Sunday, December 15, 2013

Iowa Not So Bad After All: Tomczak Bowl VI

On the 23rd anniversary of Tecmo Super Bowl's release Vogtcd11 and Ryan11p arrived at the Psycho Estate around 2:45.  I was still at school and had the 40 minute commute to the southside.  When I arrive, I stopped to show them my NES collection and gather my stuff.  In all the excitement I forgot my playing sunglasses, music headphones, and winter coat!  We departed Naptown around 3:30 PM.

I took the helm at the wheel and crushed apple slices as a pre-trip snack.  Things were going well traveling at "posted speeds", until about half way through Illinois.  Snowing started coming down in a hurry.

We stopped to gas and grabbed some Subway.  I was excited about the new Garlic Bread that they have and was telling vogtcd11 and ryan11p that they had to try it.  Vogtcd11 and I ordered our sandwiches, Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki and Southwest Chicken and Cheese Chipolte respectively.  When ryan11p went to order they ran out of the garlic bread.  We gave him a tough time about it in the car.  Vogtcd 11 took the wheel as the snow started to fall.

The next four hours were brutal.  70 MPH to 50 MPH to 30 MPH speeds on the interstate.  The seemingly easy trip turned into a nightmare.  We started talking Tecmo, watched some league game recordings, and listened to the best of Tecmo Talk Radio.  As we enter the great state of Iowa the air in the car started to cloud something like Pig Pin from the Peanuts series.  A smell similar to cow manure wafted our nostrils.  Vogtcd11p asked if I pooped.  I replied no even though I needed to release some pressure.  Ryan11p said the same thing.  Ryan11p added, "This is what Iowa must smell like." Iowa dissing ensued.  We also passed America's largest truck stop the Iowa 80.  I wanted to stop but vogtcd11 and ryan11p advised that the lot lizards would get me.

We stopped at the Kum and Go gas station because we saw another Subway.  Unfortunately it was already closed so we went into the gas station to purchase candy and drinks. Ryan11p purchased an official Kum and Go T-shirt as well.   After we loaded up on food we added some more gas and vogtcd11 unleashed his pump ninja arsenal when shards of ice flung from the pump hose directly into the passenger side window. Scared the shit out of me.

Horrible road conditions make the ride painfully long.  Almost being up for 24 hours straight, (stayed up the night before cleaning my NES controller #bordem #tooexcitedtosleep) I had to take a cat nap 15 minutes before making it to the hotel.  We finally arrived to the Motel 6 in Waterloo where fellow Tecmoers mort1237 and redsethuhut98 were staying.  We asked to be as close to the celebs as possible.  We managed to be three rooms away.  The plan was to stay up all night playing scrimmages.  Unfortunately both Buffalo natives were sawing logs when vogtcd11 cup-listened at the door.  We decided to play Waterloo tier match ups in preparation for the tournament.  Some match ups we played were Falcons/Cowboys, Packers/Seahawks, Redskins/Rams, Colts/Patriots, Steelers/Jets.  We found out that at 4 AM EST that checkreyes was the only viewer watching out streamed practice games.  We woke up the next morning and played some scrimmages with mort1237 and redsethuhut98 before heading to Spicoli's Rock Garden and Grill.

When we arrived at the bar, we loved the open-ness of the playing area.  All centralized, but plenty of viewing space.  Mort1237 and vogtcd11 set up Twitch Tv to stream the tournament.  I played a practice game from the tiers with Austin C.  from Iowa.  He informed me that he was a Madden guy and just started playing Tecmo.  A.  Madden sucks. B.  I knew this would not be good for him.  He called a Vikings/Eagles match up and I took what I felt was the worse of the two teams in Minnesota.  Game was twitched.  I won 40-0 and took the foot off the gas.  As the tournament started all of the Motel 6ers won their first round games (five of us had BYES).

In round 2 ryan11p lost to averageTSBplayer 20-7 (ATL/PIT).  Vogtcd11 played some dude named Aaron and won 7-28 (SD/DEN).  I played Rob H. (The taxmancometh from Milwaukee, WI.  He called Chiefs and Raiders.  I took the Chiefs.  This dude called run 3 on defense the ENTIRE game on offense as well.  I started slow, but ran with Okoye early to open up the pass late.  Final score was 17-28.

