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Tecmo Super Bowl

posted by Dave on 9/20/01

As young people across the country are immersed in the first month of the adventure that is the American educational system… I can't help but reminisce about my own days as a student; in particular my freshman year of college.

The year was 1992. Governer Clinton of Arkansas was playing the sax on The Arsenio Hall Show. Donna Martin and Brenda Walsh were enjoying a nice summer in France… and a young man named Dave Macchia was making preparations to embark on that two hour drive along the NJ and Pennsylvania Turnpikes to his new home for the next four years... Villanova, Pennsylvania.

The first week of one's freshman year of college holds ramifications for pretty much the rest of their life. My experience was no different. On that first day of moving into Room 8 of Sullivan Hall, I couldn't help but peer into Room 9. It was then that I met my friend Tom for the first time. Now being that there was a Lark-style motorized cart sitting outside of his room, after the initial introductions, the first question out of my mouth was. "What's with the cart?".

To this day, I could listen to Tom tell this story over and over again and it never loses it's hilarity to me. You see, as Tom and his family arrived to his room to unpack his stuff, they walked in to see this motorized cart in the room. Tom looked at the Orientation Counselor who was helping him and his father carry stuff into the room... and said, "Umm.. I didn't order this.". To which the OC replied, "Your roommate... oh my god, he didn't tell you?".

Now, that above statement is, I believe #357,623 on the List of Things You Want to Hear When Moving Into Your Freshman Dorm Room.

Well, it turned out that Tom's roommate Johnny had a disease, in which all of his joints had grown to above average size.. and he needed the use of canes to walk and he needed the motorized cart to get around campus. He also turned out to be one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met. I swear, getting to see the behind the scenes type stuff of how people generally treat handicapped people is fascinating. We’d be hanging out in his room and people would just stop by for the sake of stopping by… as if, just because a person is physically handicapped, mentally they want to have awkward five minute conversations with people who just decide to stop by for whatever reason may be brewing in their head; whether it’s that they think just because he was handicapped he was lonely.. or it made them feel as if they did their good deed for the day. Little did they know that once they said, “Goodbye”.. and left the room, he would say “Goodbye”… and after they left the room end it with, “You fuckin tool.”.

Now after the initial question of “What’s up with the cart?, was asked... I noticed the stack of Nintendo games sitting next to the television...and the next thing out of my mouth was, “Sweet.. you have Tecmo Super Bowl. We should get a season going.”

That was the exact moment my future was drastically altered.

The beginning of the end.

I was actually a pretty good student in high school. Of course, I never actually did any work to attain my grades. It was just that the high school curriculum never challenged me too much... so I could skirt by with those all too often, carefree teenage nights of getting as drunk as possible... and still manage to bring home the bacon, come report card time. Would college prove so easy?

Gay people might call it Tecmo Thuper Bowl. OMG LOL!!1

I remember the first season of Tecmo being just Tom, Johnny, and myself. It was easy because they lived together and I lived right next door to them... so whoever's game was up on the schedule... it wasn't too hard to track that person down. It was also during this first season that I realized that despite his condition... Johnny had an obscene ability to hit the damn button quicker than anybody, to shake a tackle. For whatever drawbacks God bestowed on the little bugger... he offset that with one mean trigger finger. Tom, on the other hand, just had an innate ability to design play schemes that just totally fucked with a man's head. Being that he was an all-conference offensive tackle for the Morris Knolls Golden Eagles in high school... I'm sure this had something to do with it.

Writer's Note: The last comment was intended with pure sarcasm.. because one thing I learned in college.. is that anybody that played high school football in Morris County, New Jersey... will talk about their high school football playing days more times than you will ever care to hear about.

What does everybody want?!?!

That first season was probably the most fun from a pure video game standpoint. We each actually picked the team we wanted to be... and it took only like a week to complete. Tom met Johnny in the Super Bowl.. after eliminating me in the NFC playoffs... and walked away with a ring from Super Bowl I. Of course, other people took notice of our fun.. and put in the request to be involved in Season 2.

This is when it all started to go downhill. There were now five people involved in our little Tecmo league...... and before we started the season, we all picked our teams out of a hat.

Sean: "Hey Pedro.. guess which team Dave picked? That's right... The Packers!!"
Pedro: "Get your fingers out of my peanut butter. LOL!!11"

Season 2 was a Majik one alright. My Green Bay Packers led by Don Majkowski seemed destined for greatness. Of course, the fact that I used my nose tackle, Bob Nelson, to amass over 200 sacks for the season... by simply pushing down and diving as soon as the ball was snapped on every play... thus becoming the first Tecmo move ever "outlawed" at the end of that season... also had something to do with my team rolling over the competition..

