You have to be well into American football to remember Tom Landry. He gave up coaching at the end of the Eighties after more than 30 years in the game, during which time he helped the Dallas Cowboys earn the name 'America's Team' because they were more than pretty good and won a couple of Superbowls.
Still, at least he knows his stuff and in this American football management game you're going to have to know yours as well. You don't want to be confusing your Hail Mary's with your Right Inside Linebackers, when you've got an ineligible receiver downfield!
One or two players can battle it out on the gridiron (or pitch to you and me) and if you're playing in two player mode there's the added bonus of a modem link for remote gaming. If that option isn't available to you, then you'll have to look away from the screen while your opponent makes his calls for the next play.
On the menu tonight
So here's how the game works: you make each and every play call for your team (both offence and defence) and then sit back and watch the short animation of the play (or not if you've turned it off to speed things up) as it's executed on the field.
You can then make your decision on how to call the next play depending on how successful the last one was - easy really, just like any other American football management game you've ever played.
Play calling is easy as you simply click on menus to cycle through the options then click on Go! when you've set the play up to your liking. You get to decide everything you would expect to make that perfect play: passing or running play, who to hand the ball to or who you'd like to throw it to, what pattern they should run, and so on.
It's all neatly presented and easy to control, and the animated sequence showing the play happening is all right if a little crude and jerky. There's also a handy game Help option for those who don't know anything about the game which lead novices through the basic rules and strategies.
The kick is up... it's good!
The best way to play is in two player mode, against a fellow American football fan. However, the computer plays a decent game against you and will punish you for bad play calling which is good to see. An, of course, not every play that you call will run precisely as it should because, hey, they're only human out there.
Tom Landry Strategy Football is structured well enough not to let the novice feel completely swamped with a whole load of player and game statistics - which become more important as you become more familiar with the game and it's good to see the game tries hard to let you make effective use of the game clock (many American football games are won or lost in the last few seconds of a game that's taken some three hours to play!)
It's well presented and easy to actually play (as distinct from understanding), there are more than enough plays to call and plenty of options to alter the game set-up to your taste.
When the plays are being executed you do feel as if your decisions are important - with enough of a random element to keep things tense. Just don't try playing until you understand the basics of the real game and can follow your way round a chalkboard.