Based on the video game’s legendary stars, check out what current NFL players are worthy of the 2009-2010 Tecmo Bowl Awards:
1. THE WARREN MOON AWARD - Presented to the player/team who you wish had the ability to have more than 4 pass plays.
Winner: Matt Schaub – Remember the days of Warren Moon slinging the ball around the field to the likes of Haywood Jeffries, Ernest Givens, and co. This would have been a lot easier if you could keep the defense off balance with 8 pass plays, because lets face it, Lorenzo White and Warren Moon run #4 were not going to get you anywhere. For the amount of times I’ve seen run, run, run, Kris Brown missed field goal inside the 20 this year, I think Gary Kubiak would be happy if Pass #8 was an option.
2. THE THURMAN THOMAS AWARD - Presented to the best Wildcat Running Back
Winner: Ronnie Brown - I can hear the conversation now: Jim: “I think we are a good team, but we may need a little bit of an extra push to get us over the hump and to the Playoffs.” Marv: “Well our best player is Thurman Thomas, what if we use the element of confusion and try a direct snap to Thurman?” …And there you have it, Bills Run #4. Now, fast forward to 2008. I’m not sure, but I’m thinking that Ronnie Brown, Tony Sparano and I are on the same page. We’ve got the best player on the field, snap the ball right to him, the defense will be so confused. And wait, he can throw the ball too? Welcome to the playoffs Miami.
3. THE CHRISTIAN OKOYE AWARD – To the most punishing runner with a power/speed combo
Winner: Adrian Peterson - Right now all I can picture is AD running down the field headed directly for Roman Harper thinking in his head “AAAAAAAAA.” If Peterson had the same ability to popcorn the defender as Okoye did I don’t think even Ronnie Lott would want to see him the open field. Take a look at Peterson looking video game-like on this blow he delivers to William Gay…Beast.
4. THE DERRICK THOMAS AWARD – To the player with an uncanny ability to block kicks
Winner: Ed Reed - Although stats for blocked kicks are not kept for the individual players I’m going to give this award to notorious special teams all star Ed Reed. I mean, if there were a player in the NFL who could be the fourth man from the top of the screen and break through the long snapper and block nearly 90% of all extra points and field goals ala D.T. it would have to be Mr. Reed. Honestly the only thing that could stop D.T. was a simple slip of the finger off the down and right arrows.
5. THE BARRY SANDERS AWARD – Most carries for negative yards and still lead league in YPC
Winner: Chris Johnson – He may be the only player in the NFL who could actually pull off the zig zag run and score a TD with all eleven defenders chasing him as if he were a scared golfer and the defense a pissed off alligator. Much like Barry Sanders I’m pretty the defense could pick Johnson’s play and he could still get back to the line of scrimmage. These guys are freaks of nature.
6. THE BRAD MUSTER AWARD - Player who has no business being on the field yet is always successful
Winner: Brian Leonard – I’ve never seen a player who can pick up a 3rd and 14 with such ease. Leonard in a landslide for the Muster Award. If you don’t remember Brad Muster, wipe the dust off the old NES and give him the rock on a flair pass on 3rd down. You’ll quickly understand what I’m talking about. Leonard doesn’t have the greatest skill set as a running back, but he always seems to find a way to make his opportunities count.
7. THE MEL GREY AWARD – To the most Prolific Kick/Punt Returner
Winner: Josh Cribbs – Another great NES Tecmo Super Bowl special is to grab a team like the lions, let Mel Gray hold onto the ball on the one yard line, wait for the coverage team to get to the 10 and run directly north around the gunner and then bust it upfield. Guaranteed 40 Yard Return. Josh Cribbs is the only athlete who could pull this one off, and for that reason he is the 2009 Mel Gray Award Winner.
8. THE ANDRE RISON AWARD – An Arrogant receiver who will never be on a winning team because he’s not as good as he thinks he is.
Winner: T.J. Houshmandzadeh – Sure they’ll always catch the ball, and sometimes it will result in a first down, or even a touchdown. But the Falcons never won any big games with Mr. Rison around, and any team carrying Houshmandzadeh seems to be suffering the same fate, just ask the Bengals and the Seahawks. Minnesota probably wouldn’t have grabbed Harvin if T.J. signed with them instead, yikes.
9. THE PAT LEAHY AWARD - The Longest field goal award
Winner: Sebastian Janikowski – I once saw my cousin make a 72 yard field goal on TSB with Pat Leahy of the NY Jets. The wind must have been blowing, but never before have I seen that horizontal moving triangle land so squarely in the middle of the screen. That was until I witnessed The Polish Cannon knock down a 61 yarder in week 16 this year. Go back and look at the replay, you’ll see the worlds smallest triangle right in the middle of your TV’s. Just Sea-Bass kickin’ ass.
10. THE VIKINGS PASS #4 AWARD – To the coach who made the Smartest/Dumbest high risk, high reward playcall
Winner: Bill Belichick – Whether you like it or not you have to hand it to Bill Belichick for his decision to go for that 4th and 2 on his own 28. If he gets it his team wins the game for sure, and if he is stopped Peyton Manning is almost certain to beat you. This is not unlike Jerry Burns’ decision to call Vikings Pass #4 on 2nd and 6 from his own 40. I mean the worst thing that happens is that the defense tackles one of the first 2 reversing receivers or your QB throws a critical pick, but if the defense called a run play you’re in like Flynn.