will be entering the movie into film festivals. I don't anticipate it being released in theaters. If accepted into festivals, it will be playing in those cities. As far as distribution, I don't have a timeline. If I had to guess, I would say by the middle or end of 2005 DVD's should be available.

9. Any chance of Limp Lettuce being shown on Discovery Channel or National Geographic?

As far as television, that depends on the channel. If a company notices the movie at a festival or elsewhere, they may offer to show it. But I am not really sure how this process works. Perhaps PBS can sandwich the documentary between "Flight of the Wildebeest" and "Zoboomafoo".

10. What are your plans after the release of Limp Lettuce?

Win the World Championships of course. I've talk to the best. Seen the best. Now it's time to be the best!

Well, maybe I'll just enter the World Championships and see what happens. I've been working on my pull. I'M GOING LONG!

Robert Ismert, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I think I speak for all the fooser in wishing you all the best with the release of your documentary and may only good things fall upon Limp Lettuce - Be The Greatest. Oh... and good luck in your World Championship quest... :-)

Related Links:

Thursday, October 23, 2003

2003 Foosball UK Master Open

Goalie War 31 entries
Pos Name Winnings
1 Rob Atha £ 50 + Trophy
2 Eddie Edwards £ 25
3 Frank van den Eeden £ 15
4 Dave Oates £ 10
5 Charly Friessem
5 Benge McHugh
7 Clive Triplow
7 Stuart Cree
9 Martyn Harris
9 Imran Sharif
9 Dave Perrott
9 Dave Ziemann
13 Sandeep Jangra
13 Hans-Friedrich Kircher
13 Paul Ward
13 Dave Chow
17 Brian Harms
17 Wayne Dunderdale
17 Diane Blackwell
17 Boris Atha
17 Phil Cutcliffe
17 Peter Vogele
17 Mike Fowler
17 Heng Ho Cheung
25 Mark Dunderdale
25 Nigel Goodman-Smith
25 Juj Sohi
25 Michael Brandt
25 Mike Amsden
25 Dave Carter
25 Karl McGlynn

DYP 16 teams
Pos Players Winnings
1 Rob Atha & Paul Ward £ 40 + Trophies
2 Hans-Friedrich Kircher & Wayne Dunderdale £ 25
3 Boris Atha & Peter Vogele £ 15
4 Juj Sohi & Diane Blackwell £ 10
5 Brian Harms & Khalid Sharif £ 5
5 Stuart Cree & Mike Fowler £ 5
7 Dave Ziemann & Eddie Edwards
7 Clive Triplow & Martyn Harris
9 Karl McGlynn & Imran Sharif
9 Michael Brandt & Benge McHugh
9 Frank van den Eeden & Sandeep Jangra
9 Dave Chow & Phil Cutcliffe
13 Dave Carter & Dave Oates
13 Heng Ho Cheung & Nigel Goodman-Smith
13 Dave Perrott & Mike Amsden
13 Charly Frießem & Mark Dunderdale

Novice Doubles 12 teams
Pos Players Winnings
1 Paul Ward & Heng Ho Cheung £ 30 + Trophies
2 Imran Sharif & Davar Alipour £ 20 + Trophies
3 Alex Shovelton & Mark Melia £ 15 + Trophies
4 Mike Amsden & Phil Cutcliffe £ 10
5 Dave Carter & Richard Hocking
5 Nigel Goodman-Smith & Peter Lawrenson
7 Wayne & Mark Dunderdale
7 Dion & Geoff Kay
9 Ash Ghataaura & Emma Carter
9 Rob Bond & Frank van den Eeden
9 John Blanchard & Naeem Kaka
9 Sandeep Jangra & Ian Boardman

