I want the 49ers to lose.
With that thorough pregame summary under our belts, let's head to the action.
Starting from their own 44, the Giants waste no time busting out the flea flicker and the zero yards that accompany it. The next passing play is much better as Simms finds Stephen Baker for a big run-and-catch down to the San Francisco 29. David Meggett takes the toss up top on the next play and picks up yet another first down.
Not yet done with Meggett but definitely done calling reasonably worthwhile plays, the Giants run their draw play twice in a row. It inexcusably works both times and the Giants are sitting at the two with four downs to find paydirt. They only need one as the Juice sheds a man at the goal line and jogs into the end zone for the game's first touchdown.
7-0, New York
49ers Drive #1
After Roger Craig went straight up the middle for seven yards, the 49ers were feeling pretty good about the makings of this drive. But after two straight blitzkriegs by the Giants, the drive stalls and the 49ers are punting. This is certainly not the start that Joe Montana, 90% of the simulated Tecmo gambling community, or anybody who has ever seen the words "Tecmo Super Bowl" in conjunction with one another, expected.
After the flea flicker is as wildly successful as it was the last time, Simms elects to take the 12 yard scramble over the 70 yard touchdown pass that certainly would have ensued had he thrown the ball to any number of open receivers. Productive? Yes. Wuss? Yes.
The man who is quickly becoming the dominator in this game is not Simms or Ronnie Lott, but rather the always (pronounced "never") feared Stephen Baker, who catches two passes in succession that lead all the way to the end zone for the Giants.
14-0, New York
49ers Drive #2
Dexter Carter needs to be peeled off the NFL shield following the kickoff, necessitating a quarter change.
End of 1st Quarter: New York-14, San Francisco-0
49ers Drive #2 (Continued)
Reeling from their dearth of defense and presumably shattered pelvis of Dexter Carter, the 49ers need to get to work. And when I say "get to work," that can only mean one thing for the Tecmo 49ers: It's time for them, and most likely Ronnie Lott, to start cheating. Case in point: Roger Craig scampers around the corner for a gain of fifteen, but then fumbles the ball into a battalion of New York defenders. All twenty-four of them are mysteriously unable to recover the ball, but the lone 49er, renowned stone handsman Tom Rathman, is deftly able to scoop up the ball and salvage the drive.
Rathman is rewarded by being given the ball on the next play so he could fall forward for a yard, before the 49ers lob up a high ball knowing that there is no way in Hell that Jerry Rice won't catch it.
14-7, New York
Here's a free lesson about Tecmo for the Giants' offensive coordinator and for you, the valued reader. The Giants again ran the flea flicker and again got no yards out of it. But the next play, a zero yard dump to Ottis Anderson, went for 35. If the drawn play has a bunch of misplaced white lines, bizarre swirls, or looks like a tangled mass of intestines, it's probably way fucking crazier than it needs to be. Keep it simple, stupid.
The next play? Straight drop back that goes for six to an open Mark Ingram. Was that so hard?
21-7, New York
49ers Drive #3
Harry Sydney is taking is new job as kick returner pretty seriously as he brings the return all the way to the GIA 39. The 49ers are probably taking my lecture on play-calling conservatism a little too seriously, though, as they run three consecutive dives. The last one by Rathman does get them a first down, but they're much more likely to win the game on Jerry Rice catching balls deflected off the blimp than by the not-so-fleet-footed runs of Rathman.
Rathman hauls off for 13 yards on the next play, showing how little I know, before Montana disinterestedly hits an uncovered John Taylor, proving how much I do know after all.
21-14, New York
Giants Drive #4
Precious seconds remain in the first half, so the Giants brilliantly give the ball to Meggett on the draw and let him get into 49ers territory, but with no time to attempt a Matt Bahr trifecta.
End of 2nd Quarter: New York-21, San Francisco-14
I predicted that the Giants would win the Super Bowl in the preseason and so far things look decent with the San Francisco defense unable to stop anyone, Grogan-led or otherwise. But I feel the tide turning. The 49ers get the ball first, the last regular halftime show of the year didn't feature the panty shot, and if you need any more signs of bad luck to convince you, a giant black cat just came and devoured Mark Bavaro.
