Well folks, it’s Super Bowl season again. In true Super Bowl week fashion/anticipation, people are making predictions about who will win, by how much, who will make the TD’s, the interceptions, and who will find themselves at the bottom of a 10-man pileup most often. There’s plenty of sites that have run simulations of this big game to do just that. But my simulator of choice is an old-school classic: TECMO SUPER BOWL!
Obviously, you have to do a little hacking to update the rosters, stats and whatnot, and there’s always a dedicated group of a few rom hackers who get together every season to make hacks, usually many as the season progresses. (Like when Brett Favre can’t decide if he wants to retire for the 28th time.)
What sets this apart from other, lame simulators, is that while the other ones just spit out scores and a few other stats, this one actually plays out the game! The primary focus of this game was to play along in the season, but you could also let the computer take on itself and effectively simulate what the game would be like. So now you can actually see how many times Ben Roethlisberger gets sacked by A.J. Hawk instead of just seeing the number in a stat sheet.
With that in mind, I give you this recording of a simulation I recently did with this year’s Tecmo Super Bowl rom. The stats/rosters have been updated, and it was com vs. com, to keep it real. (As real as Tecmo gets anyway…)
For those of you who don’t want to watch through this whole 23 minute video, here’s a scoring summary and other notable plays, with time codes if you want seek to those plays in the video. (They’ll be at the end of the line in (parenthesis))
(NOTES: All point after kicks were good, so we’ll skip that in the summary. TSB quarters are only 5min. long)
–1st Quarter– (00:15)
Pittsburgh wins the coin toss; chooses to kickoff.
4:07 – TD – Aaron Rodgers passes to Greg Jennings for gain of 61 yards. GB:7 – PIT:0 (01:10)
3:34 – TD – Ben Roethlisberger fumbles; recovered by GB’s B.J. Raji for a touchdown. GB:14 – PIT:0 (02:05)
**Notable Play: Ben Roethlisberger, under pressure, throws to Mike Wallace in the end zone; intercepted by Nick Collins! (04:40)
— 2nd Quarter — (05:33)
(no score, ho-hum…)
HALFTIME — Packers:14 Steelers:0 (check out halftime stats at 10:04)
Also, instead of the Black Eyed Peas halftime show we get a jester who attempts to juggle, but fails… how appropriate! (09:56)
— 3rd Quarter — (10:50)
3:53 – TD – GB’s Tramon Williams fumbles on the punt return. Recovered by PIT’s Daniel Sepulveda for a touchdown. GB:14 – PIT:7 (11:58)
2:26 – TD – Aaron Rodgers passes to Donald Driver for gain of 29 yards. GB:21 – PIT:7 (13:30)
**Notable Play: On the kick return, PIT’s Emmanuel Sanders fumbles; recovered by GB’s Charles Woodson at the 20-yd line. (14:05)
1:02 – TD – Aaron Rodgers passes to Donald Driver (again) for gain of 11 yards. GB:28 – PIT:7 (14:56)
— 4th Quarter — (16:30)
4:33 – TD – Aaron Rodgers sneaks into the endzone for an 8 yard gain. GB:35 – PIT:7 (17:50)
**Notable Play: Ben Roethlisberger pulls off a 4th and 14 conversion with a pass to Rashard Mendenhall; gain of 16 yards. (18:50)
1:20 – TD – Ben Roethlisberger passes to Hines Ward for a gain of 15 yards. GB:35 – PIT:14 (20:20)
0:24 – FG – Mason Crosby kicks a 47-yd field goal. GB:38 – PIT:14 (21:49)
FINAL SCORE — Packers: 38 – Steelers: 14 (see final stats at 22:44)
My remarks? Looks like we’ll see a very underwhelming performance from the Pittsburgh offense, that is, until it’s too late in the 4th quarter to really matter. On the other hand, it looks like Aaron Rodgers is going to have a great night, and B.J. Raji’s gonna get some more defensive action! Speaking of defensive action, A.J. Hawk sacks Ben Roethisberger 3 times in near-rapid succession in the late 3rd, early 4th quarters.
A lot of other simulations are showing the Steelers winning at a very small margin. But if there’s anything this Postseason has taught us, records don’t seem to matter very much. We saw that from the get-go when the Seahawks beat the defending champ Saints! They’re calling 2011 the year of the quarterback, but so far this seems to be the year of the underdog. Will the young-ish gun Aaron Rodgers have his day and defeat Big Ben? The plot thickens!
Feel free to discuss any other interesting things you noticed in the simulation film. It should also be fun to compare this to the real Super Bowl happening this Sunday!