Round 3 ryan11p played some guy in a Colts/Seahwaks matchup.  Game was close in the first half, but when Krieg started overthrowing and was picked by the Colts secondary in the second half the Colts prevailed 28-7.  Vogtcd11 played redsethuhut98 in a defensive 9-7 game.  Lou was held to three FGs in the Saints (redsethuhut98) versus Jets (vogtcd11) match up.  I played averageTSBplayer in a Falcons/Cowboys match up.  He took Dallas.  Uncharacteristic, I played the time of possession game.  Took the entire first quarter with a score at the end.  Got a forced punt in the second quarter. Made a field goal before half.  Played more possession in half two.  Cowboys got a 60 yard TD run after Deion got rolled twice.  Score was 10-7 for a while and Rison got a wide open JJ TD early in the fourth.  Aikman was in BAD in the second or third quarter and played in true LVP form.  Hopefully your beer I got you made up for it Tony ;)

Round 4, with ryan11p out, vogtcd11 played some dude named Kris. Vogtcd11 won 10-17 (PIT/TB).  Kris was very upset with the beast that is Mark Carrier on TB.  In round 4 I had the luxury of playing Chet H. From Madison, WI.  Chet is so skilled.  He had the full meter kick off mastered.  We rolled tier 1 (puke) and I called Bills/Giants.  He took the Giants.  In hindsight I think I should have done 49ers/Giants.  Probably would have had the same 39-14 result.  He pinned me inside the five yard line on every possession.  My first play of the game was a called play safety.  I was safetied later by super drones.  After it was 9-7.  He continued to score and I could not do anything.  I kept going for it deep.  QB Bills had 28% completions.  Well played Chet.  Thanks for the embarrassments.

In round 5 vogtcd11 played justin_peters and lost 14-21 Saints/Jets.  Jumping Jet Al Toon sealed the deal after the Jets were down 14-0 in the first quarter.  Vogtcd11 finished in the Sweet 16.  I played Justin E. from Des Monies, Iowa.  He called a Jets/Packers match up.  Knowing the Jets are the best team I have a superstition about the Jets so I picked the Packers.  I played extremely well the entire game and it seemed he was struggling.  He had to be a decent player to make it that far in the tournament.  I won the game 0-31.

In round 6 (elite eight) I played Tom B. from Minnesota.  We rolled tier three.  I felt Chargers and Broncos match up was extremely even.  He took the Chargers.  In my opinion, this was the best game of the entire tournament to watch.  I started out by taking a very long, almost entire first quarter drive to score first.  The next possession he scored on a JJ to Anthony Miller.  I scored again by running with B Hump.  He countered with Butts.  Right before the half I was in field goal range and thought I had about four seconds left after the tackle so I could call a timeout, but before I could call a timeout the half ended.  This I feel was the biggest mistake for me.  Second half I actually got the only stop in regulation.  Took the ball and scored to make it 21-14 in the third.  I scored again early in the fourth on a nice drive to make it 28-21.  Tom converted a fourth down at midfield and tied the game at 28 with about 40 seconds or so left.  Game goes to OT.  I got the ball.  Kick was deep.  Tom called my first two plays and left me a 3rd and long.  I got a long gain to make it 4th and 2.  I made the decision not to punt right away.  I called pass 3.  For whatever reason both DL for the Chargers busted through the line immediately.  I had to scramble (Kubiak) to avoid one lineman, and once I broke free I had Mark Jackson wide open up top and RB Winder fairly open short.  My first idea was to run with the QB for the first down, but because of the DL, I was forced to run backwards.  I then wanted to throw short, but I saw Tom cheating up with Byrd on Winder.  I know that many INTs happen when the DB does not quite get there so I was fearful of that and I took a chance on the bomb to Jackson.  Once I threw it I knew it was going to be on the money once it cleared a retreating Byrd, but phantom defender was on Jackson.  Turnover.  Ugh.  I played good defense and forced Tom to a 4th down.  Carney lined up, Mecklenberg got in the FG block cut scene, but the ball sailed through the up rights.    Great game.  Well played Tom.  I have no problem losing like that ever.  I also have never met Tom before.  Super nice guy.  It was a pleasure.  He also won the next game versus Skunker Best in World, and lost to Chet for the fourth place finish.

