For the past few years I've been simulating the Super Bowl on PC, first in 2019 with a game called Super Slam Dunk Touchdown (in which Tom Brady dunked a bowling ball through a basketball hoop on a soccer field covered with banana peels (opens in new tab)) and then last year using a DOS game from 1987, where a player named Muffins made several key plays (opens in new tab).
Those were both obviously goofs, so I'm genuinely excited this year to have a game I can actually use for a proper, legit simulation: Legend Bowl (opens in new tab). I wrote about Legend Bowl back in December (opens in new tab), and don't let the pixelated graphics fool you. It's an amazingly deep and robust American football game, and it's completely customizable so I can accurately recreate the entire rosters of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs and simulate a game between them.
With Legend Bowl's editor I can modify teams, redesign their jerseys and colors to match reality, and change everything about a player from their names to their looks to their attributes, including skill level, strength, speed, stamina, agility, and how prone they are to injury.
So, all I needed to do was go through the entire Super Bowl roster of each team, examine their season stats and current health, and come up with a formula to translate their real-life abilities and skills into Legend Bowl's statistics. But when I realized that sounded like a few days of staring at spreadsheets and performing tedious data entry, I decided instead to simulate the 2021 Super Bowl using Jerry Rice & Nitus' Dog Football (opens in new tab).
From the Steam store page description: "Hall of Fame wide receiver, Jerry Rice and his dog Nitus hit the canine gridiron for some family-friendly, seven-on-seven action. Sports just aren’t for humans anymore! The dogs have turned pro as they compete alongside their owners for the coveted golden hydrant."
And hey, there are still plenty of customization options in Jerry Rice & Nitus's Dog Football. I name my team TAMPA BAY BU (that's all that will fit). I pick their jerseys and make one dog wear a hat. To simulate Tom Brady, I choose a quarterback who looks like a rich white lady. Feels pretty accurate to me.
Unfortunately, I mess up and accidentally start the Super Bowl before I notice that I'm also simulating The Chiefs' QB Patrick Mahomes as another rich white lady. Sorry, Patrick. That was an error on my part. With that behind us, let's get to the game taking place in Pooch Plaza, which looks like a Florida strip mall and matches my memories of a weekend I spent in Tampa back in 1996.
Here are the highlights and stats of our simulated 2021 Super Bowl.
-The Buccaneers win the coin toss (heads) and choose to kick.
-The kickoff return falls short when two dogs on the Chiefs run directly into each other.
-Several dogs are given treats before the snap because they are good dogs.
-A poodle scores for the Chiefs when a Bucs defender (looks like a Yorkie) is too small to jump over a dog tunnel and has to run through it. Check out the play below:
-The extra point is good. For some reason, the extra point is also worth 5 points. New NFL rule, I guess. The Chiefs are out to an early lead of 11-0 on their first drive.
-Hey, there's a piano on the field. No explanation is given for this:
-The Bucs score a touchdown but miss the extra point because Tom Brady (the rich white lady who not only serves as QB but also the kicker) doesn't understand how the kicking minigame works despite being a 21-year veteran of the NFL.
-The Chiefs come right back on their next drive to score again. This time they go for a conversion, which would apparently be 10 points? Seems like a lot. Scoring in dog football is confusing. The conversion fails.
Score at the half: Chiefs: 17, Buccaneers: 6.
-The Chiefs' kickoff is returned for a touchdown, one of the most exciting things that can happen in football, if you ask me.
-It's also worth noting that the dog with the ball uses several escalators to avoid being tackled:
-The score is now 17-12, Chiefs still leading.
-The extra point(s) misses. Brady still can't figure out how to kick, and no one can figure out why Brady is kicking anyway.
-In the utterly shocking play shown below, a raccoon walks in from the sidelines and knocks down the Chiefs' player-dog who is attempting to run back the kick:
-No penalty is called and the raccoon is not identified or fined but is allowed to simply scamper away. Come on, refs!
-The Bucs defense really steps up, stopping a run before a first down. Then a Bucs collie sacks Pat Mahomes on two consecutive plays!
-Just a reminder that in this simulation Pat Mahomes is a white lady wearing a dress.
-More treats are dispensed.
-The Chiefs are forced to punt and Bucs recover it on the… well, I don't know what yard line it is, but it's near a big pile of Christmas presents.
-Tom Brady chooses to play with a rubber duckie instead of a football.
-Brady passes to a Yorkie who breaks a tackle and is taken down on the one yard line. This is the opportunity for the coach to issue challenge and a replay review, but that doesn't exist in this weird dog football game. I don't even think there is a coach. It looked to me like a touchdown, though. You be the judge:
-On the next play Brady gives the ball to the same dog, who gets close to the end zone, runs the wrong way through a dog tunnel, and still manages to score:
-With only 36 seconds left in the 4th quarter, the Bucs are up one point. It's 17-18. The extra point(s) attempt misses yet again. The Bucs haven't had a successful kick all day.
-The Chiefs poodle wastes a few seconds of precious clock time by climbing on top of a minivan and jumping off, and is tackled short of the 40.
-Mahomes fumbles the snap of the ball, which now appears to be a large stuffed bumblebee. There is a lot of disappointed barking.
-Mahomes throws an incomplete pass and a sad trumpet sound plays. The Chiefs make a first down on a long pass but there's only 2 second left on the clock.
-On the final play of the Super Bowl, the Chiefs complete a pass and the dog has an open field. It looks like a game-winning touchdown is inevitable!
-But the mysterious raccoon appears on the field again! The Chiefs' dog turns to avoid getting bitten, giving the Bucs time to close the gap for a tackle inside the 10 yard line. Here's the play, where you can see the damn raccoon in the top of the frame:
-The clock has run out and the Bucs win! Cash literally rains from the sky. Tom Brady dances in place and then starts talking into a pink phone, probably about the fact that a wild raccoon completely decided the outcome of Super Bowl LV.
Final score: Kansas City Chiefs: 17, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 18