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Vintage Athletes' Fame Lives On In Videogames

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the back-when-everything-was-black-and-white dept.

Television 36

JoeCotellese writes "Salon is running an article (ad click-through required) discussing how athletes live on in video games long past their retirement. In some cases, the article claims: 'The fond memories that a particular fan may have for a sports star owes more to the performance of his pixelated version than his actual on-court heroics'."

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Here are the ones from my youth (3, Interesting)

lake2112 (748837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8196068)

Bruce Jenner - I remember playing the decathlon game for my 286 in the mid-80's. It's the only reason why I know who he is. Bo Jackson - Who could forget the infamous 2-in-1 football/baseball handheld made by Tiger. I play Bo in football, I swich the handheld over and voila Bo playing Baseball!!

Re:Here are the ones from my youth (3, Insightful)

exick (513823) | more than 10 years ago | (#8196241)

Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl was probably the most insane video game athlete of all time.

Re:Here are the ones from my youth (2, Interesting)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8197725)

I had this wierd decathalon card game, the cards were different athletes through the ages, one that assured victory in most events was the Bruce Jenner card, I only heard about him through that game.

super nintendo? (2, Funny)

drcobb (674690) | more than 10 years ago | (#8196113)

I haven't a clue who bill lambeer was but that basketball game for snes was awsome. perhaps that is another effect is that it makes us geeks know at least a little bit about sports.

Sleestak! (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198064)

Bill Laimbeer was one of the major Land of the Lost Sleestaks [linkline.com] . There's a classic pop culture villain just ripe for videogame inclusion!

Tecmo Super Bowl (2, Funny)

Unholy_Kingfish (614606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8196127)

Can anyone say Ivy Joe Hunter.....?

The most injured player ever.

old news (4, Interesting)

eglamkowski (631706) | more than 10 years ago | (#8196343)

Dr. J vs. Larry Bird on my C64!


Re:old news (2, Funny)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8196778)

To this day I am not precisely sure what Dr. J. looks like in real life. My only recollection of his face was about 5 pixels high. He was the brown one, and Larry was the pink and green one.

Re:old news (1)

eglamkowski (631706) | more than 10 years ago | (#8197319)

Mike Tysons Super Punch Out (1)

woobieman29 (593880) | more than 10 years ago | (#8196706)

Kicking Tyson's ass was loads of fun in this game, but they missed out on the most obvious opponents of all: Robin Givens & Mitch "Blood" Green. :-)

Shaquille O'Neal (2, Funny)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8196712)

Will always be remembered by me, not for whatever crap he did on the basketball court, of which I have no idea. I will always remember him for starring in one of the world's shittiest games, SHAQ-FU (and to a lesser extent, the movie KAZAM.)

Re:Shaquille O'Neal (1)

Neuticle (255200) | more than 10 years ago | (#8199109)

My brother (in our loving tradition of buying each other crappy outdated video games for all occasions), once gave me Bible Adventures for Christmass. The game itself is quite rare (and bad), and it took me a long time to find something its equal in suckitude. Untill one day I found Shaq-FU!
Without so much as glancing at the instructions, we nearly beat it in one try, but we had to stop because we were laughing too hard. As a fighting game, it's so bad I tend to think they shipped a beta. But the Shaq-part, no amount of gameplay could make that less painfull. It makes KAZAM look good. The joke was Shaq needed a KAZAM sequel to undo the damage caused by Shaq-fu.

Re:Shaquille O'Neal (1)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8201492)

You know what's even funnier. Someone at Netjak reviewed the game [netjak.com] , so it was fresh in my mind. I went over to my friend's house, and his wife was playing a bunch of episodes of Daria on tape from back when they were on MTV and during the commercial breaks there it was...EA's Shaq-Fu commercials. It was crazy.

The commercials are almost as bad as the game. I have to find some way to digitize them so we don't let EA forget that they made this game.

