8-bit analysis: NCAA Punch-Out!
It has been a relatively laid back week here at the compound, full of relaxed attitudes towards work and a general malaise onset by the past weekend's barely average servings of collegiate football. Time around the office was well spent procrastinating in all of the various varieties of this vice, the least of which is firing up our editor's old Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The old girl still worked like a charm, allowing us to Contra Code and RC Pro-Am to our heart's content while ignoring all responsibilities to our professional tasks and/or livers. in the midst of the hurly-burly of the low-res splendor, I realized that one of the greatest cartridges of all bore a striking similarity to the bare-knuckle fistfight that is the annual national title chase. So, without further ado, a tip of the cap to the pioneers of this oft-used blogging mainstay, and onward to another arbitrary comparison column!
Glass Joe-Illinois head coach[name redacted]:
Every game has a doormat, and in college football, that doormat is currently Illinois. Like Glass Joe, [name redacted]'s teams are easily predictable and go down quick, a mere afterthought on the schedule. MSU not withstanding, anyone who even gets knocked down by a [name redacted] team should just stop playing. The Spartans have already stopped playing, so this rule is already in effect.
Von Kaiser-Purdue's Joe Tiller:
One must only look at their elegant moustaches to see the resemblance. Considerably trickier than the previous opponent, but still fodder to the savvy fighter. Their trademark nose neighbors tip off their every move, subtly twitching before each strike. Repeated viewings of Purdue game tape reveal Coach Tiller's tendency to bristle his pushbroom before each and every designed pass.
Don Flamenco-tOSU's Jim Tressel:
A truly deceptive opponent that wears you down as the fight goes on. You'll find yourself completely drained of stamina trying to take them down, forced to perfectly counter their extremely sound fundamentals. Just when you think you've got Ohio State figured out, Coach Tressel changes up his gameplan and completely catches you unaware, just like his World Circuit likeness.
King Hippo-KU's Mark Mangino:
This is clearly shooting fish in a barrel. The Mangino and King Hippo are so alike, you may start conspiracy theories that they may actually be the same person. The Jayhawks pack a mighty punch, just like their coach, and at first, are extremely difficult to figure out. If you've done your homework, perhaps read a few issues of Nintendo Power, you'll be able to expose The Hippo's weakness, causing him to fall uncontrollably to the mat. Once down, Hippo rarely, if ever, gets back up.
Great Tiger-Auburn's Tommy Tuberville:
Not only is there the whole Tiger thing, but you have to admit the uncanny similarities. While Tuberville's playbook does not have anything remotely as deceptive as the infamous Tiger Punch, he is still remarkably sneaky and unpredictable in his own right. Sure, everything is usually the same right hook to the mouth, but you're usually too off balance from the surrounding shenanigans to see it coming. If Tommy wore a turban, it would probably blink whenever he called the HB's number.
Bald Bull-The Orgeron!:
Like the Bull Rush, you all saw this one coming a mile away. The size, the stature, the temper, The Orgeron! is Bald Bull. He may not be from Istanbul, Turkey, we're still checking on that, but charging rhino that is The Orgeron! draws his fair share of comparisons, mainly involving that trademark finishing move. If you see it coming, you know exactly what to do, and its an easy KO. For many lesser opponents, too bad Ole Miss doesn't have many this year, it can be too much to handle. For the rest of us, its a matter of staying alive until The Orgeron! screws up...and even if you get knocked around, a good fighter has plenty of continues saved up to get past him.
Super Macho Man-Chuck "The Chest" Amato
I'm probably overrating Coach Amato at this point, placing him at the #1 contender slot, but I'm sure he's used to it. Super Macho Man, like The Chest, focuses on intimidating his opponent with his tremendous size and stature. Anyone remember playing him? He's freaking huge! Attempting to do the same with his trademark pectorals, Chuck has yet to find similar success and may always wind up second-best despite all of his posturing.
Mike Tyson-Maurice Clarett:
Last but not least, Maurice Clarett, prisoner #007-373-5963. The career arcs of the former college star and the heavyweight phenom are oddly similar, except Iron Mike never ran from the cops while wearing a bulletproof vest. There is no doubt in my mind that, had Mike had access to such an arsenal in the 80s, he would have been the pioneer of the crazy police chase long before OJ bought his Bronco. The sum amount of the talent wasted by these two is incalculable, but at least we have one of the sweetest Nintendo games ever to commemorate Mike Tyson's brand of crazy. Here's hoping Mo gets one of those evil-supervillain tattoos over his eye.
Trev Alberts is currently roaming the squared circle for CSTV. He could never figure out why Little Mac trained in a pink sweatsuit.