Football is back, and tomorrow marks the return of church for those who pray to Touchdown Jesus. Of course kickoff started Thursday, but that was just the appetizer. Tomorrow is the main course, and in honor of this momentous occasion I wanted to share some of my favorite football gaming memories. Bonus points if you remember all of these things.
If you hear that theme music and don’t feel some kind of way, you suck. Its the one that started it all. Its not the first football game, but it’s the first that mattered. Having all the real teams and players was a huge draw, and the simplistic gameplay made it easy for all. The cutscenes were an awesome touch as well. Especially the td high five and the goal line dive. But when you talk Tecmo Bowl, you have to talk…..
“Bo Jackson” (Tecmo Bowl)
There are exactly 3 video game football characters I hated to play against. Here’s #1. If I have to tell someone which football game I’m referencing when I mention Bo da Gawd, we are simply different. It really was unfair how great he was in Tecmo Bowl. You weren’t even allowed to pick L.A. in my household without consent from your opponent. It was that serious. Looking back, you should have had to forfeit downs if you picked that team or something. He was a one play TD waiting to happen. A god among mortals, that’s what he was. I guess Bo knew video games too.
Mutant League Football
I don’t know how many of you remember this ridiculous Sega Genesis game. It was so over the top, but it was still fun to play. Bribing refs, killing players, it was basically Madden on steroids. I think it even had a button pressing fumble minigame that Madden would implement roughly 18 years later. One might argue it was a precursor to a game like NFL Street in a sense. Good times.
Joe Montana Football
This commentary on this game was always hilarious to me and I have no idea why. Partly how it sounds, partly whats being said. Welcome to. Joe. Mohntannuh. Sports. Talk. Foot. Bawl. Just peep the video.
Tiny Toons “Football”
I distinctly remember playing this level on Tiny Toons all the time. It was pretty simple to play, but it was just fun as hell to me. I was never able to run the kickoff back like the video, but it makes it look pretty easy. That entire game was pretty fun in retrospect. Tiny Toons: Buster Busts Loose is the name if you’re wondering.
The original NFL Street will always hold a special place in my heart. It was just so fun to play. Especially in a house full of people. The game had a whole lot of attitude as evidenced in this video.
“Randy Moss” (NFL2K)
#2 on my list of three. I know he was the cover athlete and all. But it wasn’t right how insane 2K sports made Randy Moss in the first version of 2K Football. That catch he made in the video is probably the worst catch I have ever seen him make in the game. If you threw it to him, he caught it. I don’t care how many defenders were around. Downright disgusting, even though it wasn’t that much of a stretch from reality back then. Nor was it for Bo for that matter now that I think about it.
NFL2K5 ESPN Integration
Wooooo boy. The game that changed football gaming forever. The only game to EVER threaten Madden’s dominance. There were many unforgettable things about it. But I’ll never forget the end of my first franchise week. When the Sportscenter desk showed up I was impressed. When Chris Berman started referencing other games around the league I was further impressed. But when they started showing HIGHLIGHTS from games I wasnt even playing? I remember thinking Madden is FINISHED. Obviously EA agreed with me, So they bought exclusive rights to the NFL licensing. I still weep sometimes. Look at this video. LOOK AT IT. Madden STILL hasn’t matched this 9 years later. Unless it happened this year. Someone let me know.
The Madden Ambulance
The most dangerous ambulance ever. It would hit half the players on the field trying to get to the injured player. Hilarious.
Madden 2000 Intro
This might be the best thing Ludacris ever did. I still remember every word. It’s just so perfect. Madden 2000. Put your face in the grass.
And last but not least…..
“OhMyGodItsVick” (Madden 04)
#3 with a bullet. Michael Vick in Madden 04 was equivalent to facing a SNK end boss in the first match of Arcade Mode. It was like facing Justin Wong at a local Gamestop Street Fighter tournament. No way he should have been unlockable without a code. That amount of awesome ends friendships and starts world wars. Everytime someone played with him in my house, all you would hear all game is “OH MY GOD IT’S VICK” as he performed random acts of unspeakable brilliance. For that year, Michael Vick was the most unstoppable force in the gaming universe.
Sidebar: How was that not a commercial series back then? After almost throwing the ball out the stadium in that Powerade commercial, are you telling me we didn’t want to see more? If Nike had Vick running down a runaway car to save a kid while onlookers screamed OH MY GOD IT’S VICK, I would have bought that shoe. Unless it looked horrible. I’m lying. I still would have.
Well there you have it. A lil trip down memory lane in honor of the national holiday known as NFL opening weekend. As always, please feel free to add on to the list in the comments. Good luck to all of your favorite teams tomorrow. Except the Browns. Fins for life. See ya.
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