Mattel Football is a notable, early handheld video game providing a simple football simulation. The player always controlled the "quarterback" (indicated by a bright LED) and the computer always controlled the "defense" (indicated by several less-bright LEDs). In two-player "hot-seat" games, players would alternate controlling their "quarterback" against computer-controlled defenders. Play continued until the player achieved a touchdown or until the "quarterback" occupied the same space as a defender (a "tackle"). Generally, the ten-yards/four-downs rules of football were in (abstract) effect.
Play involved using the up, down, and forward (only) buttons to control the motion of the "quarterback". Additional options included displaying the time remaining, the current score, or "kicking" (punting).
Although not quite the first-available handheld game, it was the first enormously commercially successful game. There are several "imitators" offered by other manufacturers - sometimes as attempted forgeries, but more typically as "enhanced" games. Successfully exploiting sentimentality, Mattel manufactured and distributed a second implementation in 2000, essentially duplicating the play experience of the original in almost identical packaging.
After Mattel released their Football II product in 1978, the Football packaging was revised to indicate Football I.