I am sitting in Magusto’s in Minturn, CO watching a bunch of guys super-focused on armless men hanging on bars, chasing after a little ball. Serious foosball players can spend hour after hour smashing that ball into the goal. When the ball is slammed, most of the time you can’t even see where it is and where it’s heading.
Also known as table soccer, foosball was played as early as the late 1800′s, although an exact date is unknown. The very first documented foosball table was made by Frenchman by the name of Lucien Rosengart. He was an employee of the Citroen automobile company but had many hobbies on the side, including coming up with some lucrative inventions. In addition to creating the first foosball table, he also invented the mini-car, front wheel drive, and the seat belt.
Foosball addiction didn’t come about until after World War II. It was once said that foosball was invented to help rehabilitate war veterans. In truth, it wasn’t invented for that purpose, but has been used successfully for rehab. It is currently an international game as foosball fever has spread all over the world…and it continues to grow.
When I first started watching these guys play, I didn’t quite understand why the game was such an attraction. I have now figured out that it’s the adrenaline rush associated with foosball that is addictive. There isn’t a single foosball player who can stand to play just one game. These guys at Magusto’s play every single Friday night, without fail. Every now and then, new players join in, but there is a core of diehard players who look forward to Friday nights when they can get together with some friends, consume some pizza and beer, and have a grand old time hitting that little ball around on a table. Every now and then, there is a loud “bam” as the balls are smacked into the goals, but most of the time, there is so much focus that the night is rather silent.