Note: Before we get down to business, allow me to be perfectly frank with all of you: This post isn't terribly enjoyable. It's not funny, it's not interesting, it doesn't result in anything neat to look at, it's pretty much just a celebration and articulation of the horrifying reality that is "the way I choose to spend much of my free time." That said, it's new Rubbish material, so you might as well waste a few minutes with it, right? Right.
But seriously, if you're not a fan of early 90's football or late 80's video game consoles than you're probably not going to enjoy any of this. I'm 100% serious.
Spend a little time rummaging through the expansive archives here at Good Rubbish and you'll undoubtedly find at least a few finished projects that I'm truly proud of - the speaker cabinet, the two tiered coffee table, this... thing, and round 3 of retooning immediately jump to mind for me - but I've yet to showcase anything on here that I'll waste away my golden years telling my future grandchildren (plentiful as they shall certainly be) about.
That, my friends, has just changed. A little history...
A little over 2 years ago I picked up a copy of Tecmo Super Bowl for the Nintendo Entertainment System (inarguably the greatest football video game of all time) as I had copious amounts of free time on my hands and had grown weary of filling that time with an exclusive diet of Mike Tyson's Punch Out and Mega Man 2. Well, to call the diet "exclusive" is probably outside the bounds of the whole truth, but trust me on this one, you don't want to hear about the nonexclusive diversions I picked up around that time. Uff... ugly days.
Anyway, it wasn't long after I picked up Tecmo Super Bowl (henceforth to be referred to as TSB) that I started chasing various statistical milestones within the game. I started out easy: Recording 100 sacks in a season with former Denver Broncos great Simon Fletcher, throwing for 600 yards in a game with John Elway (a tougher task than you might think, as the programmers made Saint John inexcusably horrible in that game), and so on, but eventually I got bored of pursuing these pedestrian conquests. That's when I hatched a plan for something big: Rushing for 10,000 yards in a single season with the most dominant running back in the history of professional football, TSB Bo Jackson.
Any who doubt or are unfamiliar with the greatness of this particular TSB player are strongly encouraged to view the following video before continuing on:
Also, you should probably watch this somewhat unrelated video of TSB Christian Okoye massacring the Indianapolis Colts, because it's plainly righteous.
The quest for 10,000 yards in a 16 game season (that's 625 yards per game for those of you who are interested... which I feel incredibly safe in assuming is "none of you") seems difficult enough at face value, but for me the journey was even more perilous due to some complications that an uninformed reader such as yourself might not expect:
1. The TSB programmers slacked off on the statistic-keeping end of their software development
Truth be told, it's actually impossible to rush for 10,000 yards in a single season of TSB... or at the very least it's impossible to rush for 10,000 yards in a single season of TSB and have the game recognize you for your weighty accomplishments. This is due to the fact that the game only keeps rushing statistics for a player until he rushes for the utterly random number of 4,095 yards. After that the game will continue to tabulate rushing attempts but the season total for yards will remain static (this problem exists in other statistical categories as well, most notably touchdowns, which cuts off at 63).
This proved to be the biggest impediment to my completing this incredible journey at some point closer to where I started it (2+ years ago) than where it actually ended (2+ weeks ago), as once I neared 4,095 yards I would have to start recording my weekly rushing statistics on a piece of paper, then add them up at the season's end. But it never ended up working out this way... one way or another, I'd always end up losing the piece of paper before completing a full season (while this post should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a complete moron, I'm actually full of redeeming qualities... one of which being that I can only play 5 or 6 games worth of Tecmo Super Bowl before growing incredibly tired of it and needing to take a 2 or 3 week long sabbatical, during which time I'd usually clean my living space and accidentally part ways with my rushing tabulations).
That's why for my last attempt, the one that will undoubtedly go down in history as my single greatest athletic achievement in this life, I created a spreadsheet to chart my progress.
That's right, a spreadsheet. Nintendo Entertainment System, meet Microsoft Excel.
2. In the world of Tecmo Super Bowl, player speed is a variable. Not a constant.
In week 1 of a TSB season, Bo Jackson moves at about 45mph while any and all defenders move at about .005mph. By week 8 of a TSB season, Bo Jackson moves at about 2mph while any and all defenders move at about 900mph. This abrupt shift makes running for 600some yards a game considerably more difficult (pore over my fascinating spread sheet for evidence of this - 53.5 yards per carry in week 1 suddenly drops to 18.9 by week 5? Unthinkable!)
3. I'm a Denver Broncos fan
Screw the Raiders. Pursuing this conquest made me feel Nick Nolte dirty.
So my unapologetically anticlimactic spreadsheet has already revealed the fact that I succeeded in my quest, but we might as well delve into the photographic record, because yes, I did in fact take pictures of myself playing video games. Like I told you before, I am a not smart man. This sort of behavior comes with the territory.
Did I fail to mention the fact that I hooked up my Nintendo to a 72 inch flatscreen? Because that's what I did. Jeff Jaeger's never looked so good.
Bo rushes to glory - breaking the 10,000 yard mark - during his week 16 matchup with the New Orleans Saints.
Let's give a little credit to the venerable Dr. Enron McHanslaw here as well... playing a video game with one hand while taking a picture of it with the other is no easy task (TSB lacks a conventional "pause" function).
This happened frequently. 116 times to be exact.
Dear God, look at that offensive balance!
Howie Long enjoyed a decent season as well. Not thrilling, but successful nonetheless.
Veronica Vaughn ain't got nothin on the TSB halftime show. Sweet maria...
Out in the AFC West, we spell domination "RAI"
Oddly enough, the Broncos and Oilers met for real during the actual 1991 playoffs, resulting in a 26-24 victory for the Broncos behind what was perhaps the 2nd greatest comeback of John Elway's career. Fascinating, right?
For failing to live up to the standard of dramatic excellence set forth by the actual 1991 playoffs, Bo dispatched Warren Moon and his precious Houston Oilers with a vengeance, then tacked on another 5 touchdowns during an AFC Championship romp over the mighty Buffalo Bills.
The long suffering Minnesota Vikings, owners of a paltry 9-6-1 record during the regular season, were a surprise Cinderella story (as opposed to an expected Cinderella story) coming out of the NFC after toppling the mighty San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
The tension was thick for the opening coin toss. Can you feel it?
The incredibly crummy halftime entertainment most certainly could. But let's not kid ourselves, here. With Bo running the show, the outcome was never in doubt:
Uggh, I can't look at that headline... it's just... it's just not right.
Anyway, the final tally, including playoffs:
19.5 Yards Per Carry
Complete domination? I think so.
Be sure to tune in 2 weeks from now - THAT'S RIGHT, TWO WEEKS FROM NOW - when I get another Rubbish post all up in your face, with extra mustard. I know how you loves your mustard...