Remembering the "not-so-famous" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8196797)

True, there are athletes that will be digitally repeated for years and years, but it also reminds us of the "once-great-but-now-not-so-great" athletes. Let's not all forget "Pete Rose Baseball" baseball or "Magic Johnson's Fast Break". Or more recent (if convicted) "Kobe Bryant Backcourt"

Re:Remembering the "not-so-famous" (1)

Hedonist123 (681091) | more than 10 years ago | (#8197384)

Wow, if you think of Pete Rose and Magic Johnson as only "once great" athletes, you may want to check into the sports world a little more. Pete Rose would be a gauranteed Hall of Famer, were it not for scandal. Magic Johnson is, was, and always will be a god of basketball. He was the Laker dynasty.


Pete Rose videogame (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198081)

Click here [atariguide.com] for a view of a classic videogame of interest to Pete Rose.

Rambling memories (3, Interesting)

dewie (685736) | more than 10 years ago | (#8197020)

I have vague memories of Jordan versus Bird on the Sega Megadrive (Genesis, for the Americans among you). As I recall, it was a terrible collection of basketball related minigames, and definitely not a candidate for a second rental.

The one sports personality I remember fondly (and, I must admit, solely) through his digital incarnation is Daley Thompson, the game being Daley Thompson's Supertest on the Commodore 64. It was just a decathlon type game, ten events, three lives, you know the deal. But it obviously made quite an impression on me, because I still clearly remember all of the events, from the pistol shooting (you could move the cursor down and left, but not up or right) to the incredibly frustrating giant slalom, which I never did get the hang of.

Anyway, I've rambled enough. Maybe I'll see if i can dig my c64 out of the attic, and have a few games of Wizball, and Ricochet while I'm at it. (Yes, I have an emulator, but it's just not the same, is it?)

Re:Rambling memories (1)

Mr Syd (707765) | more than 10 years ago | (#8202137)

I had Daley Thompson's Decathlon for the C64 - but I do remember him in real-life too - Daley was a big hero to us kids growing up in the UK in the 80s, when he won the Olympics. He was interviewed recently in one of the 'Sundays' - he is now a fitness trainer to rich guys in The City, and he seemed a little bitter about life after his days on the track...

Tecmo Super Bowl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8197312)

Bo Jackson.

In 1991, it was common practice for most backs to run bottom-top-bottom to avoid every tackle. Defense was so weak in 1991 when it wasn't smokin' rock. *cough* LT *cough*

Re:Tecmo Super Bowl (2, Funny)

WaKall (461142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8197399)

Also ridiculous in that game:

QB Eagles (aka Randall Cunningham). Pick a pass play, QB sneak/draw and run it for 80 yards.

Jerry Rice - he would catch ANYTHING you threw at him. Anything.

Christian Okoye - the running back that couldn't be tackled. Defensive players bounced off of him.

Barry Sanders - a close second at the RB position to Bo Jackson. Barry had some speed in that game.

Re:Tecmo Super Bowl (1)

Unholy_Kingfish (614606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8201373)

Not to mention QB Bills ...

ESPN has done this (1)

Hedonist123 (681091) | more than 10 years ago | (#8197436)

Wow, so I never thought I'd ever be able to link and ESPN article to a slashdot article. Much less two of them. Anyway, ESPN covered something very similar in

baseball [news.com.au] and

football. [news.com.au] I like that they think Bo wouldn't have been anything special were it not for his video game legacy.


I'm an idiot... read this next (1)

Hedonist123 (681091) | more than 10 years ago | (#8197464)

wow, totally wrong articles, sorry, it's

baseball [go.com] and

football [go.com]

That's what I get for updating my website at the same time. On the plus side, those articles are rather humorous...


Re:ESPN has done this (1)

clarkc3 (574410) | more than 10 years ago | (#8200673)

I like that they think Bo wouldn't have been anything special were it not for his video game legacy.

I hate it when people think that - since you obviously never looked at his statistics. Sure, he never had 1000 yards rushing in football (he'd join the Raiders at midseason because of when baseball season ended so would've missed the preseason + 5-6 regular season games) - but still very few running backs in the last 20 years have had as good a yards per carry average. Add to that he still remains the only player in NFL history with 2 90+ yard runs in a single game.

