Congratulations, Marshawn Lynch. You just became immortal.
It's the dream of every athlete to leave behind a legacy that will live on after he or she retires. While Marshawn Lynch may not be an All-Pro tailback just yet, he now has his moment—one that's going to be remembered forever, right up there with Franco Harris' Immaculate Reception and David Tyree's Super Bowl helmet catch.
Just how ridiculous was Lynch's 67-yard touchdown scamper with three minutes left on Saturday to seal one of the biggest playoff upsets of all time? Its ridiculousness actually has no appropriate comparison in the mortal world. We have to turn to the video game world to approach an accurate topper of this play.
Oh yes, I think you know where I'm going with this...
Before we go on here, let's give one more look to the play itself.
It really needs no enhancements or hype, but of course, it deserves both. The play is so special not just because of the physical reality of what Lynch does, but because of the setting that it came in.
Everyone in the world knew that Lynch was going to get the ball on that play. The Seahawks had just regained possession with four minutes left, clinging to a four-point lead. They had to keep the ball on the ground for the most part to try to run the clock as much as possible.
Lynch had just been stuffed for a minimal gain on first down, and it was up to him to not let that happen again.
If the Saints were able to hold Seattle to a three-and-out, they'd get the ball back with plenty of time remaining to march down the field again themselves for the go-ahead touchdown. Let's face it—that's what would've happened. Heck, that's what did happen, only it wasn't the go-ahead touchdown anymore because of this play.
Now let's finally get to where I'm going with this. Of course, Tecmo Super Bowl is the best possible reference point for a play as stupid as this one.
Anyone familiar with this iconic game (for my money, still the most fun sports video game of all time...and I'm someone familiar with sports video games) knows who could pull off a play like this in his sleep.
Exhibit A: the video above. I will note a few things here:
- The kick returner purposely runs backwards so that he can let the offense start from its 1-yard line for maximum dramatic effect.
- Bo runs the entire length of the field forwards, then backwards into his own end zone and then all the way back again. Three complete trips down the field and back on one play, with the entire defense chasing him.
- The play takes up the entire first quarter. Talk about ball possession.
The only problem with Lynch's run was that NBC didn't use the right sound to accompany it. That oversight is thankfully remedied here.
This lets the viewer appreciate the play in a much more appropriate sound environment and more accurately evaluate it when compared with that greatest of Tecmo Super Bowl legends.
Lynch initially appeared to be bottled up right at the line of scrimmage but somehow wriggled free and eventually went on to break eight—count 'em, eight—tackles. The Saints defense is going to be having nightmares about the missed tackles on this play for years.
But what makes this play truly Tecmo-worthy is, of course, Lynch's beasting of Tracy Porter. (Congratulations, Marshawn, you finally lived up to your nickname).
Porter flanks Lynch and wraps him up in the open field, but he makes the mistake of going high. Not a good move. The 215-pound Lynch simply throws the 186-pound Porter off him, sending the defensive back flying a good five yards.
Has anyone ever seen another real-life broken tackle that more accurately captures the "You will not tackle me!" Tecmo spirit than this one?
Of course, sound can only take you so far. To truly get the best possible experience, you need to watch Lynch's run on an NES.
Ah, glorious, crystal-clear 8-bit definition: the future of HD. Don't you just get warm fuzzies all over? Don't you wish every NFL play could be translated into Tecmo Super Bowl-view?
The only thing missing on this run that would make it any better is if it included some diagonal zigzag running—or if we got to see those great Tecmo Super Bowl cheerleaders.
There's really not much to debate here. Yes, Marshawn Lynch became a video game avatar for one play on Saturday afternoon. It was the longest run of his career, and he became Seattle's first 100-yard rusher of the season. But he's still no Tecmo Bo.
There were some other good contenders for the crown of Tecmo Super Bowl running king. Let us pay homage to the Nigerian Nightmare, Christian Okoye. Who could forget Barry Sanders' blazing speed? Randall Cunningham allowed you to win with the Eagles using just one play. And Ottis Anderson proved that older guys still had it. (I challenge you to tackle him with anything less than three players. Go on, try it.)
But Bo was in a class by himself. He also gets extra points for actually not being all that far removed from the real Bo Jackson. Look at the things this guy could do.
But back to Tecmo Bo. I mean, did you watch that video? Go back to the second slide and watch it again. No really, I'll wait...