Sunday, February 2, 2014

Get Equipped With Lombardi Trophy

As is my custom, it is time to provide my annual Super Bowl prediction via simulation.

As is also my custom, it is time to not use the current version of Madden. That's expensive. You get the low-cost alternative of me grabbing an emulator and hauling out some 8- or 16-bit title.

In this case, Megaman Soccer. When you run a watch-mode game, the two teams are made up entirely of Megaman clones, one team in blue and one in red. Red's close to orange on the color wheel, so they'll represent the Broncos; the blue team will represent the Seahawks.

There are seven outfield players in addition to the goalkeeper. The Seahawks have chosen a 3-1-3 formation, while the Broncos have gone for a sweeper formation, a 3-2-2 with one defenseman behind the others.

There's no snow level on this game, so we can't emulate that, much as I'd love to, so they went ahead and picked that randomly. They went ahead and took the 'default' field, Rock Field (Mega Man's designated stadium). So we have that going at least. Halves are 5 minutes.


The Seahawks kick off, moving left to right, but the Broncos, moving right to left, immediately swipe the ball and start assaulting the Seattle goal. The Seahawks can get an occasional longball into the Denver half, but the Broncos are the ones making chances for the first minute. A power shot, though, is interrupted mid-charge, and what likely would have been the opening goal for Denver turns into a harmless cross that's easily intercepted. Not much gets going for a while after that; there's a fair amount of midfield kickabout. Several opportunities on goal die in front of the last man on defense without the goalies even needing to concern themselves with what's going on. The Seattle goalie, Megaman (do I even need to name them when they're all Megaman?), finally has to stop something with 2:19 left in the half, and then Seattle charges down to make the Denver goalie work seven seconds later.

This is not a large pitch we're working with.

Things quickly get back to Seattle's end of the field and the Seahawks goalie is put under more pressure. More shots are only prevented by timely slide tackles. Finally, with 1:17 remaining in the first half, a Bronco manages to charge up and connect from downtown, the ball knocking the Seahawk goalie away as it goes into the net. Broncos 1, Seahawks 0.

The Seahawks take the ball for the restart, but again the Broncos clamp down before any attack can take place. More attacks, more shots, more Seattle desperately trying to clear. With 11 seconds left, with the ball in Denver's half, a backpass goes wrong and a Seattle forward tries to clamp down on the ball to get a shot in, but isn't fast enough. A late charge here, a missed header there, and halftime goes, taking a budding Seattle attack with it.


The teams have both switched to 3-2-2 formations. Denver, now moving left to right, kicks off.  They punt the ball into their own half, maybe trying to build an attack from there seeing as Seattle's more direct approach ran into lost possessions as soon as they moved forward. But this doesn't work either, as the Seahawks, now moving right to left, press the Denver ballcarrier and force a scramble for freedom and a game of keepaway on the wrong side of the pitch. The Broncos do manage to get a weak shot off, but it's easily swiped and the counterattack is on.

The Seattle counterattack consists of inexplicable crosses from one part of the penalty area to a nearby part of the penalty area. One Seahawk manages to cross the ball to himself. Just pops it up in the air and... does absolutely nothing with it. The Broncos capitalize on this poor decision-making and move forward, but when it comes time for them to shoot, the Bronco with the ball crosses... directly to a Seahawk.

You'd almost think this wasn't the Super Bowl or something.

Finally, a Bronco manages to get a proper shot off, only for it to clang off the post. The rebound attempt is easily saved. The rest of the second minute of the half follows similarly before degenerating into more midfield kickabout. With 2:18 left, a Bronco brakes off and makes a strong attempt on goal, only to get knocked away by the diving Seattle goalkeeper. With additional shots over the next minute, the first half is repeating itself: the Seahawks get the occasional opportunity, but the run of play is clearly in Denver's favor. However, with a little over a minute left, Seattle gains some momentum and gets some shots off, though none that bother the Denver goalie much. They're shots. They're something. But they need to turn into something quick.

The Denver defenseman falling back to play sweeper isn't having any of it. The Broncos manage to cease the attack and run the clock down keeping the ball out of their penalty area. Just kick it. Anywhere will do.


Enjoy the game.

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