Even on sports teams with loaded talent, one player, the alpha, emerges from the pack as the undisputed leader, the heart of his team, the glue which holds the franchise together.The Celtics had Bird, the Mariners had Griffey, the Cobra Kai had Zabka. Still, for a brief period in time, not a man alive could claim to be as dominant the "ultimate athelete" Video game Bo Jackson.
Before there was Madden, before there was Gameday, the video game football world knew only one name . . . . Ten Yard Fight. No seriously, that game was Tecmo Bowl, and if you remember anything about this game, you remember one thing; The sheer dominance of the Bo Jackson-led L.A. Raiders.
Tecmo Bowl, if you remember, only allowed the offense player to pick from a whopping total of four plays, two running plays, and two passes. If the defense correctly gambled and sniffed out the offensive play, it was done, no chance for extra yards. . . Unless you were Bo Jackson. Limited to only one play on the Raider's stacked offense, (Splitting time with Marcus Allen wasn't easy) Video Bo made the most of it. The only player in the game with the ability to break tackles, Video Bo turned every down into a replay of his real-life counterpart pancaking Brian Bosworth on Monday Night Football.
I used to play Tecmo Bowl with my Dad, who was ALWAYS the Raiders.
(I was too young to know about league parity, making me a perfect candidate for the position of Expos GM).
Every play was the same (up on the d-pad and the A button) Up the gut with Jackson. My father would sometimes break about 80 tackles, run the ball to my five yard line, turn around, run back into his own endzone, then break 80 more tackles while taking the ball all the way BACK down the field for the score. All this was accompanied by video game Al Davis jumping up and down on the sideline.
Needless to say, when he did this, I would throw horriffic temper tantrums and sit there bawling infront of the TV. (Coincidently, this is very similar to the coaching style of Dick Vermiel)
Still, while Bo Jackson made Raiders great, it was the supporting cast that made them legendary. Marcus Allen, splitting time with Bo in the backfield, the Browns (Tim and Ron) at wideout along with the man who is, perhaps, the most underated videogame reciever of all time; Willie Gault. Add in Video Game Bob Golic and Howie Long on the D line? forget about it. this team was UNNNNNNstopable.
Like and E! True Hollywood Story, it was too good to be true. Bo, the cement, the anchor of the team, went down with a horrific hip injury (possibly sustained on one of his 250 yard TD runs) and things went down hill. Video Game Ron Brown dissapeared on a boat ride with video game Bison Dele, Howie Long became the one of the most annoying video-game celebrity endorsers of all time, and Video game Bob Golic changed his name to Mike Rogers, then went back to school to finish up his degree at Cal. U.
Marcus Allen went on to some further video game successes, teaming up with Joe Montana and Steve Bono on the Madden '95 K.C. Chiefs, but never reached the same level of success he had while with the Raiders.
Video game Tim Brown stayed with the Raiders, moving with them to Oakland, where he remained their premier reciever for the better part of a decade. He and Video game Willie Gault are still close to this day.
As for Bo, I saw him when he came to my school (Dickinson University) to give a lecture about his life experiences. At the end, when he opened the floor to questions, a student raised his hand and asked. "Bo, do you realize you are the greatest video game athlete in the history of video games?" Bo looked into the student's eyes, chuckled and nodded his head.
Bo knows . . . . Bo knows.