Down, set, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut…

If those words continue to ring in one’s head then it is likely they have at one point experienced the thrill of 1991’s Nintendo Entertainment System classic “Tecmo Super Bowl”. You might have found yourself sprinting downfield with the machine that was Bo Jackson, throwing a pass the length of the field with Joe Montana, or sacking the quarterback with the powerhouse that was Mike Singletary. All these memories ring true for any fan of the “Tecmo Bowl” series. Even with the game maintaining popularity among casual players in the modern era, many aren’t aware that the game today is more alive than ever in the competitive scene.

The date is March 9, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. People start pouring into the third floor of the Detroit Beer Company. Televisions are lined up side by side with big blue screens filling their corners. A line is formed off to the side where people are waiting to register for the event taking place. Today is Tecmo Kumite VII, Detroit’s premiere “Tecmo Super Bowl” tournament.

Tecmo Kumite’s co-founders Eric O’Dell and Matt O’Toole have been running the tournament out of Detroit since 2013. This year’s tournament saw the highest turnout yet with a total of 47 competitors. “(In) Detroit we started with 33, moved out to the suburbs where we had less numbers, then came back to the city because we realized we get a much bigger draw when we are back in the city. This one is our largest so far.” said O’Dell. The co-founders of Tecmo Kumite found each other while attending the same tournament in Madison, Wisconsin. “He had just started playing online. I recently had gotten back into it. That was both of ours first one (tournament), was their (Tecmo Madison’s) 6th one (tournament). That was definitely an inspiration. It was like, ‘We can do this on our own.’ Got to know each other and a couple years later we started our own.” said O’Dell.

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