Open Singles 54 entries
Pos Player Winnings
1 Rob Atha £ 120 + Trophy
2 Juj Sohi £ 80 + Trophy
3 Charly Frießem £ 50 + Trophy
4 Boris Atha £ 30
5 Peter Vogele £ 20
5 Tich Degun £ 20
7 Rhys Roberts £ 10
7 Eddie Edwards £ 10
9 Hans-Friedrich Kircher
9 Stuart Cree
9 Paul Kalsi
9 Les Jones
13 Frank van den Eeden
13 Dave Ziemann
13 Phil Williams
13 Michael Brandt
17 Davar Alipour
17 Albert Tamou
17 Martyn Harris
17 John Blanchard
17 Dave Chow
17 Dave Perrott
17 Paul Ward
17 Tony Melia
25 Sandeep Jangra
25 Ash Ghataaura
25 Geoff Kay
25 Benge McHugh
25 Dion Kay
25 John Worthington
25 Dave Oates*
25 Wayne Dunderdale
25 Imran Sharif
33 Richard Hocking
33 Naeem Kaka
33 Chris Stevenson
33 Mark Dunderdale
33 Mark Melia
33 Dave Carter
33 Mike Fowler Winner of "Horse's Arse" trophy for worst pro performance in OS
33 Clive Triplow
33 Diane Blackwell
33 Heng Ho Cheung
33 Brian Harms
33 Dave Morgan
33 Karl McGlynn
33 Ian Boardman
33 Mike Amsden
33 Alan Bowers
49 Nigel Goodman-Smith
49 Rob Bond
49 Alex Shovelton
49 Phil Cutcliffe
49 Peter Lawrenson

Open Doubles 26 teams
Pos Players Winnings
1 Hans-Friedrich Kircher & Charly Frießem £ 200 + Trophies
2 Rob Atha & Dave Perrott £ 120 + Trophies
3 Rhys Roberts & Juj Sohi £ 80 + Trophies
4 Les Jones & Tony Melia £ 50
5 Tich Degun & Paul Kalsi £ 30
5 Stuart Cree & Boris Atha £ 30
7 Dave Chow & Khalid Sharif £ 20
7 Peter Vogele & Michael Brandt £ 20
9 Dave Ziemann & Albert Tamou
9 Dave Morgan & John Worthington
9 Martyn Harris & Mike Fowler
9 Karl McGlynn & Frank van den Eeden
13 Richard Hocking & Dave Carter
13 Wayne & Mark Dunderdale
13 Phil Williams & Alan Bowers
13 Ian Boardman & Alex Shovelton
17 Sandeep Jangra & Chris Stevenson
17 Paul Ward & Heng Ho Cheung
17 John Blanchard & Naeem Kaka
17 Ash Ghataaura & Mark Melia
17 Davar Alipour & Imran Sharif
17 Dave Oates & Brian Harms
17 Eddie Edwards & Benge McHugh
17 Diane Blackwell & Clive Triplow
25 Phil Cutcliffe & Mike Amsden
25 Nigel Goodman-Smith & Peter Lawrenson

Semi-Pro Doubles 14 teams
Pos Players Winnings
1 Michael Brandt & Karl McGlynn £ 60 + Trophies
2 Alan Bowers & Chris Stevenson £ 40 + Trophies
3 Dave Chow & Frank van den Eeden £ 30 + Trophies
4 John Blanchard & Naeem Kaka £ 20
5 Ian Boardman & Nigel Goodman-Smith £ 10
5 Mike Amsden & Phil Cutcliffe £ 10
7 Paul Ward & Heng Ho Cheung
7 Davar Alipour & Imran Sharif
9 Wayne & Mark Dunderdale
9 Dave Morgan & John Worthington
9 Diane Blackwell & Clive Triplow
9 Ash Ghataaura & Mark Melia
13 Sandeep Jangra & Alex Shovelton
13 Richard Hocking & Dave Carter

Thursday, July 3, 2003

2nd VIFA Asia Open Foosball Championship 2003 Result

Rookie Singles
1. Ali Al-Shamsi
2. Saeed Al-Attar
3. Sang Lee
4. Ali Al-Kamda

Rookie Doubles
1. Ahmad Al-Ali & Saeed Al-Attar
2. Ali Al-Shamsi & Ali Al-Kamda
3. Ong Choong Leo & Roy Wong Seong Zeng
4. Anirudh Jain & Yong Min Jie

