Crackin Plastic sat down with Ohio Valley coach and APEX Electric Football founder Montago Jones to see if we could find out what makes him tick.
I assume you played Electric football as a kid. What was it like? Did you have a lot of friends to play against?
Playing electric Football as a kid was without a doubt the best time(s) of my childhood. I grew up as an only child, and was fortunate enough to have uncles that also played the game as well. They came up in the hobby painting figures with broom straws and tooth picks. They would cut the names out of telephone books and place them on the back of the jersey. Their games had stats, individual awards and styles. Some played using pennies, others using nuts or bb’s, and athletic tape was eased into the mix as well. Our neighborhood stayed creative. Electric Footabll was huge in our housing units (neighborhoods, projects). Their were many great guys and coaches back then, Keith Powell being one of them.
Did you play real football?
I grew up playing every sport possible. I played basketball and football both in high school and college, as well as tennis. I excelled and exceeded all expectations, no tales, wrestling,chess, raquet ball, golf, and baseball.
When did you start playing Electric Football again?
I started playing EF in 1979, but I recieved my first very board in 1982 (which I still own). From there, I played faithfully until 1990. That’s when I discovered girls were fun too. High school sports and college put the hobby on hold for me. I didn’t pick the hobby back up again until 2012. Then we had an eight coach league that lasted a couple of months. Father Time and kids quickly broke our league up, so we called it quits, up until April of 2018, Keith Powell asked me to jump on Facebook and see if anyone else was still playing EF because he was looking to get back into it. Well, the rest is history.
You play with the Steelers in the Ohio Valley league. What are your favorite teams?
The Steelers and Penn State are my favorite teams.
Who are your favorite players?
I have many favorite players that have played the game. Almost too many to mention. I Love the game. I’m a linebacker guy by nature. Junior Seau would take the honors. But, Bo Jackson and Greg Lloyd are worth mentioning.
Where did the idea for APEX Electric Football come from?
The idea for APEX Electric Football started with the simple concept of having fellowship. Brian Phillips and myself shared several phone conversations about competitive challenges and one day the concept stuck. He allowed me to bounce ideas across to him and he’d convey what he thought would and wouldn’t work. He and I spent more time in heated debates than one would know! But the love for the hobby prevailed. Electric Football is meant to bring more than one person to a table to strategize and execute. But football is a TEAM sport. Kentucky has very few professional electric football coaches (only 3 that I’ve personally played against or met). Keeping the team concept in mind, I realized that many coaches represented themselves, but not their actual league or league mates. So I sat out to change that perception of the hobby, hence the APEX was established. Brian Phillips played a very valuable part in the birth of the APEX.
There are a lot of leagues and tournaments around the country. Some coaches have been really dedicated for years, and sacrifice a lot to attend many of them. What made you believe you could host a successful event after being involved in the hobby for such a short time?
Being on the TOC circuit for just 1 year now, I had no idea if I could pull it off. But I felt like it was time to try something that I’d like to see happen. Believe me, their were many people that felt as though I couldn’t pull it off, and had negative opinions on why it wouldn’t work and why they weren’t coming. But I had a league mate (Paul Pate) say, “Don’t worry about who’s not showing up, concentrate on who does.” Everything became easier after that. I knew that I was passionate in my purpose and I also knew that others were just as passionate. So I took a chance and reached out too a couple of league veterans and great coaches and asked for their support and advice. Charles Lane and Brian Phillips were both, “All hands on deck!” The response and support that I received from their league mates were worth noting and the competition levels were off the hook!!!! Ohio Valley showed up and showed out but we just didn’t have enough in the tank. I encourage ANY LEAGUE across the country to join the APEX Leagues vs Leagues Challenge. It’s the ONLY event in the country that guarantees you 7 games (or as many as you wanna play), great food, and a TEAM concept. You’ll have a chance to play against Hall of Fame coaches, Gold Ball winners, world champions, league amd Tournament champs, every round.
What’s the top 3 things you love about Electric Football?
The 3 things I love about the hobby is the stories behind the coaches and their teams. 2. The friendships I’ve made in a short amount of time. 3. I LOVE to hear the smack talking between two old heads, it’s hilarious!!!!!
What’s next for APEX Electric Football?
I believe and hope that coaches will be on the lookout for the next Apex event!!!! It’s going to be another great event. It’s going to be the…
!!!!!! APEX Coaches Challenge Tournament !!!!!!
2 on 2 coaches will be allowed to coach their teammate (in huddle only, nothing aloud) during the setup clock. The main focus is too enjoy the competition and have a chance to come away with the hardware. More details will follow. The event will be taking place in October. See everyone there!