But he went ahead with it and now the only two things anyone remembers about his comeback are Mariah Carey's titillating All-Star performance and the emasculation of Jordan's protege, Kwame Brown. The whole thing was doomed from the start. And this is the position Tecmo Bowl finds itself in right now.
I mentioned yesterday the impending resurrection of the Tecmo Bowl franchise, but the more I thought about it, the more I'm convinced it's a terrible idea. There's nowhere good for this to go. It's not an occasion for which Mariah Carey will showcase her naughty pillows. I won't rule out that it could somehow lower Kwame Brown's self-esteem, but who wants to see that?
Think about why you loved Tecmo Bowl. If you think it's because it was a great game, you're mistaken. It was not a great game. It was basically a four-option version of Rock, Paper, Scissors. If you could guess what play your opponent was calling, you were successful, and you couldn't, you weren't. It was fun, without question, but even in 1992, this was not the height of videogame evolution.
There wasn't a shred of fairness about the game. Players existed who were virtually unstoppable, like Bo Jackson and Walter Payton; and later, on the far-superior Tecmo Super Bowl, Christian Okoye. I'm not arguing that it wasn't fun, but the ridiculousness of it was often maddening. If one team had a dominant player and the other didn't, the guy who didn't was just screwed.
In fact, let's pause briefly to watch Christian Okoye's Tecmo brilliance:
I count 59 broken tackles.
Anyway, the real reason you loved Tecmo Bowl is because you were very young, you were with your friends, and you had nothing to do all day. Anything would've been fun under those circumstances. Back then, playing in the mud and giving the finger to a nine-year old girl was fun. Your entertainment requirements were very, very low.
You could plant yourself in front of a TV and spend 14 hours hammering the A-button until you got calluses on your thumb, singing along with the Tecmo song, and punching your opponent in the arm for every point you scored on him. It was bliss.
As you get older, though, you require more complex and expensive toys. Computers are expensive, HDTVs are expensive, cars are expensive, prostitutes with a clean bill of health are expensive. Fun's not the same anymore. Bring back Tecmo Bowl, suck down a gallon of red Kool-Aid, give your buddy a wet willie ... do whatever you want, but you're not going to recapture those days, my friend.
Picture a night of Tecmo Bowl with your friends right now. You'd put the game in, and for about 30 seconds, you'd be a giddy young buck. Within a couple of minutes, though, you'll say to yourself, "Really, this is it? I run in zig-zags and have just two different buttons to press?" Then one guy will leave because he has to go clean out his gutters or his wife will leave him, and another guy will pass out behind the couch because this is the one night of the month he's allowed to drink and he overdid it.
From there, another friend will ask if he can turn the game off and watch Grey's Anatomy, and the one guy who does want to play, the unemployed stoner who has played Tecmo Bowl for three hours every day since 1988, will call you a sissy because you're saying this whole thing was a bad idea.
What are the Tecmo people expecting to do here, start from scratch and compete with Madden? Not likely. The better idea might have been to just include an updated version of Super Tecmo along with Madden '08. Same old Tecmo game engine, today's rosters. It would be a fun little bonus that wouldn't harm anyone's legacy.
They're in the same position Jordan was in back in 2001. The same things Tecmo Bowl can't compete with are the same things Jordan couldn't compete with, but they're going to do it anyway. I'm preparing for disappointment.
|For the Scrapbook|
Terrell Owens at the Nets/Cavs game last night, using his fingers to create a frowny face (which is better than using a handful of pills I suppose). I take it that Terrell was enjoying that blistering 4th quarter action as much as anyone else, but we'll get to that in a second.
|Sticking and Moving|
|Quickly on the Spurs/Suns game from last night: Who knows how things would've been different had Diaw and Stoudemire played, and there's no doubt that their absence takes something away from the Spurs' win. However ... that was a hell of a win.
They trailed the whole game, the unusual circumstances frazzled them into taking shots they don't normally take, they weren't getting the bounces, their shots weren't falling, every single thing about the game was off-balance ... but they found a way. That was not an easy game to win.
And that seemed like a game that might take a lot out of the Phoenix Suns.
|Director James Toback is making a documentary about Mike Tyson. I've always loved and been fascinated by Tyson, so I can't wait. What you might not know, however, is that it won't be the first time that Tyson and Toback have collaborated.
