By Bill Fisher
EDITOR'S NOTE: Every sport has its legendary figures who are the acknowledged authorities in their area and possess abilities far beyond those of anyone else. Golf has Jack Nicklaus baseball has Babe Ruth and bowling has Don Carter. Fussball's legend is Zeek Mullins.
Few people know Zeek but many know of him. One person that knows him well is Bill "Fussball" Fisher of Portland Ore. Fisher has spent many hours with Mullins and knows Zeek's powers first hand. After several letters and phone conversations. Fisher persuaded Zeek to allow him to relate some of their adventures in a special FOOSNOOS column. Thus the adventures of Zeek Mullins will be a regular feature in FOOSNOOS.
Zeek Mullins is the greatest fussball player in the world! Many people have met him, but they did not know it. They just have a vivid memory of a guy that walked up to their table and challenged. Playing by himself, he destroyed everyone in the house. After he was gone, people talked about him for many months. They remembered hearing the ball hit the back plate and wondering which man he hit it with. They remembered his oversized right forearm. They remembered having to put a new back plate in their table.
Zeek learned to play at the age of four. His next door neighbor gave him a homemade table which he made out of a wrecked 1949 Studebaker and an apple crate. The "men" were piston rods and the "rods" were the shafts from an old rusted set of Bobby Jones beginner golf clubs. The bottom of the apple crate was the play field and Zeek covered it with Astro-turf to make it consistent. When practicing, Zeek used small ball bearings about 1/4 inch in diameter. He claims that they moved around the table so fast that they helped him hone his reflexes. He eventually had to have hammered bronze tips made for the "men" because he kept breaking them and throwing rods through the side of his crate. Zeek did not play on a commercially manufactured table until he was ten years old.
During his teen-age years, Zeek was banned from most of the establishments that had tables and knew him. His pull shots and pull-kicks would destroy their tables in a matter of hours.
There is a table in the Fussball Hall of Fame in Portland, Ore., that has a splintered hole in it 21/4 inches to the right of the goal hole. The story is that Zeek was in a bar in Ryegate, Mont., trying to find a game. He got into a discussion with the bartender and they eventually made a bet that the bartender could not block Zeek's pull shot. After making 50 in a row, the entire back end of the table was splinters. The bartender, being a determined fellow, refused to give up so he stationed one of his buddies about ten feet from the end of the table, gave him a catcher's mitt and demanded that Zeek keep shooting. To make a long story short, Zeek made 97 in a row. On the 98th shot, the inside man on Zeek's three-man rod broke, causing him to pull the ball 21/4 inches too far.
I happened upon this table some two years later m the back of a peanut brittle factory in Eugene, Ore. The back plate and rear wall had been replaced, but the hole was still there, right where that last shot smashed through the inside wall.
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