This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
I thought I was good at Tecmo Super Bowl.
Countless hours of my childhood, teenage years, and college afternoons were spent running wild with Bo and Barry, and destroying opposing quarterbacks with LT blowing by every right tackle on the game.
I had played out hundreds of seasons over the years, trying to break my own records by running kickoffs and punts out of bounds inside my own five-yard-line to max out yardage.
In fact, I'm sure there is an old notebook buried somewhere in my parents' basement commemorating a 3,500-yard season from Cardinals running back Johnny Johnson and a 40-TD season from Lions receiver Robert Clark.
Little did I know, many of the world's top Tecmo players were annually descending upon my hometown while I finished up my degree at the University of Wisconsin. More importantly, they were playing competitive games online together for years while I was mopping up against the computer and disinterested friends and roommates.
Last year, I signed up to play in the Tecmo Madison tournament – the 13th-year of what has become the world's premier competition.
I arrived the day of the tournament to check in at the registration table, with the hope of making a deep run toward 8-bit glory.
Nearly a hundred old CRT TVs were set up one after another in a packed local bar. Each TV had an original NES or a Hyperkin RetroN with a cartridge ready to go. As veterans of the event were meeting up with old