A millennial’s quest to beat Tecmo Bowl:
In my Tecmo Bowl universe, Pickel was a combination of Reggie White, Joe Greene and Dick Butkus. He became integral to my new defensive strategy, which was to always select a running play since they’re so much harder to stop, then drop either of my linebackers (Matt Millen and Jerry Robinson) into coverage and follow one of the wide receivers in hopes of picking off a pass. Against teams that regularly featured the run (Bears, Cowboys, Browns) the AI-controlled Pickel was a fixture in the backfield, burying Payton, Kevin Mack and Herschel Walker. There’s a good chance he would have broken Pro Football Focus’ grading metrics with an estimated 400 tackles for loss.
Throughout the process, I wondered how frustrating this would be to read for legions of 40-somethings who had honed this strategy over long hours wrapping sore, calloused hands around the hard plastic rectangle controller. The real grinders who knew and loved Pickel long before I did. My hope is that they view this as an homage, and not another dangerously offensive action from a millennial out to destroy everything they love.
Fear not. This is the sort of thing of which Gen X gamers absolutely approve.