The other thing people forget - is that Bo Jackson missed qualifing for the 100m dash in the Olympics by only .1 seconds when he was still running track - which is one of the reasons why they made him so fast in the Techmo games. Before his hip injury, he probably was one of the greatest pure athletes of all time

Re:ESPN has done this (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8201719)

> I like that they think Bo wouldn't have been anything special were it not for his video game legacy.

You ask most professional sports folks who the great athlete was in the later 1900s and most would say Bo Jackson.

True for even new games (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8197442)

Most of the games - especially NFL games - has historical teams built in. Even though you don't see the names, the jersey numbers make it pretty clear who is who as do the player performance stats.

So if his team was any good, you can STILL PLAY as Bo.

But does Bo know that?

Re:True for even new games (1)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8197948)

A couple of things: Speaking with regards to Madden 2004, the jersey numbers for the historical teams are not accurate. You can tell who the players are if you know what ones were supposed to be playing what positions but the numbers aren't accurate. I don't know about the rest of this years football games in that respect. Second of all, even if the Raiders team with Bo on it was selectable in a current game, odds are that his stats would not be what they were in Tecmo Bowl. The reason everyone mentions Bo Jackson is that his rating was way too high. I mean, the guy was good but relative to other players in the league, he wasn't at the level where that game had him. In a similar way, I think that Mike Vick's ratings in Madden this year are also artificially inflated. Again, he's fast and can scramble well but I don't think he can beat everyone in the league in the 40. But he's on the cover, so you've got to expect a little boost.

Vick (1)

MaxQuordlepleen (236397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8200576)

Agreed on Vick, my friends and I had to make a "No Falcons" rule to prevent Atlanta from winning every game. Whoever has Vick has a TREMENDOUS advantage, it's easy to rack up 300+ rushing yards per game with M. Vick.

Re:Vick (1)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8200756)

Yeah, whenever I play online I always hesitate to play against people who pick the Falcons. Although, I've found that man coverage with a QB spy in the nickel is fairly effective at shutting that little operation down. The Falcons don't have enough skill at their receiver positions to make dedicating a man to stopping Vick a big problem. So Vick puts up 200 on you but throws a few picks or gets sacked a few times [the game is fairly good about making scrambling quarterbacks give up fumbles at a realistic rate] and you come away with the win because Atlanta's defense is laughable.

Your mother... and I... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8197710)

Jesse Owens (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198047)

I'm looking foward to Jesse Owens running past outraged Nazis in a forthcoming version of "Castle Wolfenstein".

Simon Davies - Championship Manager 3 (1)

beders (245558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8199648)

Ask anyone who played Championship Manager, who the biggest bargin ever was and Simon Daives (now Welsh international and Spurs) will come up more often than not.

So many other obscure players have come to my attention thorugh this game before they were famous, Joseba Exteberria of Spain and all those amazing and amazingly cheap Djurgarden players. Ahh, wish I wasn't at work...

I feel old... (1)

Zeriel (670422) | more than 10 years ago | (#8200754)

...because Bo Jackson is "vintage", apparently.

Seriously, is "vintage" the right word to use for something that was more or less 15 years ago? Jeez.

Bo was freaking awesome (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 10 years ago | (#8200937)

But don't forget about Marcus Allen. You know the guy on the Raiders who had the other running play? He maybe didn't have quite the juice that Bo did, but he could easily break it at any time as well.

Also, I can't believe I haven't heard mention of Derrick Thomas from Techmo SuperBowl. Made Lawrence Taylor look like a wimp. When Derrick was in "Excellent" condition I could rush the quarterback, and if he managed to throw the bomb, get back on defense before the pass got to the receiver. Derrick is literally a force of nature on that game.

Hulk Hogan - Legends of Wrestling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8232882)

Respect the Hulkster.

'Nuff said.
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