Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Let Me Tell You About The Time I Won "Tecmo Super Bowl"

I am really worried I have so few life stories I can share with my grandchildren. I didn't serve in a war. I didn't play sports on a professional or amateur level. I didn't marry my high school sweetheart. I didn't even have a high school sweetheart.

I've accomplished little in my life to date. Oh, I've graduated college, I've had a steady job since, and I've even been awarded a Tweet of the Day trophy by Favstar -- twice! But this is not exactly the type of material that could inspire an Oscar-winning screenplay from Aaron Sorkin. It's terribly bland.

What sparked this concern of mine, you ask? This extremely well-written and entertaining article on Tecmo Super Bowl, one of the great games for the original Nintendo console. This is a game I played with my friends for hours on end after school in the early '90s. It was a classic.

And as a classic, it elicits fond memories. After I shared the article on Facebook, my pals and I proudly swapped Tecmo Super Bowl stories. Some of my anecdotes: "I once scored 9 touchdowns in one game with Bo Jackson"; "I racked up 12 sacks in another game with Lawrence Taylor"; "I led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 16-0 record and a Super Bowl win." All milestones I felt were worth bragging about.

Yet it didn't take long before I realized the absurdity of what I was saying. "I" didn't do anything. Virtual Bo Jackson had scored those touchdowns; I hadn't. Virtual LT racked up those sacks; I hadn't. All of it was fiction. None of it was real. I hadn't accomplished anything. Even worse, I was still living vicariously through a one-inch-tall video game caricature from nearly 25 years ago.

While I was facing facts, I had to finally credit Little Mac, and not myself, for knocking out Mike Tyson in 1987. And so now here I am, desperately scanning my brain for other defining moments in my life I can be proud of -- that my grandkids can be proud of -- and coming up empty.

Let me now state what should be obvious to anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis: I do not have grandchildren, as of this writing. I have mentioned in several posts that I am a single man in my early 30s (most recently on New Year's Eve 2013). In theory, I have plenty of time to accumulate a wealth of fascinating experiences -- as I continue to date, then marry and have children -- that I can eventually pass on to my grandkids.

In theory. In reality, my time is constricted by my career, my day-to-day responsibilities, and my relentless pursuit of more Tweet of the Day trophies. It may be that my "greatest" accomplishments are already behind me. Perhaps I peaked at 13 with my fictional Super Bowl championship.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to show my grandkids a Super Bowl title. But...I would be able to show them my old Nintendo system, and I would be able to destroy them at Tecmo Super Bowl. What a great story that would be to tell my great-grandchildren.