Meanwhile.. back at Bartley Hall where all of Villanova’s business courses were held, many a teacher took roll call only to find Dave Macchia not in attendance. Where could he be? Oh, the answer was simple really. Dave was asleep. Dave liked to sleep a lot. I remember the summer after I graduated, I lived down the shore in Manasquan, NJ for the summer… and my little brother in my fraternity, Terrance, had gotten me a job at the Perkin’s Restaurant that he worked at. Well, one day, I was supposed to be there to help open up the place at 7:00 am… and once 10:00 rolled around with no sign of me in sight, the owner finally asked Terrance, “Do you have any idea where Dave is?”… to which he replied, “No.”. Well, after I finally called in at like 10:30 to say that I wasn’t going to be coming in…later on that night, Terrance told me the story of how the owner asked him where I was. I replied, “Next time he ever asks that question, tell him that I’m home sleeping. Obviously that’s where I am. I mean, it’s not like I was up at 7:00 and just lost track of time while sipping coffee and reading the morning paper…”

Ummm.. What does that have to do with Tecmo Super Bowl

Nothing really. I apologize. It’s just that my mind wanders sometimes… kind of like a child in a department store.

Anyways, after the excitement of winning Super Bowl II, the stakes were raised. For Season 3, there were now eight people involved… from various dorms… and the new phenomena of, actually having to wait for people to come from other dorms to play their games, began. You see, in Tecmo, you couldn’t skip over games on the schedule.. so if someone’s game was up, you could either wait for them to play it or do the ultimate dick move and just have the computer play the game.. and if the person you were waiting for’s team lost.. you could just reset it and try again until the right team won. Of course, this was a dick move because a computer led victory could never amass the outlandish one game stats that a human could by playing… and we all know, half of the fun of playing sports games is racking up truly realistic stats like 764 yds. passing in a single game.

It was also, during a Season 3 game, in which I had one of my most personally embarrassing moments. You see, our one friend always would exclaim, “Hello Tits!” after walking by a hot girl on campus… so this somehow found it’s way into our Tecmo vocabulary. Usually it was used when someone made a nice tackle. Well, the one day, I was playing Tom.. and after stuffing him on a fourth and inches, I jumped up and screamed, “Hello Tits!!”. As I screamed it, I noticed everybody else in the room’s jaws just drop. So in my Jersey accent, I was like, “Wha? WhaddIdo?”. I then turned around to see Tom’s sister (who had innocently come to pay her brother a visit) had entered the doorway the exact second I screamed it. She walked out of the room visibly upset.. and Tom had to go out in the hallway and try to somehow convince her that his friend said, Hello Tits” because he made a nice tackle.

The closest Dave ever came to scoring during his Freshman year.

With the waiting time becoming a factor.. Season 3 became a long drawn out process and it started to take the fun out of the whole thing. Still though, we dealt with it… and just spent time in Room #9 of Sullivan Hall waiting for people to show up… while my books collected dust in my room next door. Season #4 also came and went… and next thing I knew, I looked up and saw final exams looming on the horizon.

It was a couple of weeks before finals.. and Tom, Johnny and I did the smart thing… We decided to make Season 5, just the three of us. Getting back to basics if you will. Well, maybe the smart thing would have actually have been to stop playing the damn game.. and start studying… but hey, hindsight is 20/20. Well, we decided to just put all of the teams from the AFC West into a hat.. and I picked the San Diego Chargers who were led by QB Billy Joe Tolliver. In Tecmo, Billy Joe’s arm strength denoted that he could put no lob on the ball whatsoever.. so when playing other teams, they’d usually walk away with at least three interceptions per game. My Junior year, one of the guys that lived in my apt., Jeff, was actually Billy Joe Tolliver’s caddy for the NFL Pro-Am Golf Tournament that’s held in Upper Montclair Country Club in Jersey every year… and he had gotten to be pretty good friends with him. So, the one time Billy Joe called our apt. and was talking to Jeff, I asked him to ask Billy Joe why he sucked so badly in Tecmo. Mr. Tolliver laughed upon hearing that.

"That’ll teach you to steal my cocaine.. Punk!!"

