Saturday, February 6, 2016

Super Bowl 50: The Tecmo Super Bowl Prediction

In my 8th annual Tecmo Super Bowl prediction, I'll be changing things up again. For the first five years, I picked the team I wanted to win the game, and I played a game of Tecmo Suer Bowl against the other team, which was controlled by the computer. Of course I always won, but when I picked the wrong team in 2014, we decided I should start allowing the computer to control both teams. (My prediction was wrong again in 2015.)

This year I had the computer controlling both teams again; however, the version of Tecmo Super Bowl that I now have on my phone includes modern teams and rosters. Technology! Unfortunately, my rosters were last updated for the 2014 season, so there are some differences. But we still got to see how Peyton Manning's Broncos performed against Cam Newton's Panthers... in an ancient video game.

Regardless of how we got there, the outcome of this year's Super Bowl is clear:

The Denver Broncos will defeat the Carolina Panthers. 

Here's why...

1st Quarter

Denver won the coin toss (there's your prop bet prediction), took the ball first, and started at its 45. Running back Montee Ball dominated from the beginning, as Manning mixed in passes to Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders. The drive stalled in the redzone though, after a third-down sack by Thomas Davis. The Broncos kicked a field goal to go up 3-0 and never trailed in the game.

The Panthers had nothing going in their first possession and quickly punted back to the Broncos. Luke Kuechly got a sack on the first play of the drive, but then Manning hit Sanders with a 20-yard pass and a first down to end the quarter.

2nd Quarter

Manning opened the quarter with passes to Ball and Demaryius Thomas, and then Montee carried the ball in (get it?) for the game's first touchdown. Denver led 10-0.

The Panthers struck right back. Newton scrambled for 30+ yards, completed a screen to Deangelo Williams, and then scored on another run to cut the score to 10-7.

Manning got the ball back and worked the two-minute drill like he does in real life, passing to Welker, handing off to Ball, and then throwing a 30-yard score to Ball on a screen. The Broncos led 17-7 at the half.

3rd Quarter

Newton opened the half by gaining some yards on the ground and completing a pass to Greg Olsen. But things stalled near mid-field when Terrance Knighton grabbed his second sack of the game (or the total amount of sacks he actually had in the entire 2014 season).

Still, kicker Graham Gano banged in a 62-yard field goal to cut Denver's lead to 17-10.

Carolina's defense put the team in great shape, forcing a punt after another sack by Davis. But Newton failed to complete a pass, and the Panthers punted it right back. Still, Carolina stopped Denver once again to force another punt at the start of the final quarter.

4th Quarter

Newton quickly completed a big pass to Olsen for 22 yards and looked ready to drive down and tie the game. Unfortunately, he was sacked on the next play and fumbled the ball. Denver's Danny Trevathan picked it up and ran it back the Carolina 11, essentially securing the win for Denver.

Ball took four rushes to get it in but finally made it 24-10.

Cam Newton threw four straight incomplete passes on the next possession (and of course, as a New Orleans Saints fan, I'd love to see this actually happen on Sunday). Manning took over, completed a pass to Julius Thomas, and then handed off to Ball for yet another touchdown. Broncos went up 31-10 to end the scoring.

Newton completed another pass to Olsen at the end of the game, but it was too late. He ended the game with 30 percent of his passes completed, compared to Manning's 90 percent. Newton did look good when he ran, but he wasn't nearly as good as Ball, who scored four times.

Here's a look at the final Tecmo Sports News. See you next year!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Speedgeek's Daytona Wrap Up

Sorry for the disappearing act there right around the end of the Daytona 24. As soon as the checkered fell, family duties had to take over for a few hours, meaning that I'm just now getting around to digesting what all we saw over the last two days and getting something down here.

What a finish, huh? Sure, the Prototype and overall finish was kind of in the bag for the #2 ESM Ligier-Honda through the final stint, as nobody had anything for Pipo Derani (he led a race-high 149 laps out of the 736 run). And the LMPC race was basically toast with a half an hour to go, as the #85 JDC-Miller Motorsports car won by four laps (though it was touching to see a visibly choked up Kenton Koch tell the Fox Sports crew, "we frickin' won it!" in victory lane). But the other two classes made up for that comparative lack of drama.