Mixed Doubles
1. Mak Choong Moon & Vivien Tan Bee Bee
2. Raymond Kan Cheah Jong & Aunnie Teh
3. Pietro Ambrose Felix & Joanne Seaton
4. Miqdad Suwaidi & June Cheah

Pro-Am Doubles
1. Miqdad Suwaidi & Ali Al-Shamsi
2. Ali Helal Al-Mutawa & Ahmad Al-Ali
3. Yaqoob Ali & Saeed Al-Attar

Open Singles
1. Miqdad Suwaidi
2. Hamid Barahouei
3. Shaun P’ng Chun Jinn
4. Ali Al-Shamsi
5. Michael Tan Boon Keong
6. Ali Helal Al-Mutawa

Open Doubles
1. Miqdad Suwaidi & Ali Helal Al-Mutawa
2. Shaun P’ng Chun Jinn & Ng Eng Hwai
3. Hamid Barahouei & Saeed Al-Attar
4. Ali Al-Shamsi & Yaqoob Ali
5. Adil Sayeed & Bobby Tham
6. Ahmad Al-Ali & Ali Al-Kamda

Draw Your Team
1. Saeed Al-Attar, Tan Kok Aun, Siti Baizura & Zaryn Lana
2. Ali Helal Al-Mutawa, Ong Choong Leo, Raymond Kan Cheah Jong & Senthil
3. Ali Al-Shamsi, Ewan Azlyyuzry, Roy Wong Seong Zeng & Sunil Vijayan
4. Lee Ho Sang, Mak Choong Moon, Nur Azlin & Yaqoob Ali

1. Bobby Tham & Ong Choong Leo
2. Adil Sayeed & Tan Kok Aun
3. Azlan Ahmad & Ahmad Johanuddin

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

To be the Best, drink like the best!!

Byline: Oliver Yong.

It has been a fact that foosball is and will be a part of the "infected" parties. Let me cut-and-paste from an F-1 article.

"The Federal Republic of Germany is situated in the heart of Europe. It has nine neighbours and covers an area of about 357,000 square kilometres.  Germany has a population of approximately 82.1 million (including 7.3 million foreigners) and is one of the most densely populated countries in all of Europe. In Germany, there are about two million more women than men. The most popular sport in Germany is soccer, called "Fussball" and is played at thousands of clubs which have more than 6.3 million members. The German national soccer team has won the World Cup three times and came close in 2002 before losing to Brazil in the final. Germany is now gearing up to host the 2006 World Cup."

What is required from a foosball player? What do we do to train for an event?

Ability to withstand crap talking (trash talk) from opponent, how do we train?

Simple solution for simple task, for the women. Irritate your mom, and a full day scheduled 24hr nagging will be guaranteed. Married man? Ask for Jack Hii, he would just ignore all calls from his mobile. To an extent, he would just leave his obsolete mobile lying around table top, praying hard that it would be stolen; save the hassle!! (** psst.. it's a Nokia 6110. Grandfather generation phone lah!!.. )

How the great players train. Got this training regime from Alex Hing, Alex Chong and our expert, Albert Cheok. We can see all of them in training mode every Monday at our friendly local pub; Barcode. They will report for duty @ 6pm onwards, punch their employee card and proceed to their work desk (high bar table ). What do they do to train up their games?

WARM UP with warm mug, it will circulate the blood in your body, warming it up just like a pre-warmed F-1 tyre, ready for racing!! Dump all unwanted fluid at the boys room, make coin changes, play Bee Gees songs and we are ready to roll.

STAMINA training by ordering 2-3 jugs of super chilled beer. It will allow non stop beer flow, creating the best mug-mouth-refill action. This will greatly enhance the ability to make dead shots and accurate Lafredo's. Note: happy hour training rates are from 6pm-9pm. After that, a different rate will be for casual training. Tips: If the beer happens to be warm, get our trusty Amir or Carol to get a bucket of ice, it will do the trick. A cold beer-action will stimulate the brain to go the distance. Ask Jack Hii, he knows best after a few rounds. His eyes would be an indication that it is time for him to stop training. It shows dedication and full effort by him. It is a strenuous training regime, but someone has to do it.

