Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward retired after this past season. He's 36. Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez, also the same age, is coming to the end of a hall-of-fame career as a tight end. Emmitt Smith, an extraordinarily tough running back for Dallas, was enshrined at Canton in 2010. "Runnin' the football was awesome," he said, "in Tecmo."
All of these men are of the generation that grew up with Tecmo Super Bowl, one of the greatest sports video games of all time. "That was the first game I think most athletes played," Ward said, "was Tecmo Bowl."
ESPN and NFL Films this week broadcast an outstanding look at the subculture helping keep Tecmo Super Bowl alive in modern times. The documentary centered on the Tecmo Madison tournament, the undisputed world championship of the 21-year-old video game, and outstanding characters like the Vogt brothers, the enigmatic champion Sobhi Youssef, and Chet and Josh Hozlbauer, organizers of the event.