The 12 Most Underrated Players in “Tecmo Super Bowl”


Back in the day, I played NES until my hands got sore.  Mario, Zelda, Metroid….you name it.  There wasn’t a title out there I wouldn’t play the shit out of.  My game collection was modest, but definitely diverse.  This all changed when Tecmo released “Tecmo Super Bowl,” a sequel to the popular football game “Tecmo Bowl.”  My game library dropped to one volume that glorious day…..

I will argue (even sober) that TSB is the greatest video game of all-time, for ANY system.  The replay value is through the fucking roof, and it was the first sports game that is enjoyable to play alone, for it tracked stats and had a season mode.  Late-night drunken TSB tournaments accounted for one of my more dubious report cards in college.

Anyone who has played the game knows certain players are studs, so I won’t waste your time too much re-hashing vomit you have already spewed.  In my humble opinion, the 12 best players (most recognized that is, in no particular order): Randall Cunningham, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Lawrence Taylor, Christian Okoye, Bo Jackson, Derrick Thomas, Bruce Smith, Ronnie Lott, Thurman Thomas, Barry Sanders, and Andre Rison.  Although that particular dozen is in fact quite unstoppable, here are 12 that you may have overlooked.


12. Bob Nelson, DT Packers

Alright….I obviously didn’t play as the Packers, so before you tell me to go fuck a block of  cheese and stock up on camo for the hunting season, hear me out.  Nelson’s attributes aren’t all that stunning, but for some reason, he is the game’s MASTER of the “up then under” sack technique.  That is when you move the NT up after the ball is snapped, then go back down diagonally to open a free lane.  8-Bit Jim Harbaugh was paralyzed numerous times because of this dickhead…….

11. Brad Muster-FB Bears, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward-FB Saints, Reggie Cobb-FB Buccaneers

I lump the three together because they share a common attribute that makes them great: a hitting power of 94.  Nothing was more irritating than watching Christian “The Nigerian Nightmare” Okoye plow through your defense, throwing guys aside like little rag dolls. Although the trio at #11 isn’t as fast, they surely can steamroll your buddies defense, sending him to a catatonic state of grace. 

10. Rodney Holman, TE Bengals

Holman is one of the best tight ends in the game, but guys like Jay Novacek and Keith Jackson get all the pub.  Holman was sure-handed, and possesses a 69 in both rushing power, and hitting power.  He is a very deadly target when put in the right formations.

9. Willie “Flipper” Anderson, WR Rams

The Rams are known for Henry Ellard’s eye-popping 81 in receptions, which is tied for highest in the game with few others.  Flipper is a 75…… So when Dudley Dumbass double-teams Ellard because he has to, air it out to Flipper, who’s cousins with Snowflake.

8. Greg Townsend, DE Raiders

Since you obviously picked the Raiders for the sole purpose of rushing for 1,000 yards in one game with Bo, you will need quick defensive stops.  Townsend boasts an impressive 63 hitting power.  Match that with his 69 quickness, and you will be doing the “I just sacked you ass, how’s it feel bitch?” dance in between 99 yard touchdown scampers.

7. Billy Joe Tolliver, QB Chargers

He pretty much sucks, but isn’t completely as worthless as the name “Billy Joe.”  BJT’s throwing speed is a hand splitting 81.  Only Marino has comparable heat.  With viable WR Anthony Miller,  you will be in the end-zone, celebrating, then kicking the extra point before your stoned friend can even ask, “Dude, where’s the ball?” 

6. Bobby Humphrey, RB Broncos

You don’t hear many people bragging that they scored 11 touchdowns in one game with Bobby Humphrey. That’s because they’ve never tried.  Running behind the Bronc’s above average offensive line, Humphrey can get loose quite easily with his 69 rushing power, and 63 maximum speed. 

*Nothing drops panties in a bar quicker than:

YOU: “Hey Babe.  Did you know I once rushed for 857 yards and 11 touchdowns in one game with Bobby Humphrey on Tecmo Super Bowl?”

HER: “I WANT YOU!!!!!  Every other creep uses that line with Bo Jackson or Barry Sanders, like it’s some accomplishment………..Why don’t we go back to my place, and I’ll tell you about the time I recorded 17 sacks with Bill Pickel.”

5. Ken Harvey, LB Cardinals

Harvey is a solid linebacker that can make the stop you need.  This is good, since the rest of the Cardinals defense sucks more than the new “Indiana Jones.”  Key attributes: 63 quickness, 63 hitting power

4. Richard Dent, DE Bears

I know…..How could a Super Bowl MVP be underrated?  Here’s why: 99.9% of the time, people control Singletary when on defense.  On a side-note, I think it would have been great if the one personal touch to the 8-Bit players was Samurai wearing his infamous Lens-Crafters glasses.  Anyhoo, Dent is sick with the quickness (75), and can plow through linemen when needed.  I’m kind of an expert here because I personally sought retribution with Dent many times after Bob “Lardass” Nelson crippled 8-Bit Harbaugh. 

