, Corbin, KY

October 23, 2012

Uncovering an old treasure

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — Not too long ago, I was given a honey-do list by my wife and let’s just say, I wasn’t really enthused about it. One of the things on the list was to clean out my oldest daughter’s closet.

To say the least, I really wasn’t excited about cleaning up shoes, Christmas items, science projects, The Game of Life game pieces, etc.

Little did I know, I would find a treasure buried deep in the darkness of the closet.

I found the biggest surprise and treasure a man of my age could uncover— an old Nintendo game system along with the best game of all time and let me just express just a bit more just in case I didn’t get my point across — of ALL TIME — Tecmo Super Bowl.

Yep, staring at me was some dude posing as a New York Giant player on the Tecmo Super Bowl game cartridge.

Almost instantly, by just picking up the game cartridge, flashbacks to when I was 17 and 18 years old popped up in my mind. You know, like staying up on school nights (without my parents knowing, of course) until three or four in the morning battling teams and on the weekends, heck I’d pull an all-nighter trying to lead my beloved Cincinnati Bengals to their first-ever Super Bowl title.

Yep, Tecmo Super Bowl had it all.

And for you younger folks, I’ll give you a refresher. Before XBox and PS3, Nintendo was the IT gaming-machine and in 1991 Tecmo released the best football game ever created.

Granted, in 1989 the original Tecmo Bowl was released, but it was limited to only a number of teams and let’s face it, I wanted to be able to play as the Bengals and Tecmo Super Bowl gave me that option. It was the first NEW game to feature both actual NFL teams and NFL players of the time. In other words, it was gold!

And if you still don’t understand just how great Tecmo Super Bowl was — it is what Madden Football is now — the best game on any gaming system.

Tecmo Super Bowl didn’t need the awesome graphics or anything like that. Why? Well because it was simple and fun. Push a button and throw the ball. Keep going up and down with your control and you could run away from most defensive players.

We didn’t need to jump 15 feet in the air to make a catch. Just simply tap a button and you’re receiver will make the catch or drop the ball.

And in the end, I wanted it at all cost.

So from what I remember, my mom was getting it for me as a Christmas gift and it really upset me every time I walked past the Christmas tree knowing Tecmo Super Bowl lay wrapped nicely just within a few feet from my grasp.

So one weekend when she and my stepdad went out of town, my buddy and I pulled the ole switcheroo.

We gently unwrapped Tecmo Super Bowl and replaced it with another one of my old games and played and played and played and played.

Seriously, my mom got her money's worth when she bought that game for me and yes, she never figured my plan out until now (if she reads my column today).

But anyway, some of the greatest players in the NFL graced the game in 1991. Bo Jackson was unstoppable. If you were the Los Angeles Raiders (yes, Los Angeles, not Oakland) all you had to do was give him the ball. Kansas City’s Christian Okoye was pretty much unstoppable, too.

The Bengals, of course, had the left-handed Boomer Esiason, along with James Brooks and Elbert ‘Ickey’ Woods. Cincinnati also possessed two of the best players in the game, seriously. If you could get the ball to tight end Rodney Holman, he was almost unstoppable, and for some reason, David Fulcher was the best defensive player in the game besides the Giants’ Lawrence Taylor.

In those days, teams that are good now were really bad in 1991.

No one wanted to be New England, Green Bay, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Atlanta or even Pittsburgh back then.

Heck, the ‘in teams’ to play on Tecmo Super Bowl back then were the Buffalo Bills, the Houston Oilers and the best team in the game — the San Francisco 49ers.

Man, those were the days.

I tried to hook the old NES up and play Tecmo Super Bowl, but to my chagrin, no luck. But I still have the memories and the quarterback yelling, “hut, hut, hut, hut hut” — it remains music to my ears.