Chet played mort1237 in the third place game.  This was a crazy one was as well.  Mort really dominated the first three quarters being up 0-13 late in the third in the Oilers and Giants match up.  Chet scored to make it 6-13 after mort blocked extra the point with LT.  I think mort fumbled away at mid field.  The Oilers score to make it 13-13.  Deep kick by Oilers pinned Giants deep.  Mort tried one last end zone prayer as he normally does, but Childress locked Simms in the end zone for the safety and the 15-13 win to advance to the finals.  Maybe the best ending to a high stakes Tecmo tournament game ever.

Chet went on to play his brother Josh in the finals.  The first game was a Buffalo (Chet) and Giants (Josh).  Josh fumble several times during the game including a crucial one late at midfield for a long return and won on a late Thurmal run.

Chet had to beat his brother again to win another Tecmo title.  The match up was Dolphins (Josh) and Chiefs (Chet).  Very good game.  Some fumbles during the game made this very back and forth, but the action came late when Chet went up 21-16.  Josh had JIM JENSEN IN EXCELLENT.  Very entertaining to see Josh check conditions the second time to find Jensen was still in EXCELLENT.  It paid off.  At the end of the game Jensen catches a strike on pass three from Marino as Chet rushed the QB.  Josh H. ceremoniously put on the Tomczak blazer and raised the trophy to take home Tomczak VI.

Spicoli's was a great venue.  I had a Lynard Skynard burger and a Robnixious burger with beer battered fries during the day.  Staff was friendly and seemed genuinely interested in the tournament.  The tournament auction was comical.  The Madison guys took home a variety of Iowa whiskey.  Ryan11p got a Puppet Master DVD, vogtcd11 won two mixed taped CDs from some random bitch who donated her love jams to Goodwill.  I got a Dusk til Dawn DVD.  Louis got the 1981 Trivial Pursuit game.  Tournament directors were great and donated free drink tokens for all players.  Jake did a great job keeping the drunkards under control as the night progressed.  I know I said some things about Iowa on Twitter during the trip, but it was all in jest.  Iowa is not bad.  It did host Tecmo so it can't beat all that bad.  Once tournament festivities were over we decided to leave because the band that played was just a bit loud for us old guys.

We headed to the Lava Lounge (ironically named after my dorm room at Ball State) where the bartender looked no older than the students I teach.  Met up with Moulds33, ArtVandelay, Steve M., Ben in Iowa and his brother, mort1237, and redsethuhut98.  Had a good time talking strategy.  I think I entertained Ben in Iowa and his brother with Tecmo strategy.  The Madsion crew, averageTSBplayer, Chet H., Josh H., the Rickster, and Skunker Best in World came later.  They didn't get to stay long because for some reason Iowa makes last call at midnight?  Bone chilling cold air sent us back to the hotel and went to sleep.  It was nice to meet Hawkeye, justin_peters, 8bit, and Adversity from the online world for the first time.

The next morning we woke up pretty late.  I played some computer scrimmages with weird match ups.  I then took the longest piss of my life.  With no exaggeration it was easily 2 minutes.  Very League of Their Own, Tom Hanks-esk.  I then played ryan11p in SEA/NO, CLE/PHX, and GIA/SF match ups.  As we started the fourth game housekeeping kicked us out because we were past check out time.

We just stopped again for gas.  Vogtcd11 and I wandered throughout he trap door into a gas station Subway.  Ryan11p was in the restroom.  Vogtcd11 and I encouraged the cashier to tell ryan11p that they too were out of garlic bread, but we were so full of laughter and could not keep a straight face that ryan11p did not order a sandwich and we had to let the cat out of the bag.

We are currently driving back and I just found out why ryan11p is Ryan's screen name.  His last name doesn't start with P. (S.), but it is for is favorite animal, a penguin.  His favorite number is 11 for a variety of reasons.  He also has a sweet penguin tattoo holding a bomb.  I also found out that he is buddy's with Dane Cook, was an Army Airborne Ranger, and a 3rd place, runner-up, and two-time state wrestling champion in Indiana (233-4 career record; 127 consecutively).  Ryan is a really good guy.  I've met him before, but it was good getting to know him on this trip.  I consider Chris to be a good friend, especially after our night out after Midwest VI.  I look forward to embarking on future Tecmo tourneys with both.  I will post pictures later.  Until next time... Long live Tecmo.

P.S.  Something big coming for the Tecmo Community.  Stay Tuned.