3. David Fulcher, S Bengals

This guy is fucking unreal…..Let me say it again, FUCKING UNREAL.  75 in quickness and hitting power, 69 in maximum speed and interceptions.  He is an animal, and puts Ronnie Lott’s high attributes to shame.  Quite possibly the best all-around defender in the game.

2. Keith Millard, LB Vikings

Here we go again…….Before you tell me to put on purple panties and move north, I never play as the Vikings…..EVER.  This doesn’t relieve me of what I’m about to say though, which is as painful as it is shocking: THE VIKINGS HAVE THE BEST DEFENSE ON THE GAME.  PERIOD.   Between Chris Doleman, Joey Browner, and Keith Millard, 8-Bit Harbaugh will be shitting in a bag the rest of his days.  Millard is a stark-raving lunatic in that fucking game.  Hitting power 69, quickness 81, maximum speed 56.  He is easily a top 5 linebacker in the game, and, if you don’t believe me, ask 8-Bit Jim, who just regained feeling in his 8-Bit testicles.

1. Wayne Haddix, CB Buccaneers

Most people ask, “Who the fuck is Wayne Haddix?” Only the die-hards know about this guy.  Haddix is a one-man defense, and trust me, he has to be.  The rest of the “Yucks” defense runs around like little orange clowns, often over-pursuing, getting pushed aside, and ultimately getting burned for 6.  Haddix and Cobb are the only chance you have of making Tampa “Super Champions.”  He has blazing maximum speed (75), can pick off anything in the same area code, for interceptions are 75, and his quickness is a respectable 69.

So that’s my list……..Send comments on anyone you think I omitted




  1. Comment by Reading for Comprehension on February 18, 2009 7:51 am

    Walter Payton? Walter Payton? How in the world would Payton be considered underrated? Let’s try reading for comprehension.

  2. Comment by Steelhead on February 18, 2009 5:24 pm

    Not to mention, Payton isn’t even on TSB.

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    […] that had a few decent seasons, but never anything that would make him a resprectable player on Tecmo Super Bowl, and that is all we care about anyways.  Keep on rockin’ Wayne […]

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  7. Comment by Dave Campbell on July 23, 2009 8:55 am

    How can you overlook Sam Graddy? The speed of a Bo Jackson/Sam Graddy backfield is unbelieveable. Defensively, Jerry Ball of the Lions is a one-man wrecking crew in the nose-tackle defense. Easy 100+ sack seasons. Yes, I said 100+ sack seasons.

  8. Comment by Little Donkey on November 27, 2009 5:56 pm

    Most overrated players in the game:

    1) John Elway

    2) Lorenzo White

    3) Hershel Walker

    4) Sammie Smith

    5) William “Refrigerator” Perry

  9. Comment by Empress(Quisha Livingston) on December 25, 2009 9:10 am

    Jerry Ball will always be special to me,we go way back since SMU days.And I was not even old enough to know I spent most of my child hood in college,hell I should have gotten a free…But no one could ever replace my guardian angels when I was just a child.Jerry,Kieth my uncle Andrew Livingston etc…JERRY BALL THE BEST N.T. IN THE NFL……He watched me grow at times when i didnt know,and i was watching him as he bone crushed dudes when he didnt know.Much love Bless…..Little Quia 🙂

  10. Comment by joe moskwa on January 13, 2010 8:59 am

    I have a fully restored NES with 2 copies of this great game, and I live in the Detroit area. I still play it every day with buddies. We’re looking for die hards in the area who want to stop by and play a season. Anyone?? January 2010 as I’m posting this now.

  11. Comment by Rob on March 6, 2010 8:16 am

    Haddix = undoubtedly the best defender on the game. I must say, some other unsung heroes are:

    Gil Fenerty, kick returner for the Saints – I once went through a season only scoring off of kickoffs with this guy. The only other kick returner that even comes close is Stone for Pittsburgh.

    Mark Carrier, WR for the Bucs – Easily the team I’ve gone through the most seasons with

    Agree with the Neal Anderson post above….

    Marion Butts – rid the Chargers of their terrible plays and Butts can be a beast

    Freddie Young – safety for the Cardinals- moves all over the field!

    The entire Oilers receiving corps – these guys are amazing. They catch everything – very annoying to play against.

    Great article…they need a tecmo game with current teams and players for old nintendo. I’d pay $200 for it.

  12. Comment by DJ on July 1, 2010 11:36 am

    i rushed for 3,000 yards with Barry Sanders. Richard Johnson made some beastly catches for me including the game winner over bills with no time left. for some reason eddie murray was a terrible kicker for the lions

  13. Comment by Tailback King on August 24, 2010 6:02 pm

    The best and most underrated player in tecmo history was Johnny Johnson. He was a great player stuck on a average team at best, (the Cardinals) in real life and on the game. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. Run, catch, return kicks, return punts, you name it. You don’t belive me, try him and the Cards sometime. I once rushed for over 4,000 yrds with him. He was the best back in the league in 1990. He made the Probowl. (p.s. When you use him, change his plays)

  14. Comment by Eddie Apoc on December 20, 2010 11:36 pm

    I rushed for 2000+ yards in a season with Dan Marino once. It was a nightmare that guy is the slowest ever. He got injured in week 15 and I just barely made it.

