You’ll never hear his name mentioned as one of the old greats on Monday Night Football, but his name is a shibboleth of the Tecmo Super Bowl (TSB) ardent- a passphrase to identify the most die-hard fans of the greatest 8-bit sports simulation ever created. Utter his name around anyone who grew up playing TSB and a mix of fear, reverence, and envy washes over their face.
In the real world, Wayne played only a few seasons of professional football and had precious few post-season appearances. In the TSB world, Wayne Haddix is a god- an Olympian immortalized in a low-resolution, frozen snapshot of terrifying physical prowess.
- 44 Hitting Power
- 69 Quickness
- 75 Maximum Speed (Tied for highest)
- 75 Interceptions (Highest)
Here’s a single game highlight video showing Wayne picking off Steve Walsh eight, yes eight (8!) times.
How is the best defensive back in the best Nintendo game ever created totally unknown in real life?
Check out Wayne’s Wikipedia page. It’s like a stub, there’s nothing there. Scroll over to the history section however, and you can see the ongoing edit controversy. It’s a waging war between those of us that understand Tecmo Super Bowl’s importance in the history of humankind and the tight-pantsed dorks that refuse to acknowledge the value of Wayne’s impressive virtual accomplishments.
From what we can tell, Wayne had exactly one stellar season playing for Tampa Bay in 1990.
- He started every game
- He had 7 interceptions
- He returned them for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns
If Michael Lewis (The Blindside, Moneyball) was available he might do some digging into Tecmo Super Bowl’s programming and release history. Could we back out the Japanese number-crunching formula that turned 1990 football stats into Tecmo Super Bowl player stats?
In fairness, there was no way to know at the time that Wayne’s stellar season was a fluke and not indicative of his future career. Michael Lewis would dig into the human story around Wayne’s 1990 season, culminating in a trip to the Pro Bowl. When he was flying back from Hawaii, tanned, laughing and on top of the world, where was he in his contract with the Buccs? Did he have a Jerry McGuire-esque agent go to bat for him? Maybe he secured a lucrative 5 year, $40 million contract that the Bengals, his next team, had to negotiate him out of after his completely lackluster follow-on season?
The story is out there, but unfortunately we’re not professional journalists with that kind of time, so with the rest of the Tecmo Super Bowl world we’re left asking: