I can speak with more insight regarding the yellow group—because I played in it.
The 2013 North Alabama Tecmo Championship was my first Tecmo tournament. Going in, I was unsure what to expect from the level of competition. Nonetheless, I felt I would have a chance to win. I knew this was not Madison or Lincoln; I assumed some contingent of the field would describe themselves as recreational players. Many surprises awaited me.
I found out several days before the tournament that my first opponent in group play would be a gentleman who calls himself Suicide King. I did not know what to make of that. I could see from his posts at TecmoBowl.org that he was a successful online player and an established member of the Tecmo community.
When I sat down to play against Suicide King, I was nervous. I began playing Tecmo in 1991; I had never before been intimidated. He took an early lead, and then I started to out-think myself.
In the second quarter, my psychological state got the better of me.
Thinking it a rational decision given the limited possessions in a game, I tried to convert a fourth down that I never would have gone for in a casual game with a friend. I turned it over on downs, and my opponent made me pay. Final score: Suicide King (K.C.) 24-Dowdy (CHI) 7.
I was not too discouraged after the loss. I thought I might have just lost to the best player in the tournament and that I would face him again in the QB Eagles bracket. From a pre-tournament discussion with Jason Pearce, I got the impression I was better than either of the remaining players in my group, Josh Abernathy and Jullian Gagnon.
Imagine my surprise when, prior to my next game against Jullian, I saw Josh Abernathy defeat Suicide King 13-7. Suddenly, the yellow group picture was not so clear.
My matchup was a heck of a game. I got took a 10-0 lead, but then Jullian started making plays on both sides of the ball.
The stats show just how tight the game was:
| ||Gagnon ||Dowdy
|Runs ||15 ||19
|Rushing Yards ||85 ||93
|Completion % ||69 ||58
|Passing Yards ||145 ||143
|First Downs ||10 ||11
After five quarters, we were tied at 10. We started a new game to create a second overtime. I had to punt my first possession of overtime, but then Gagnon fumbled, and I kicked a field goal to win 13-10.
I then beat Josh Abernathy 24(DAL)-3(ATL) in a game much closer than the score indicates—he fumbled twice deep in his own territory. The victory ultimately caused a three-way tie for first in our group. My score differential was eight points better than Abernathy's, earning me a play-in game for the QB Eagles bracket.
The play-in game was as far as I got. Green Majik shut me down 24(G.B.)-21 (N.O.). I made a couple of bad plays; he made several good plays. I was down 14 in the fourth before heaving a long touchdown pass to Eric Martin. Majik then threw an interception, and I tied the game at 21.
Unfortunately, I botched the ensuing kickoff, resulting in an inadvertent onside kick, which Majik recovered. Already in field-goal range, Majik made a few good plays to get close enough for a very high-percentage kick.
That is how my first Tecmo tournament ended—in a mix of satisfaction and frustration. I was glad I competed, though I felt like I could have done better. I was happy to have won a couple of games.
I was done, but the action was not.