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Tecmo Super Bowl


To its makers, TSB was a high point. After Japanese company Tecmo had a hit with arcade (1987) and Nintendo (1989) versions of Tecmo Bowl, it planned a follow-up. The popular NES edition of Tecmo Bowl included a limited playbook and the names of actual players, but it had only 12 teams and lacked an NFL license. The sequel was designed to be a faster, supersized take on the original.




tecmo super bowl



Last month, Joeygats was at the Badger Bowl, a bowling alley and pub in Madison, the online legend staring at a black-box television on a corner of the stage with a Nintendo Entertainment System controller in his hands. In a match projected to a crowd of hundreds in person and thousands online, he faced a prodigy in the finals of Tecmo Madison -- known as TecmoXII, the largest Tecmo Super Bowl tournament in the country. Joeygats' San Diego Chargers, led by Marion Butts, against 20-year-old Aaron Toner and the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive duo of Greg Lloyd and Rod Woodson.


Joeygats might be the most prolific "Tecmo Super Bowl" player in the country. He said he's played more than 25,000 games online, more than 60,000 hours of gameplay. He's posted roughly 5,100 times on the community's message board, Tecmobowl.org. And he's largely a mystery.


Matt Knobbe runs Tecmobowl.org and is considered the "Godfather of Tecmo." The bearded 38-year-old from Lincoln, Nebraska, said he believes Tecmo online peaked three or four years ago. There's a presence, but to play online, games have to be downloaded. Kyle Miller, frequently Joeygats' opponent online and often considered the best player in the country, quit playing online last year as he saw competition dwindle. He'll now play only live tournaments, a sentiment many shared at TecmoXII.


By the early nineties, fantasy football was just beginning its development as a billion-dollar industry. Before the days of the internet, the hobby was largely a local affair; statistics had to be collected manually, or else contracted for $50 or so through the quarter-page ad of the lone fantasy magazine on the supermarket magazine rack. Nor had the (fantasy) sport emerged entirely from the shadow of its baseball predecessor. Leagues were generally based on simple scoring mechanisms, points awarded for touchdowns and field goals, ignoring the difficult calculations of yardage or receptions altogether. The product was something that still felt just a little too much like gambling to the mainstream: why bet on players to score points when you can just bet on the team? Especially when those players were semi-anonymous.


The game was noted for several things. First, many lesser-known players would be more powerful than the superstars at the time. Second, teams would become stronger later in the season, contrary to teams wearing out by that time. Third, touchbacks are impossible. Finally, and most infamously, Bo Jackson can easily dominate the field, allowing the player to use him to stiff arm every player while running out the clock entirely.


Tecmo, Inc., located in Torrance, California, is a whollyowned subsidiary of Tokyo based Tecmo, LTD. Tecmo, Inc. is aleading publisher of video games for next generation consoles,handheld hardware, and mobile devices including those manufacturedby Microsoft, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Nintendo.Tecmo has gained worldwide recognition with product lines such asTecmo Bowl, Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive, FatalFrame, Monster Rancher, and Gallop Racer. Moreinformation on Tecmo can be found at www.tecmogames.com. 041b061a72


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