  15. Comment by Brad on October 1, 2011 2:02 pm

    I seriously have to agree that Howie Long is the greatest defensive player in the game. With him, I can personally stop every single TSB play except for two. First is the bottom sweep that isn’t the deep one — it cuts down directly on Howie’s position and he is eliminated at the snap of the ball. The only way I can defend that play is to run backwards first and then dive. Second is the QB sneek by Randall Cunningham and Warren Moon. Even this play I can stop with the “insta-dive” when Howie’s in EXCELLENT condition. There are so many other numerous plays that instantly are either sacked or cause a fumble that I cannot describe to you how amazing he is in this game. Theoretically, it’s really the position, because when I decide to play as other teams, that’s always the position I play, and once that player becomes GOOD or EXCELLENT, they too are unstopable.

  16. Comment by hhmm on June 10, 2012 12:40 am

    I don’t know what version of tecmo bowl we’re talking about. But the most under-rated player was Steve Largent.

    He was a reiciever for the Seattle Seahawks. (the most under-rated tecmo bowl team, and the only one in pink uni’s)

    He had a play like (i think it was) Dennis Gentry of the bears. He ran a little six yard “button-loop” route, that if Kreig threw the ball at just the right time, it could not be stopped. I’ve won Tecmo Bowl as the Seahawks with just that play on offense. If the ball was delivered right when Largent was about to loop, it was impossible to stop. Maybe a bug in the game, but it did me right..

    Also, Fred Young was 100% field goal and extra point blacker like Lawerence Taylor was.

  17. Comment by hhmm on June 10, 2012 12:50 am

    Oh.. I almost forgot mark Bavaro of the giants….

    This worked about 70% of the time. You needed to be on at the least the opponents 30 yard line. As long as the computer or the guy you’re playing didn’t select the same pass play, this would work.

    After snapping the ball make Phil Simms run to the oppsosing end zone and scrable for about one minute. You need to hold off the defenders for about one solid minute. Then chuck a huge 70yrd bomb to Mark Bavaro. Boom! Six points almost every time.

    Sam Mack for cleveland was good too. When you zig-zagged all defenders would fall down trying to leg tackle him.. I’d always get 70+ yard runs for Sam Mack. I could go to the game right before tecmo bowl. totally blowing teams out like 60-0 w/ the Browns. They’d always lose in the last to the tecmo bowl game, tho. No matter how hard I tried. I think was programmed into the game the clevelend couldn’t make it to a tecmo bowl

  18. Comment by Brian on July 28, 2012 5:36 pm

    David Fulcher was known by us as the answer. No one knew about this guy but in head to head match ups, the guy would pick anything off within a 50 yard radius. Just sick, and he could tackle too in case you needed to stop you buddies run game. I have also seen Jerry Rice (well known by the tecmo community) jump out of the screen to haul in a game winning catch in the last seconds in a head to head match up. My buddies and I have only seen this once so I dont know if it is common in close games head to head.

  19. Comment by Brian on July 28, 2012 5:47 pm

    I have also had 1008 yards in one game with Bo Jackson thanks to 6 picks given up by Jeff George!/photo.php?fbid=615941761323&set=a.615206549693.2169715.71207558&type=3&permPage=1

  20. Comment by Trippe on June 4, 2013 9:43 pm

    You’re crazy if you think Haddix is underrated. He’s the best defensive player on TSB. How can that be underrated?

  21. Comment by Rod Munch on June 24, 2013 10:15 pm

    Haddix had a great year prior to the game being made, I believe he had 7 INTs for 231 yards and 3 TDs — that’s an amazing series of numbers. He was of course a one hit wonder and if I remember correctly he was actually cut half way through the next season.

    Testaverde has some good rushing numbers since the prior year he had a big rushing game towards the end of the season against the Vikings I believe, I was there. Vinny rushed for over 100 yards — I wonder they prorated the stats of something because he only had 280 yards for the entire season.

  22. Comment by George on July 24, 2013 10:34 pm

    By underrated, the dude simply means not noted as much. You always hear how great Joe Montana, Jim Kelly, Bo Jackson, and Christian Okoye are, but you never hear these guys.

    Bob Golic and Howie Long are my selection. You could rack up sacks with both of those guys. Most underrated part of the Raider team was the D-line.

  23. Comment by Winston on November 14, 2013 9:20 am

    Finally I found a person giving Tecmo Bobby Humphrey some credit. If you played with the Broncos then you also have to know that OLB Simon Fletcher is an underrated defender. Unfortunately for the Broncos, 1990 was the season after they ingested all that Whoop Ass from the 49ers in the Super Bowl. My beloved Broncos are forever frozen in a Hell of mediocrity in Tecmo Super Bowl. Didn’t stop me from winning the “Super Championship” with them though, which for a long time I thought would be the only way they would ever win one.

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