It’s been often quoted in the sports world, “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good.” Such is the case in the miniature football realm. Ask any league coach, tournament, solitaire or otherwise and you’ll soon learn of the pride and passion for their sharp dressed men.
Crackin’ Plastic recently caught up with a legend who is directly responsible for painting “armies” of teams that have graced the fields over the years. When hobbyists lack the confidence, skill or time to make their squad look top-notch, they overwhelmingly call on Chris Stacey.
In Chris’ humble words, “I’m no Picasso, but I can grind with the best.” Meaning at any given time his work bench may be full with five or six commissions. We were treated to a two hour visit of memory lane stories and reminiscing. What follows is the highlights of a very enjoyable afternoon.
Crackin Plastic: So, Chris, tell us where you reside and a little about what brought and keeps you there.
Chris: Home is Hampton, VA. I retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and was later employed by the state. I love the area for its rich history, seafood and moderate weather. Oh, and Virginia Beach has some beautiful scenery.
CP: How many is in your family? Any pets?
Chris: No pets, but I have 3 older brothers. Maybe they think I’m their pet (chuckles).
CP: What was your first car? What’s your favorite music? Favorite movie?
Chris: I had a 1969 AMX, I loved that car. I’m in my happy place listening to old-time rock & roll and watching any westerns, especially films about the Alamo.
CP: What’s a normal day in Chris’ life look like?
Chris: Coffee, paint, lunch, paint, errands, dinner while painting, paint, sleep, repeat…
CP: Who’s the most famous person you’ve been face to face with.
Chris: Chuck Foreman the running back for my favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings.
CP: What charities do you support?
Chris: The DAV and the American Heart Fund
CP: Do you have any pet peeves?
Chris: Absolutely, people running stop signs and texting while driving.
CP: What got you into the EF hobby?
Chris: In 1999, my neighbor across the street introduced me. At first, I just wanted to collect teams. Then after realizing there was strategy involved, I was hooked. I’ve always enjoyed playing, but I really get the most pleasure from painting and team building.
CP: What is the pulse of the hobby in your area?
Chris: Currently, we’re in somewhat of a vacuum. The Hampton Roads area used to be a hotbed of activity. Good news is, we’re just a short drive to many thriving leagues and tournaments.
CP: What real college or pro teams are you a fan of?
Chris: I follow the Georgia Bulldogs and Minnesota Vikings.
CP: Who was the first legend you recall hearing of in the hobby? Who is/was the toughest opponent you’ve ever faced?
Chris: Mike Pratt, both answers. Man, I loved that guy, what a competitor. He had my number most of the time.
CP: What’s your go to offensive and defensive schemes?
Chris: I really like to run a pro set and bump and run.
CP: What coach have you always wanted to play but never have?
Chris: Terry Popham, I think he’s been dodging me all these years.
CP: What current/inactive coach would play you in a movie about your EF life?
Chris: I think Raider Mike Beal could win an Oscar if he played my role.
CP: Which one could you give up for life, favorite food, television or electric football?
Chris: Well, I love to eat and I’m going to paint EF players until I can’t hold a paint brush anymore. I could live without TV, I have my music.
CP: If you were gifted $10,000,000 to spend on EF, how would you spend it?
Chris: I would underwrite the hobby to ensure future generations could experience all the joy the game has to offer.
CP: Give us one word in Chris Stacey’s mind that best describes you.
We couldn’t come up with a better word ourselves. If you stay around this great game very long, you’ll soon discover there are many highly reputable folks involved across the country. Our contingent will always be, none will stand any higher than Chris. His painting skills are crisp, timely and affordable to most. You’d be hard-pressed to attend an EF function and not lay eyes on some of his “babies.” Not bad for an old retired Marine, Semper Fi!
Article by Roger Fisher