In August of 1988 I picked up a copy of Dragon # 136 at the Leisure World craft and hobby shop in the Valley Mall in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. In the middle of the magazine was a four page insert for a board game that instantly captivated me.
It looked like a combination of American Football, British Rugby and an organized soccer riot, all wrapped up in a glorious fantasy pastiche. All of the archetypal races were represented: humans, orcs, goblins, elves, ogres and undead. This game had it all: customizable team miniatures, star players, league play, character advancement, tiny footballs, a fucking Astrogranite® pitch and antisocial levels of unrepentant violence!
Although it would be many moons before I'd ever play Blood Bowl, I was completely enamored by the concept and revisited this article many times over the next ten years.
Here's the original ad in all of its glory. I challenge anyone to look this over and not feel a giddy thrill, a spark of imagination and then an overwhelming desire to find this game and then play the bejesus out of it!