In GTLM, the two Corvettes cleared the #912 Porsche in the last half hour and then went to work on each other. Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette tried multiple times to get around Oliver Gavin in the #4, even getting around briefly once into Turn 1, only to leave his braking a touch too late, slide wide and Olly to slip by again. Eventually, the #4 car crossed the line about 3/4ths of a car length ahead of the #3, an impressive finish by one of the most storied teams in American sports car racing history.

And in GTD, Rene Rast in the #44 Magnus Racing Audi was nursing his fuel through the last stint, allowing the #28 Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini to get by with about nine minutes remaining. This situation flipped on its head five minutes later, though, as the Lambo sputtered and ran low on fuel through the infield, allowing the Magnus Audi back by. But, the question was whether the Magnus car would make it to the end or similarly sputter and have to come in as well. The tension on the Magnus webcast was incredibly high, with Sean Heckman chattering non-stop, obviously nervous but also not wanting to jinx anything. The scene in the Magnus pitbox as the #44 wheeled through the tri-oval for the last time was incredible, with the entire team erupting at once into ecstatic screaming and hugging. Nobody was quite sure if the car would make it until it was literally within sight of pit lane. What a finish. And anybody who saw the Magnus Racing 2016 video (have I talked about that at all here?) should be thrilled for those guys to be so richly rewarded with a great result after a horrible 2015.

So, we had a great finish to a fantastic 24 hours of racing. And to boot, we had an outstanding Blogathon here at GBS. Thanks to Mike and Allen for everything here all weekend, and I can't wait to do this again next year. Or maybe before then. I suppose we'll have to see. But perhaps I should just start with post #1 of my 584 part series about the best racing video games I've ever played...

See you all again soon.

One more Pick 'Em Challenge update before tonight

Here are point totals after the Daytona 24. (Feel free to check my math!)

Speedgeek - 27 + 2 + 7 + 18 + 5 = 59
Mike - 30 + 9 + 3 + 13 + 3 = 58
Wedge - 13 + 7 + 5 + 15 + 3 = 43

The only remaining scoring comes from tonight's NFL Pro Bowl. We all have Team Rice. Wedge is eliminated, and I can't win.

If 7 or fewer TDs are scored, Speedgeek wins. If 8 or more TDs are scored, Speedgeek and I tie.


Update: Wedge nailed it with 11 touchdowns. Speedgeek and I tie at 60 points each.

You guys let me do it again.

I'd just like to point out that I picked the 1st and 3rd place cars, making it two years in a row that I chose the winner. Part of me thinks this is so fun, that it might be good to finally dive in and start learning more about this stuff. But then, as I became more knowledgeable, I'd probably begin to overthink it, based on all of my awesome racing intelligence, and then I may never pick the winner again. There's something to be said for dumb luck!

Anyway, thanks to everyone for hanging with us, especially anyone who was around throughout the night. I'm hoping I can do my best to make 2016 a good year around here, and I'll have some Super Bowl stuff coming up. I'll post a points update in a bit.

The Magnus Webcast

It would behoove all of you to put on the webcast. RIGHT NOW.

Daytona - BONKERS!

The GTLM and GTD classes are wheel to wheel for the lead with under 10 minutes to go. The Magnus webcast just said that they'll need to come in for a splash of fuel, but there's speculation that the #28 Lamborghini won't have enough fuel, either.


Daytona - 58 Minutes to Go

We're right down to it here, with the #2 ESM Ligier-Honda and the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette battling straight up for the victory, and the #90 Visit Florida Racing Corvette lurking in the case that something strange happens with the top-2. GTLM is still super close, with three cars on the lead lap and two more just a lap down, and GTF is still a fracas, with the top-5 all on the lead lap (I think, there's a lag in the Timing and Scoring right now).

I'm buckling in with a beer (a Fat Bottom Ruby Red, my first beer of the day after the Highland Double Chocolate Milk Stout/Crackerjack fiasco last night) and putting some TV on in the other room to keep our little one occupied for the next hour. I'm sure there'll be a bathroom disaster with 4 minutes to go, but I guess that's why they invented DVRs.

Getting close to our final hour

I'm on my last beer, I'm recording keyboards for our new record, but my cars are in 1st and 3rd, and I'm trying to make a solid run at this Pick 'Em Challenge! They're kind of scaring me about the popping noise in the 2, though.

Is that a replay

or did he just shortcut through the grass again?

That car just took a shortcut through the grass

I do that all the time on Mario Kart. That's a solid move that I approve of. I mean, you should probably have a star or a mushroom to help get you through, but what do I know?