Psychology is an important factor in this game. Training in this aspect would require a stable mindset and shut down to the external factors. Alex Hing is the extreme crap-body language sensei. He has repeatedly made the opponent offset their games with cramps and spasm. A remedy to counter back this onslaught of crap talking is by laughing it off. Cant?? try to imagine him being a chimp inside a zoo cage, it will do the trick.

We should prepare ourselves for an onslaught of tournaments by doing more training session. I anticipate beer supplying company will have a higher share market price if our practise is persistent.
To our dear Prime Minister, We are doing our part to stimulate the market too!!

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Where do we go from here? One fooser's perspective.

Byline: Din Syazman Isham.

6 years ago, I started playing foosball. I took to it like a newly hatched turtle finding its way to the sea. Many of those I played with had already been playing for a while. Many have since quit. But those that remained have gone to reach great heights and along the way have passed their knowledge and experience on to a whole new generation of foosers. And foosball has become more than just a spin-the-rod and hope game but has become a sport in its own right with rules, organizations, clubs and tournaments. Even before I started playing, there were those who pushed the sport. Pushing to see the sport become mainstream & accepted by the public not as a game where people pretend to be Pele or Maradonna but as a sport where people will try to reach the standards set by people like Terry Moore, Todd Loffredo et al.

Foosball in Malaysia has grown, expanded and touched so many people over the past 6 years. What was once "just something to do on a boring Friday" became "the only thing to do EVER". I see it in the faces of many people - their complete obsession with the sport, their absolute commitment to it.
We, the foosball community of Malaysia, have many to thank for the growth and expansion of the sport here in Malaysia but a few key names come to mind. These people have pushed the sport hard. They have their own reasons but whatever it is, I would like to say thank you for all your efforts and may you not give up on us.

Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor have seen the birth of many brilliant foosers. The Mild Seven Nationals and the FM tourneys have highlighted a few key players and it is up to these key players to push foosball's expansion onwards by passing some of their knowledge, wisdom and experience to a new generation and hoping that this new generation will carry the sport to heights and territories as yet untouched.

It took me about a year to get my basics down. I had foosers who were willing to sit with me and discuss how I can improve my game and strengthen my weaknesses, they showed me what the basics were, ball control, anticipation, timing and all that, to these people, a big thank you. The new generation of foosers today have advantages that I never had and as a result, their improvement and mastery of the basics can be measured in a matter of months. The internet, club competitions, DYPs, a growing community of friendly and helpful foosers as well as an expanding level of exposure to the sport has critically reduced the time for someone new to the game to achieve their goals (pun intended).

The ladies deserve special mention here. When I started playing, the number of female foosers playing competitively was virtually zero. Times have changed. Female players have shown that they have what it takes physically and mentally to play the game at the highest level. And the numbers are growing. It was only a matter of time.

And that's where we are today. Foosball joints have sprouted all over the Klang Valley and I hope this is not just a trend. More people are being exposed to the sport than ever before and it would be a shame if all this progress were for naught.

But as the title of this article states where do we go from here? How do we bring this revolution (and I do sincerely mean a revolution) to its climax and bring about a phenomenal change in the public's attitude towards the sport as well as expanding the current base of players? How do we reach the other states within Malaysia? Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor have seen an explosion in new foosers, but is this enough? What about Terengganu, Negri Sembilan, Kelantan, Kuantan and so on? What is the foos scene like in these areas? How exposed are they? And the big question, are they ready? Will they accept foosball as a sport?

It would be great to go to the next M7 nationals and seeing whole new faces. You never know, if the numbers keep growing then M7 might revert to its old practice of rotating cities for the finals instead of having it only in KL (*sigh* those were the days).

Only time will tell where foosball will go from here. 6 years ago, foosball seemed like just another pub game destined for nothingness. Here I am today, playing foosball with people from all over Asia and the middle east. How times have changed.

I pray that the only way to go from here is forward.