A movie came out in 1999 called Black and White that starred -- and you're going to love this -- Scott Caan, Robert Downey Jr., Allan Houston (yes, that Allan Houston), Jared Leto, Marla Maples, Bijou Phillips, Raekown, Claudia Schiffer, Brooke Shields, Ben Stiller, Elijah Wood, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and, playing himself, Mike Tyson.
This, as you might have gathered by now, was not a good movie. It was supposed to be about race relations, but was instead just a series of really dumb people doing really dumb things. Tyson's performance, however, was off-the-charts fantastic, and the movie did feature one scene that I remember vividly 8 years after originally seeing it. Robert Downey Jr. confesses that he had a dream about Tyson, involving a little bit of gayness, and Tyson reacts ... well, just as you'd expect Mike Tyson to react.
YouTube has the scene. I'd just put it in here, but it's not the nicest language or sentiments being expressed. If you're not going to click that and watch Robert Downey Jr. tell Mike Tyson that he had a dream about him, though ... then I'm just not sure we can be friends.
|Carson Palmer should fire his agent immediately. Seriously. There's just no excuse for that. He totally blew it. The agent, that is.|
|Interesting feature over at ESPN.com about Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird playing basketball in Russia for way, way, way, way more money than they make in the United States.|
|Shoals goes deep on the immense value of Amare Stoudemire to the Suns. I'm not in total agreement, but it's a column you ought to check out. When I think about the elite power forwards in the game, Amare Stoudemire's name isn't among the first ones that come to mind.|
|Lastings Milledge has recorded a song entitled "Bend Ya Knees" that has nothing to do with achieving a fundamentally proper batting stance. Some are outraged. Myself, I'm not in love with some of the things L-Millz is saying, but you know ... there are such things as groupies, there are such things as ballplayers who take advantage of them, and there's probably a lot of freakiness that happens on the road for MLB players. If no one's objecting to players actually living this lifestyle, why object to L-Millz rapping about it?|
|The FanHouse doesn't just preview NBA playoff games, we preview the signs that will be there, and then we go out and make it happen. This is full-service blogging.|
|Don Nelson, universally loved in Oakland for his style of play and for the way he connects with players, is talking about not coming back. It's not possible to overstate how devastating this would be for the Warriors. But I'd never begrudge Don Nelson his happiness ... 3 hours he has to spend a day in a gym are 3 fewer hours he has to drink.|
|High school basketball recruit Patrick Patterson commits to Kentucky, which pretty much ensures that Billy Gillespie can't fail right away. How good is Patterson? So good that OJ Mayo isn't even the best high school basketball player coming out of West Virginia this year.|
|Brett Favre renews his trade demand, and has a very specific destination in mind.|
Tony Parker. It doesn't show up real well in the box score (11 points, 5 assists, 3 turnovers) but San Antonio struggled tremendously when Parker was out of the game. No disrespect to Jacque Vaughn, but for the purposes of this series, he's useless. He brings nothing to the table. Seriously. He's bad.
I guess there's really no way around that being disrespectful. Sorry, Jacque. If San Antonio ends up playing Detroit in the NBA Finals, I vote that we let both Tony Parker and Chauncey Billups have unlimited fouls.
|Yesterday's Sad Sack|
Everyone Who Plays Professional Basketball in Cleveland or New Jersey. That 4th quarter last night was not basketball, it was a crime against basketball. The score of the final quarter was 13-6. Yes, the Nets scored 6 points in the 4th quarter of a playoff basketball game, and won by double digits.
At this point, TNT is embarrassed to even have this series on their airwaves. It honestly feels like watching an MLS Soccer game ... which is not good.
|The Evening's Agenda|
8:00, ESPN. NBA Playoffs. Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls.
8:00, NBC. The Office, Season Finale.
8:00, ESPN2. MLS Soccer. FC Dallas @ Chicago Fire.
8:00, CBS. Bob Barker: A Celebration of 50 Years on Television.
9:00, NBC. Scrubs.
9:00, VS. NHL Playoffs. Detroit Red Wings @ Anaheim Ducks.
10:00, NBC. ER.