49ers Drive #4
Okay, I seriously am not trying to label myself as Nostradamus here - I'm making predictions about Tecmo football, not tidal waves and celebrity weddings after all - but the 49ers aren't really helping me avoid it. On the first play from scrimmage, Montana was staring into the face of a sadistic Giants' pass rush, but stepped up and lobbed the ball out of bounds like any good quarterback. The caveat is that Brent Jones, standing well behind the white line, leaps and grabs the ball. He lands in that void black zone at the bottom of the screen, where only demons and Scott Norwood field goal tries dwell, and is somehow credited with a catch. My trigger finger was too slow to capture pictorial evidence of this atrocity, but suffice to say I am laughing in utter disbelief at how remorselessly despicable the 49ers are.
After a couple of menial dives by Rathman set the Niners up in a 3rd and 3, Montana hits the afforementioned fullback for a nice gainer out of the backfield to roughly the New York 30. Rathman gets his fourth consecutive touch, a five-yard handoff, before the 49ers decide to spread it around a little. And while it appeared to be a good idea at first, the picked play to Roger Craig now has them in a 3rd and 11 situation. Of course it's still inconsequential, as Jerry Rice makes a diving catch in coverage for the first down. Here we go again...
After Pepper Johnson vents his frustration by crumpling the quarterback who doubles as a large state, the Niners go back to the Rathman well. Tommy rumbles ahead for ten yards and San Francisco is looking at a pretty big 3rd and 3 at the New York five. Rathman gets the handoff - AGAIN - and while he is unable to score, he does give the Bay Area Ballers a first and goal at the one.
Giants Drive #5
The Giants very sagely go with the previously mentioned dump to OJ Anderson and he again is productive in picking up fifteen yards. And after Dave Meggett takes a toss for another twelve, the Giants are across midfield and moving the ball.
Things begin to turn on them on first down, though, as "Anderson around the end" is picked by the 49ers. The next play has a plethora of Giants receivers calling for the ball, but Simms' pass is batted down in the cut scene. In the midst of 3rd and 13, Simms steps up big and hits an open Mark Ingram for what, at this point in the game, is a pretty big first down.
Anderson and Meggett combine for thirteen yards as the Giants have a fresh set of downs and the game's final quarter staring directly at them. And as the flags billow above the scoreboard, I can't help but think that this game still hasn't had a turnover. The Giants better put the ball in the end zone quickly, before the CPU pulls the rug out from under them.
End of 3rd Quarter: New York-21, San Francisco-21
Giants Drive #5 (Continued)
New York goes with the Meggett toss twice in a row - pretty good play-calling if you ask me - and pick up nine yards in the process. I have a bad feeling about this 3rd and 1 however, and it is confirmed when the attempted off-tackle handoff to the Juice gets picked. Matt Bahr easily tacks on the field goal, but unless that elusive turnover materializes on the next drive, that "coincidental" picked play may have just cost the Giants the game.
24-21, New York
49ers Drive #5
Bahr predictably doesn't boot the ball past the opposing 30 leaving San Fran with excellent starting field position. The beat-to-death Tom Rathman gets only one yard on first down and then Joe Montana follows that up by throwing the worst pass of his Tecmo career, a ball that landed in an unoccupied area of the field at least fifteen yards from any fellow 49er. On 3rd and 9, Craig takes the handoff and sprints around the edge. He's tackled close to the sticks and there's going to be a measurement, although we all know how it's going to turn out. The fact that the chain gang didn't even bother to bring the chains with them onto the field should probably be a clue.
Craig gets four on the next play, before Montana drops back and hits Jerry Rice for a devastating touchdown.
28-24, San Francisco
Giants Drive #6
New York goes with the draw on the first play, which was its usual fantastic self in netting the Giants -3 yards. Anderson is able to reclaim those yards and a few more on second down, to set up a 3rd and 4 and the second timeout for the Big Apple Bruisers. The third down pass is softly lobbed into double coverage and the fact that there will even be a fourth down and not a SIDE CHANGE is pretty amazing in and of itself.
With the season on the line, the Giants pitch the ball to Dave Meggett. It's a worthy choice, but the Forty-Niners of course picked it and have since suffocated the Super Bowl hopes of the New York Giants.
49ers Drive #6
The 49ers run a bunch of plays that I didn't care to watch, including two pass completions to thoroughly covered receivers in the form of Brent Jones and John Taylor. And on the last play of the game, Roger Craig wrestles two tacklers away to score one asshole of a touchdown. Scott Mitchell, save us all.
I don't really feel like talking about the 49ers, who I am hoping will be crushed by Mr. Mitchell in the Super Bowl. But I do feel like talking about Jeff Hostetler's mustache, which has been named player of the game. If you also feel like conversing about this magnificent display of facial hair, please begin the e-mail dialogue with me as soon as possible.