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  • Faith, Football, and Tecmo Super Bowl



    We had some members give their thoughts about Tecmo Super Bowl.  We thought this was an insightful look into how Tecmo has played a part in someone's life.


    From a very young age, I developed a strong Christian faith, a love of video games, and a passion for football. These elements helped shape my childhood, the man I am becoming, and have each been enhanced by a catalyst known as Tecmo Super Bowl.

    When I was four, my father worked as a youth pastor who ran a drop-in center for troubled teens. The center had a pool table, Foosball table, and video games. There was an Atari 2600 console and at least a half dozen coin-operated arcade cabinets. My dad and I would play different video games together for what seemed like hours. 

    My father would often play pool against the teens that frequented the center and offer to buy them a soda if they could beat him. While playing they would talk, and he would listen. If they asked for advice, he would give it. He was never pushy with his faith, and the teens were drawn to him.

    About a year later, I discovered a passion for football listening to stories from my dad. In high school, he played running back, linebacker, and was voted the most valuable player on his team. When we watched football together the sights, the sounds, and the strategy captivated my imagination.

    At the time, we lived just an hour from Philadelphia. Although I did not understand the rules, I knew my favorite color was green so I was destined to follow the Eagles. Nobody else in my family was a fan but that did not bother me. Besides, my father was a minister and the Eagles had Reggie White, the minister of defense, who quickly became one of our favorite players. It was a match made in heaven.

    A couple of my fondest childhood memories with my dad were going to two Monday Night Football games at Veterans Stadium during the 1994 season. I watched with excitement as Randall Cunningham led the Eagles to victories over the Bears and the Oilers.

    Then next year during a Super Bowl party, I discovered the greatest football video game ever created. During halftime, I noticed a few guys disappear into another room. Quite a bit of yelling and laughing ensued, so I decided to see what was going on.

    As I walked into the room, the guys were playing Tecmo Super Bowl on a small television. After I watched them play a few games, they asked if I wanted a turn. Of course, I took the Eagles. It was amazing to use the ultimate weapon, QB Eagles, on every offensive snap. Even though his name was not used in the game, there was no doubt in my young mind that it was Randall Cunningham. On defense, I controlled Reggie White. Although I did not understand any of the strategies or nuances of the game, I had never played another video game like it. 

    While I was in high school, my two favorite Eagles were once again in the limelight on different teams. Reggie White won a Super Bowl with the Packers during the 1997-1998 season and Randall Cunningham made an amazing comeback during the 1998-1999 campaign. He led the Minnesota Vikings to a 15-1 record and the NFC Championship game. Cunningham had transformed himself from the brash, self-centered player during his tenure in Philadelphia into a born again Christian and a respected leader both on and off the field.

    During high school I also rediscovered Tecmo Super Bowl with my friend Joe. Joe and I would hang out, talk sports, and play Tecmo. There were many celebrations over game winning touchdowns and several controllers thrown out of frustration. We still play once in a while and have a small trophy we pass back and forth for bragging rights. 

    TSB2012_Teams.pngI even convinced my beautiful wife Christina to try playing coach mode in Tecmo Super Bowl. In coach mode, competitors just call plays and watch the game simulate the outcome. She enjoys playing and we even have our own trophy. While Christina likes watching football and has become a Philadelphia Eagles fan, she has told me on more than one occasion that football should be more like Tecmo Super Bowl.

    After playing Tecmo Super Bowl over the past 17 years, I realize that it is the greatest sports video game ever created by a wide margin. The game uses a simple two button control scheme but it takes years to master. A complete game is roughly 20 minutes, there are no penalties, and trying to guess what play to call is a battle of minds as well as skill.

    A couple of years ago, I discovered the website http://www.tecmobowl.org. Through this site, I learned that people competed in Tecmo Super Bowl tournaments around the country. Since then I have participated in a few tournaments and even run few of my own. In the process I have met some really cool guys, learned more about the game, and had a lot of fun. Next year I will attend the largest and longest running Tecmo Super Bowl tournament in Madison, Wisconsin for the first time (http://www.tecmomadison.com). This will be the eighth tournament featuring 128 players from around the country vying for Tecmo immortality.

    The teams in Tecmo Super Bowl are from 1991 but I prefer it that way. The game transports players back to a simpler time before the Internet and cell phones. Back then game play - not graphics was most important. It was an era when friends would spend time hanging out, talking, and playing video games against each other in the same room.

    My strong Christian faith, a love of video games, and a passion for football have each been enhanced by a catalyst known as Tecmo Super Bowl. Like my father, Reggie and Randall also played football and became pastors. When I play in Tecmo Super Bowl tournaments and wear a throwback Cunningham or White jersey, they are more than just my favorite players from my favorite video game.

    Ryan "UltimateWeapon" is a frequent visitor and has hosted a handful of Tecmo Tournaments just west of Cleveland, OH including an upcoming event in January 2012


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