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Tecmo Super Bowl Tourney Draws Dozen Fans to Pizza Time

Two fans of a nostalgic Nintendo Entertainment System video game organized a tournament at Pizza Time Saloon on Saturday

Jeremy Haring, of Norristown, was right at home Saturday in the upstairs sports bar at Pizza Time Saloon, with Nintendo controller in hand and 8-bit pixelation of the Buffalo Bills on the HDTV screen.

"My buddy comes here after work, and took a picture of the tournament flyer and sent it to me. He knows I play this religiously," said Haring, not batting an eye from the screen. "It's a classic."

Pizza Time was turned into a nostalgic NES and Super NES paradise Saturday during the first-ever "Tecmo Super Bowl" Tournament.

The event was the brainchild of Collegeville resident Dave Mancini and Dave Eyes, two friends who continue to love the simplicity of the original Nintendo to this day.

"We used to play 'Tecmo' back in the day. We recently ran back into each other and started hanging out and playing 'Tecmo' again," Mancini said. "We realized there are people our age who still play it. Everybody loves it."

They discussed the idea of a tournament, and word got around and interests piqued. Eyes' wife, Tara, the bar manager at Pizza Time Saloon, helped to organize the event for Saturday, Oct. 20 at noon.

Five NES and Super NES systems were plugged in around the upstairs, where people could practice their skills before taking part in the elimination tournament.

Mancini and Eyes started out buying a bunch of Super Nintendos online. Then, they found out that most 'Tecmo' fans preferred the game on the original NES system.

"So we scurried around to find some. If we do it again, we'll buy newer systems," Mancini said. "We're happy with the turnout. We hoped to have 10 to 12, and we got 12. If we do it again, we want to have 20 people." 

Why the love of the original Nintendo and orginal "Tecmo Super Bowl"?

"It's simplistic," Mancini said. "There's a lot of strategy in the game. It's very basic. If you're familiar with the game, you know the ins and outs of it."

There's also a bit of nostalgia to it too.

"You're going back to your childhood," said Mancini. 

CJ Russo, of Norristown, had not played the game in about 15 years.

"It's a fun idea. It's a good idea," he said. "It felt right."

Russo was inspired to dust off his old Nintendo in his basement.

"It wants me to bring it out," he said. "I loved 'Contra,' 'Super Mario.' My favorite game was probably 'Tecmo Super Bowl.' But it doesn't show right now."

It was Joe Swaim's first time playing "Tecmo Bowl" on Saturday. He had to be taught how to play from his son-in-law, Edward Barger.

"It was easy to pick up," he said.

So much so, that Swaim moved ahead in the tournament, while Barger lost in his first round.

Video games aren't strangers to Swaim, of Upper Gwynedd: He used to own a Commodore 64.

"I've played Nintendo before, when my kids were kids," he said. "I'm young at heart and I like to try new things. It's a pretty good activity."

Everyone involved loved the fact that the tournament was held at Pizza Time.

"It's a good bar. Good atmosphere. I like the upstairs. There's a lot of TVs," said Russo. 

"The bar gives you a lot of different things to do," said Swaim. "You got the upstairs, you got the downstairs, there's good food. There are nice people that come here." 

All who played said they would definitely come back for another tournament.

"I'll be better next time," said Swaim.

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