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MAD Magazine predicted electronic sign stealing more than 50 years ago

They did it in a satire of NFL television.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, MAD Magazine was one of the best sources for biting social satire. (Sadly, the magazine essentially shut its doors last summer after 67 years.)

And in its December 1965 issue, MAD took on the rapid, uh, encroachment (for lack of a better term) of television into NFL sports broadcasts. Here’s the first page, in which MAD goes to several different reporters, missing the kickoff:

It’s on Page 2 of this story where MAD forecasts a future where signs can be stolen via television broadcast:

In the second panel, the reporter is right in the middle of the huddle and tells the audience that the team is going to call a quarterback sneak and catch its opponent “off guard.” Of course, the coach of the opponent is watching this on TV on the sideline and tells his team, “Let’s KILL ‘EM!!”

One of the announcers follow up on the play by stating, “You’d almost swear that the Hawks knew what the Rockets were going to do...”

The third page simply has the aftermath of the “pileup” described on Page 2:

That was written and published more than 54 years ago. Just goes to show you that nothing is new under the sun.