In December 1991, Nintendo released Tecmo Super Bowl to a worldwide audience.
Tecmo Super Bowl was for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and included the names and attributes of the National Football League. It was based on the 1990-91 NFL season, which was 30 years ago.
The game has a cult following and is still popular with players who use emulators to play the game on other systems and computers with updated NFL teams, or even college teams. So the University of Florida Gators could be playing the Purdue University Boilermakers. Or the Brown University Bears could battle the Princeton University Tigers.
In the original NFL version, Lawrence Taylor from the New York Giants was an unstoppable defender, while Bo Jackson from the Los Angeles Raiders could not be defended, and the Buffalo Bills, led by Jim Kelly, were quite good. Tecmo had a 16-game NFL schedule and then a playoff format in which a player could lead his chosen “team” to the Super Bowl. But as the playoffs progressed, the games got more and more difficult.
For Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), he begins the Round of 12 of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and knows, like Tecmo, the races and competition will get much more difficult.
Fortunately for Harvick, he’s led the point standings since March and has a big advantage behind a career-high nine wins and counting.
As always, he will have the help of Mobil 1 as a sponsor and partner at Las Vegas, and that relationship has paid off nicely for Harvick with those nine wins in 2020. Included in those wins was the early August doubleheader weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, where with just one Ford engine in more than 90-degree air temperatures both Saturday and Sunday, he totaled 634 miles and came home with two trophies thanks to the advantage Mobil 1 technology gave him and the No. 4 team.
In the late-August doubleheader weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Harvick finished fourth Saturday and won Sunday, and his engine went 622 miles with air temperatures in the 80s. Afterward, Harvick said simply, “Thank you to Mobil 1. They put a lot into the oils and lubricants in these cars and grinding to find more horsepower and less drag. It is an honor to drive for these guys.”
Harvick opened the playoffs with a win in the crown jewel Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, which is known for tearing up racecars during the Labor Day-weekend heat. It didn’t affect Harvick or his team this year as he led 32 laps en route to victory.
Mobil 1 isn’t just the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, it also provides the entire SHR team with leading lubricant technology, ensuring that all SHR Mustangs have a competitive edge over the competition on the track. In its 18th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series.
Harvick now heads to Las Vegas for Sunday’s South Point 400. Las Vegas is a place where Harvick has had a lot of success, with wins in March 2015 and 2018 and a Busch pole in March 2019.
In 2015 at the 1.5-mile oval, he started 18th, led five times for a total of 142 laps and beat runner-up Martin Truex Jr., by 1.640 seconds. In the March 2018 race, he started second and dominated by leading 214 of 267 laps en route to beating runner-up Kyle Busch by 2.906 seconds.
Harvick has six top-five finishes and 10 top-10s at Las Vegas. The 44-year-old driver has led 679 laps, has an average starting position of 15.8, an average finish of 13.9, and has completed 93.9 percent – 5,541 of 5,900 – of the laps he’s contested there.
He also has 2004 and 2010 NASCAR Xfinity Series wins at Las Vegas and started three NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races there in the late 1990s.
It’s also going to be a special race for the family of the late Terry Chesbro as Harvick and the No. 4 team support the Martin Truex Jr., Foundation and the NASCAR Foundation. Chesbro died on July 3, 2019 after a long cancer battle and, sadly, that was also the birthday of Chip Chesbro, his younger brother. Chip Chesbro is a big Harvick fan, but his brother Terry was his hero. Terry’s name will appear above the driver’s door of Harvick’s Mobil 1 Ford Sunday as a tribute to the fight against cancer.
The Round of 12 starts Sunday and Harvick is hoping to win to lock himself into the Round of 8, get more points and make the family of the late Terry Chesbro happy.
Plus, if anyone has ever won a playoff game in Tecmo Super Bowl, it’s usually quite the celebration.