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Back in the Day: Bo Jackson September 19, 2007

Posted by Marquis Chapman in Back in the Day, Baseball, Football, MLB, NFL, Sports, Video.

Back in the day, “Bo knows” was the common phrase many fans used to describe the extremely talented Bo Jackson.  It seemed liked this guy could do anything and everything if he put his mind to it.  The many Nike ads also encouraged this type of thinking, but Jackson not only played professional football, he also played professional baseball. More importantly, he was really good at both sports becoming the first athlete to play in an All Star Game of two major sports.

Jackson is most known for playing running back for the Oakland Raiders.  He also played left field and designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, and California Angels.

While playing running back for the Oakland Raiders, the former Heisman winner dazzled fans with his amazing speed and power.  He would often get long runs causing defenders to miss, or often dragged them on his way to a touchdown.  In his first four seasons in the NFL, Jackson rushed for 2, 782 yards on just 515 carries and recorded  16 touchdowns.  Jackson still holds the Monday Night Football record for rushing yards with 222.

When Jackson wasn’t running over linebackers like Seattle Seahawk’s Brian Bosworth, he was hitting homeruns in the Major Leagues.  Jackson used his amazing speed to run the bases as well as make some amazing catches in left field.  This was quite a thing to see.  Just picture Barry Bonds with the same amount of power but with Ricky Henderson’s speed, and you had Bo Jackson. In his eight seasons in the MLB, Jackson recorded 144 homeruns and 415 RBIs.

A  severe hip injury Jackson suffered in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals ended his football career, and would eventually end his baseball career. The amazing runs and signature breaking of the bat with his knee may be a distant memory, but this was Bo Jackson back in the day.

Note: A Bo Jackson baseball highlight video is coming soon


Back in the Day: Tecmo Superbowl August 20, 2007

Posted by Marquis Chapman in Back in the Day, Football, NFL, Sports.

the-tecmo-superbowl.jpgWith Madden ’08 coming out this past Tuesday, I thought it would be a good idea to go back in the day when there was no Madden. Before the hit stick, before the precision passing, and before the amazing graphics, video gamers turned to one game to get their football fix.  That game was called Tecmo Superbowl.

Tecmo Superbowl was one of the first sports video games that used real names of NFL players. The game had a NFL team license, which allowed it to feature the then all 28 teams in the NFL.

Released in 1991, the graphics were not that great, but they were good enough. The players pretty much looked identical and looked very unrealistic compared to the football games of today. Whenever there was a touchdown or a big play, they would show a screenshot of the player.  It was pretty much just a horrible drawing of the player up close.

The game could be played on the original Nintendo Console.  It didn’t come on a disc, but rather came on a fairly large, block looking cartridge that you had to blow on about twenty times before playing.  If you didn’t blow on it, then you would just get a very colorful grid on your screen when you attempted to play.

The gameplay was fairly limited due to the contoller.  There was no analog stick and there wasn’t too many buttons to press like today’s controllers.  Nope, there was just an A and a B button, along with the directional pad.  It may sound bad now, but back then, that was all you really needed to get your game on. 

Sure, Madden may have came along and revolutionized the football gaming world as we know it, but football fans and video gamers all over the world know that before there was Madden… There was Tecmo Superbowl.

Back in the Day: The NBA on NBC August 3, 2007

Posted by Marquis Chapman in Back in the Day, Basketball, NBA, Sports.

nba-on-nbc.jpgBefore ABC and ESPN were covering games for the NBA, NBC was the station basketball fans would tune into.  From 1990-2002, NBC was synonymous with the NBA.  Even today, no other network that covers the NBA can come close to NBC.  The network is arguably the blueprint of basketball coverage. 

Thinking back on those twelve years of amazing coverage, there were so many great things about the NBA on NBC.  First, the theme song was amazing and an absolute classic.  When you heard it on Saturday, you knew it was gametime.  When that theme song came on, die hard fans would get a chill down there spine.  The song didn’t have any words and it didn’t need any.  We all knew what it represented.  To this very day, a basketball fan would not have any problem humming the beat, the first couple lines anyway.

The commentators were all great on the show as well.  Ahmad Rashad, Hannah Storm, Bob Costas, and Snapper Jones gave you all the insight and info you needed on the current stars of the league. Even back then, Bill Walton thought every shot was an “awful shot”. To top it off, you had Marv Albert courtside giving you the play by play.  Phrases like “Yes, and it counts!” and “Oh, an amazing shot!” are still with basketball fans to this very day.

The NBA had so many legendary and memorable moments while it was being televised on NBC.  Moments like Reggie Miller scoring 8 points in 11 seconds against the Knicks, and having a few words for Spike Lee afterwards, still haunts Knicks fans today.  Everyone remembers the Miami Heat and New York Knick rivarly, where it seemed liked they played every Saturday against each other. And who can forget the infamous push off by a Chicago Bull to clinch the game and the series in the 1998 NBA finals against the Utah Jazz. Those are just a fraction of the great NBA moments that happened on NBC.

I still don’t understand how NBC could let such a great thing go.  Even though networks like TNT are very respectable and doing well, nothing will ever come close to the NBA on NBC.  I sincerely hope that they will eventually bring it back, but for now all we basketball fans can do is reminisce on how it was back in the day.

Back in the Day: Shawn Kemp July 28, 2007

Posted by Marquis Chapman in Back in the Day, Basketball, NBA, Sports, Video.

Back in the Day, Shawn Kemp was a 6’10”, 225 pound walking highlight reel.  He was one of the premier dunkers in the nineties and arguably one of the best dunkers of all time.  Drafted by the Seattle Supersonics in 1989, Kemp quickly went to work earning the nickname the “Reign Man”.  On any given night, you would see Kemp catch an alley-oop from Gary Payton or posterize someone with one of his signature dunks. 

Sadly, Kemp would go on to get really fat ballooning to 340 pounds and get hooked on cocaine for a brief moment, failing to become the great player everyone thought he would be.  I prefer however, to remember Shawn Kemp how he was Back in the Day.