Written and Contributed by Baseman
Ironically the Tecmo pro football team called the Saints werent anything like todays counterparts. This was the pre Jim Mora era in which we thankfully didnt have listen to him babble poor excuses about how his team "didnt do poop on defense". This was the first of only two years that the Saints actaully won their division and had a shot in the dark to take a stab at the playoffs. Being my hometown team, I felt obliged to convey my thoughts on what quite possibly were the Saints greatest years.
I never really liked Steve Walsh and for no apparent reason that I can muster either. The guy just straight up didnt appeal to me. Hes an average Tecmo QB in even excellent condition. However, he is known to occasionally overthrow the receiver by 20 yards and even hit that unsuspecting cheerleader at times. Of course, his passes are no where near as horrid as your Rypiens or your Grogans but that isnt saying much for his athleticism. Signing decent QBs never was a specialty of the Saints (Archie aside, but even then he had nobody who could catch) so dont ecpect anything amazing from Mr. Walsh. Oh, and if you expect to "scramble" anywhere, please throw in the towel before you even start. Walsh boasts an identical 13 max speed and hit speed therefore making it seemingly easy to compare him to a slimmer, weaker, Warren Sapp. You can forget about Fourcade, hes even worse.
Ah yes, here we stumble upon the man known as "Ironhead" Heyward. Hand the ball of to him and watch in awe as he makes popcorn out of the nearest frive defenders. Unstoppable, one would think, right? Wrong. We regret to infrom you that Murtle, my pet turtle, has a higher top speed. Sure, watch him barrel throught that line and maul those skinny safties and make it look as if hes touchdown bound. Then, all of the sudden, out of nowhere, a Saint hater casts that nasty voodoo magic onto him and the events that are sure to follow can be described in three easy steps:
1) After hauling ass, trail blazing, and taking names for about 20 or so yards, there is a noticable difference in the heart rate of our man Craig.
2) After reaching its peak of about 100 beats per second, Craig begins to phisically exert what is truely going on inside. *cough* *HACK*....garble*.....Grr...errm....
3) The defense notices that Craig shows the symptoms of a heart attack victim and his body becomes tortured in slow motion. It is rumored that Craig was heard to have said, " My legs are moving, BUT I'M NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!". The defense, being ever so observant, seizes the opportunity and engulfs Ironhead like those wild fires in California. Unfourtenately, Smokey the neighborhood fire preventer is nowhere to be found.
Unbeknownst to his coaching staff, but ever so obvious to the Tecmoer, this sort of thing happens every other time the man runs the ball, thus rendering his ability to knock the sense out of everyone null and void. Sadly, as an interesting sidenote, the term "Iron" also refers to his hands. Theres a better chance of completing a pass to that wall over there then Heyward putting the biscuit in his basket. For long distance running, use Hilliard. Saying hes MUCH faster is an understatement. He can *GASP* catch and run. If it werent for loving to see a grown man fly, I'd say Hilliard over Heyward but ultimately its your call. As for Rueben, dont mistake him for that guy off American Idol, let him keep that bench warm. "Fish" Gil is for kick returns, a runningback he is not.
An average recieving corp would only be a fitting match to an average QB and here it holds true. The stud of the unit is Eric Martin. Hes used to making Walsh look "good" and plays like someone who would. He'll catch your random, errant pass and be the favorite to do the zig-zag dash with. That aside, theres not much to him other then being a seemingly bald man sporting lip gloss. Perriman, Hill and Turner all pretty much equally suck compared compared to Martin. Pass to them only when wide ass open, by mistake, or if Eric is covered by more then three people. Bringing up the rear at the tight end spot is "Hopeless" Hoby Brenner. You cant even pass to the man using the default playbook which makes me question his existence. Wow, hes another mindless blocker who goes unnoticed the whole game. The guy has a backup named Tice who might as well go AWOL. We needed the cap room and who wants excess baggage anyways?
More useless people. For the last time, WE DON'T NEED BLOCKERS. Good thing there are no penalties, or five yards back we would go. The only guy that stands out any is Stan Brock and thats mostly due to the fact that hes a freaking behemoth. I mean, who really pays attention to the offensive line anyway?
My hero, "Fish" Gil Fenerty. Being one of the few white boy returners in a predominately black postition, you have to give the man his props. He doesnt slack off, can flat out run the kicking team and his name is easy to type. Not to mention, it reminds me of my favorite pastime. Screw the other wannabe returners, he is the MAN despite his attributes decieving him. 9.5/10 as far as returners go, amazing on punts also.
DL and LBs
The cream of the crop on this roster. After the snap, Renaldo "will" Turn "into a" Bull and if used correctly, can blast through the line like bread and butter. Meh, to the other two guys.
Now on to the linebackers. Arguably the best 4 linebackers the Saints ever had, open of a can of whupass nearly every play. Each of them are/were Pro Bowl material at oen point in there carreer so use them to your advantage. Nothing to make a mockery out of here, these men mean business. In reality, the linbackers were the team. Any one of them is an excellent choice to controll on defense and can all stop a RB in his tracks. I love the Saints linebackers.
After praising one aspect of the team, I now find myself shaking my head in utter disgust. NONE of these guys deserve an NFL contract, much less a starting job. If a pass just so happens to go over the heads of our studlike linebackers, it falls into the hands of our clueless defensive backs. Sometimes I ponder at the thought if any one of them can hold up my jockstrap. One of three things happen each and everytime the ball comes their way...
1) The wide out burns them and they can never even think of recovering.
2) After the catch, an offensive lineman proceeds to march over and clotheslines them into the third row.
3) I give up and let the bastards score whilst taking a nearby object and turning it into a projectile with ruthless abandon.
That being said, I fear it is now time to examine the names that their mommy gave them with intense scrutiny and uncover the true "behind the secnes" meaning.
SUBJECT A: Toi Cook
SYNOPSIS: Should be earning a degree in cheff-hood rather then making himself look like an asshat on the football field.
SUBJECT B: Robert Massy
SYNOPSIS: Play like s**t. Or messy. Either/or.
SUBJECT C: Gene Atkins
SYNOPSIS: Was found to have a sexual identity crisis as well as a dieting disorder.
SUBJECT D: Brett Maxie
SYNOPSIS: Attends games fully equipped with Maxie pad and plays like so.
With their powers combined, they can make like Captain Planet and do what I commanly refer to as "blowing chunks". Who dat say dese guys can play?
Punter and Kicker
I hardly ever punt during Tecmo and I dont know anyone who makes a habit of it, so sorry if I'm at a loss of words for Mr. Barnhardt. I vaguely remember punting with him one or twice and I think he was somewhat half-ass which is good enough for a lousy punter who doesnt even sweat during practice. Lets just leave it at that, shall we? *is scared of Roby*
Last, but definately not least, who can forget "Automatic" Andersen. That's AndersEn, damn you. Not to be confused with his eighty year old counterpart, Gary AndersOn, whos leg will eventually contract rigamortis and cease to be operational or fall off completely. AndersEn, earns his nickname well. After drving down the field and getting in field goal range (AKA your 45 yard line), leave it to good 'ol Morton. Kindly blindfold yourself, turn around 180 degrees and gently tap the A button twice. Voila! Three points on the board with minimal effort. Works like a charm for extra points too.....after all, hes gets a LOT of repitition, moreso in games then in practice. Leave it to him to get the job done and clinch a win that would have been imnpossible otherwise.
Wether you fancy calling them them the "Aints" or the Saints, theres no denying the reminiscing to a time when a certain kicker [name witheld] didnt screw you over,is a very rewarding feeling that makes baby jesus happy inside. It's worth all the time it takes to get a game going.