PROFILE FEATURE

STEVE PIZZIMENTI

Age:  31
Hometown:  Boston
What do you do for a living (not necessary)?  School Operations Manager at a public charter school
Who is your favorite Tecmo player?  Christian Okoye
How long have you been playing Tecmo?  Since it came out in 1991

What is your childhood story about playing Tecmo Super Bowl when you were younger? Snowdays in your room all day playing? School summer vacation? Friends staying the night and playing all night? You get it … The first time that I ever played Tecmo Super Bowl was just after it came out in 1991.  I rented it from the local video store and played a season as the 49ers.  The game was clearly so much better than the original Tecmo Bowl, which had previously been a favorite of mine, so I knew that I had to buy the game.  Once I had it, I went through and played an entire season with every team before playing with a team a second time (this did not take as long as one might suspect).  Not long after I started playing, my friend Todd and I would also play seasons in which we always picked two teams from the same division (on another copy of the game so that I could still have my individual seasons going).  Todd and I would keep track of all the stats from our seasons in a notebook so that we could refer back to them later and see what our best seasons were statistically.  I also played some during my freshman year of college…there were five of us who started playing seasons, with everyone picking a team from the same division.  I always had last pick but still ended up winning the Super Bowl every time.

Describe how neat it is to be a part of a community of video game players as cool as the one we are a part of … I like it a lot so far, although I have only been involved in just the one tournament recently in Madison, where I lost my first two games and was eliminated right away.  I did not realize until the NFL Films documentary came out that these tournaments existed, or that there was a community of online players.  Had I known about these when they first started, I would have gotten involved a lot sooner.

Are you just naturally good at the game or is it the fact that you grew up playing the game? I think it’s a combination of both.  Anyone who played the number of hours that I did was eventually going to get good.  Growing up though I was always good at Nintendo games (for example, beating Contra without dying or beating all three Mario Brothers games consecutively in under 30 minutes).  With Tecmo Super Bowl, I think that the major thing working in my favor is that I have always had a really fast thumb, which is obviously significant for winning open field battles.

What has the last few years been like for you regarding your Tecmo career? Be specific about the first thing that comes to mind? Unfortunately my recent career has been close to non-existent.  I saw the NFL Films documentary last year and realized that I needed to go to the Madison tournament to see what it was all about.  So I signed up on the first day that registration opened, even though I hadn’t played Tecmo since college.  Then I was contacted by another player from Boston who was going to the tournament, and we played for about an hour each week during the month leading up to the tournament.  I also played with my friend Todd once or twice during the weeks leading up to it.

Name the biggest highlight of your Tecmo career … My favorite Tecmo story took place during my senior year of college.  I took a road trip with three friends from Boston down to North Carolina to visit my friend Jamie from high school.  When we got down there, we somehow started talking to his roommate Aaron about Tecmo.  Aaron made the claim that growing up he was the best Tecmo player, and that between him and all his friends he was by far the best and everyone knew it.  I was intrigued by this obviously, because I had never played against anyone besides my friend Todd who could beat me or even give me a good game.  In the first game that I played against Aaron, I absolutely obliterated him in a game that may or may not have crushed all of his childhood memories.  We played a bunch more games that weekend, and he was finally able to beat me when we chose a matchup that was lopsided in his favor.  The final game of the weekend was also icing on the cake for me.  In a matchup with even teams, we finally had a close game, and I kicked a field goal with under a minute remaining to tie the score 3-3.  I kicked off into his end zone, and with 1 second left he ran out of bounds at the 1 yard line, hoping for a last second miracle touchdown to avoid OT.  Instead though I managed to get a safety on the final play and won the game 5-3.  My friend Jamie was recently at Aaron’s wedding, and Aaron’s best man was giving the best man speech.  He referenced Tecmo and how Aaron was the best player growing up, and that no one was ever able to beat him.  My friend Jamie said that at that moment, Aaron and him made eye contact, both knowing the truth behind what happened that weekend in North Carolina.

Describe why you live Tecmo Super Bowl? Tecmo Super Bowl really did revolutionize football video games.  It was the first game with all the real teams and players and the ability to play entire seasons that kept track of standings and statistics, while also allowing you to have multi-player seasons.  It is also just a really good game.  It appears to be very simple to the average person…four running plays and four passing players, buttons A and B, etc.  But there are so many subtle things about the game that go unnoticed to the average player that can allow a great player to separate himself from the pack.

 

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