So I picked the Chargers, Tom picked the Chiefs, and Johnny picked the Raiders. Tom went through the season undefeated.. and when he met Johnny in the AFC Championship Game… there was no doubt about who was going to win.. Well, Johnny hung in there tough the whole game… and he was down by a field goal, with a few seconds left and the ball at his own twenty yard line. The great thing about Tecmo was that an 80 yrd. Hail Mary pass was very possible.. and as he launched the ball towards the end zone, it was one of those plays where the game cut to an animated screen showing both the wide reciever and defensive back jumping for it. Well, with zero seconds remaining on the clock, Johnny’s reciever, Tim Brown, was standing in the end zone with the ball. Now being that Johnny always sat in his scooter in the room for big games… the sight of this little handicapped kid throwing the controller up in the air.. and driving out of the room screaming, “Woo-hoo!!!”, left Tom and I sitting in the room just shaking our heads. “Unbelievable.”, Tom muttered.


Now I know what you’re probably thinking… Yes, there were many occasions in which we took Johnny’s motorized cart on drunken joy rides through campus. Matter of fact.. that reminds me of a funny side story. You see, during final exams, at midnight every night, our dorm and the girl’s dorm on the opposite side of the quad would all come out for the “Midnight Scream”, in which some girls would flash their goodies.. and some guys would streak through the quad. Well, people in our dorm started taking up a collection for Tom to streak the quad on Johnny’s scooter. The collection grew to a couple hundred bucks… and that night, sitting in the hallway right next to the handicapped entrance was Tom on Johnny’s scooter, wearing a big foam cowboy hat and keeping his junk temporarily covered with a towel. Well, the RA got wind of the whole plan.. and he came over and through a smile that not even he could control, told Tom that he would be in serious trouble if he did it. As the crowd chanted “Let them play!!” a la the Bad News Bears at the Astrodome… Tom drove back into his room.. and what would have been, to this day the funniest thing I might have ever seen.. was stopped in its tracks..

Finals came and went.. and as I sat in the comfort of my home during Christmas Break, I received my report card… The overall GPA read 1.5. That was an inauspicious beginning to my college academic career from which I never recovered. I ended up graduating with a 2.33… and the rest as they say is history. Maybe.. just maybe though… fond memories are worth more than academic success or even monetary success.

Then again, maybe I just like to believe that … cause I don’t have either of the other two. ;)


Bonus Story

Since I rarely ever write about video games.. I figured I might as well go and throw this story in for good measure. My sophomore year, my roommate had Super Caesar’s Palace for the SNES. So being the inventive people that we were, we based a drinking game off of the roulette wheel. It was primitive but it got the job done. Basically, it was a one-on-one game. One player was black. The other was red. If the ball landed on the other person’s color, you would have to drink while your opponent got to count for you (based on the number the ball landed on). If the ball landed on the green zero, you’d both have to finish half of your beer. If it landed on the green double zero. You both had to finish your beer. This game, for lack of a better word, was cruel.

Dude.. don’t go by the roulette table. You’ll regret it!!

Well, the one night, it was like 5:00 in the morning and both Johnny and I were still awake, bored and watching television. Being that it was Wednesday, the wise move would have been to just call it a night and try to wake up and go to class the next day. Wise men we were not. Instead, we looked at the case of beer in the fridge and decided to start playing some roulette. At 7:30, we were both shitfaced… and since neither of us were ever awake to take advantage of the breakfast part of our meal plan.. we decided to head to the dining hall. I can’t stress enough how completely shithoused both of us were.

Now the dining hall was set up where you would have to go down a long ramp,which winds around to where the food servers are. So we go down the ramp, get our food.. and as I’m carrying the tray into the dining hall, I tell Johnny to go get us a table and I’ll get our drinks. Now in the middle of a dining hall was another food service station which was square shaped, with two sides having salad bars and the other two usually had people serving cold sandwiches.. Well, as I’m walking to go get us drinks, I look back just in time to witness Johnny, on his way to finding us a table, drive right into the salad bar. He didn’t just graze it. Oh no, he actually hit that thing pretty much dead on, at full speed, with such force that his back wheels actually left the ground.

Well upon seeing that, I laughed so hard that I dropped the to cups of juice that I was holding… as all of the other people that were there to get that most important meal of the day, stared at me in total disgust for laughing at the handicapped kid who just lost control of his motorized cart.

So we finally get our seats.. and as we’re sitting there, a guy from our dorm walked by. This just wasn’t any guy though. This was the Samoan kid who we had secretly nicknamed Mosi Tatupu behind his back… based on the player from the New England Patriots.

Mosi Tatupu

Well, as the kid is walking by our table… Johnny screams, Mosi Tatupu!!!” and starts laughing his ass off. Needless to say, I never went to breakfast at Villanova ever again.


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