Today I was rummaging through my closet, packing for what will be yet another brutal trip across the country, and I came across my old Nintendo. It was still in the box, it still works (as far as I know), and it had a shoebox of games next to it.
However this was not my original Nintendo, I had bought this one on Ebay a few years back, and the original one I had sold—along with all the games—back when I was in college. In going through these games I currently have, I noticed I had the original Tecmo Bowl, but not Tecmo Super Bowl, and it got me thinking....
Was Tecmo Super Bowl not the greatest football video game during its time?
I mean, you had all the teams, almost all the actual players, and you could play the entire 1991 schedule. Fantastic for a 10-year-old boy who had nothing better to do than play video games.
But then I got to thinking about some of the best players on that game, and not just Bo Jackson. There were so many others that could heave the ball 90 yards for a score, or lineman who could run faster than a tailback. So, it made me think, who are the best players in Tecmo Super Bowl history.
During this slideshow I will attempt to put these players on a list, in no particular order, to honor the game that both PS3 and Xbox are trying desperately to recreate for 2010.
This mysterious phenom was none other than Randall Cunningham. Evidently he wasn’t comfortable with Tecmo using his name to go along with those crazy attributes they gave him. He must have thought people would give him wedgies in the locker room or something.
But QB Eagles was Michael Vick before Michael Vick could pee standing up. All you had to do was drop him into the pocket, if one receiver got wide open, like many of them did, you threw it. If no one was open, ol' QB Eagles took off with Bo Jackson like speed. He didn’t batter defenders across the screen like Okoye, but he beat guys to the corner and made NFL corners look like tubby slow lineman. Again, Michael Vick before Michael Vick. Enough said.
On a Chiefs team that was quarterbacked by Steve DeBerg, you have to have a strong running game, or at least one hell of a defense. When Percy Snow wasn’t sacking quarterbacks you gave the ball to Christian Okoye, who lived up to his nickname, The Nigerian Nightmare.
You would hand the ball off to Okoye, he would hit the hole, a linebacker or defensive end would hit him, and Okoye would not just break the tackle, he would knock the defender across the TV screen. All you simply had to do was give him the ball and he would go for 10-plus yards every carry and flatten at least three defenders. Okoye had some good seasons in the NFL, but come on! No one flattens NFL defenders week in and week out.
His teammate Barry Word should also get a nod here, as he was a bit faster and was also able to knock players to hell and back, just not as often.
Bo knows being unrealistically good in video games. In this 1991 version he was quick, allusive, and managed to run for O.J. Simpson like numbers each season.
Bo could take a pitch, knock a defender across the screen, then make all 10 others miss. Bo was simply the best back in the game. There was not one other back that could pile up the stats that Jackson did. Not even the great Barry Sanders was as good as Bo in the game. Too bad those attributes didn’t help Bo in the real NFL, but at least he can sit at home with his bad hip and still run for 2,000 yards thanks to this game.
Bo Knows Tecmo!
So if you are thinking to yourself, who the hell is Bob Nelson, then you are not alone. Nelson played nose tackle for the Green Bay Packers in the game, and was nearly unstoppable.
Several play choices that you could make on defense would almost always end with a Bob Nelson sack, and even when you didn't pick the right play, he still found a way to knock the hell out of the center and end up in the defensive backfield.
The best part, Nelson only had three sacks all time in just over a four year career. All I can say is, he must have had a cousin at Tecmo...
So first of all, I thought I would humor all Lions fans with a screen shot of the coach (Wayne Fontes) being carried off the field after a Super Bowl win. Too bad that never has and never will happen in Detroit.
Andre Ware was a Heisman winner at Houston, but never really turned out to be much of an NFL prospect. Too bad he didn’t let the folks at Tecmo allocate attribute points towards his career, because if they did, this guy would have been the starter over Rodney Peete. Ware had a good arm, and was quicker than Peete. Hell, Ware may have been as fast as Barry Sanders, which says it all.
If he would have had those Tecmo attributes I would think that he wouldn't be calling college football games on ESPN with Pam Ward....
Growing up in Illinois you would have thought that I would have been a Bears fan. Not so fast my friend. Even though I didn't grow to love the furry guys, I still found time to win a Super Bowl with the Bears.
Neal Anderson was the guy that helped me do so, and when you look at their roster, he had to. Mike Tomczak and Jim Harbaugh at QB, that says it all. Brad Muster as the backup tailback, and God knows who at receiver.
Anderson had quick feet and could just about juke everybody. He easily could go for 200 bills a game, and in one great season of Tecmo, he could put up as many yards as he did during his entire career.
Next up is the shut down corner from San Diego Gil Byrd. Unless you were from San Diego, you hardly ever chose them as your team, but you knew who Gil Byrd was.
Gil Byrd was an interception machine. He would always lead the league in picks. Sometimes it was as few as 10, other times he was approaching Dick Lane-type seasons. Even when you played against the Chargers he seemed to always find a way to grab a pick, even if he had to come out of the stands after being knocked across the screen from Okoye.
But, looking at the roster, he probably had to. Despite having the great Marion Butts on the roster, they still had Billy Joe Tolliver as a quarterback.
Gil Byrd, Interception Machine
I could go on for days about this game. In fact, I had a friend that wrote a college paper on how it sculpted his life, but one thing is for sure, it was such a great game.
And now just for kicks, a little honorable mention:
There was nothing like watching Vinny Testaverde throw an 80-yard pass on the fly to Reggie Cobb out of the backfield.
Nothing is better than seeing Freddie Jo Nunn recording 30 sacks a season.
Just the thought of Via Sikahema fielding a punt makes me want to try and find a copy of the game.
Thurman Thomas being the super back and being next to unstoppable.
QB Bills rocketing 70 yard passes to Andre Reed.
Eric Metcalf returning nearly every kick for a Touchdown.
Tecmo Super Bowl was simply the Madden before Madden became what it is today. It is one of those sports games that has developed a cult following.
Whether you used Bo to run over the competition, Don Majkowski to throw 70 yard bombs, or Kelly Stoufer to lead the Seahawks to the promise land, one thing is for sure, you loved that game.
Who are your favorite Tecmo Super Bowl players of all time? Who are the guys you said "WTF" to? Will there ever be another game that develops such a following? Do you look forward to the remake?