A Look Back - A Graphical Look Back
The American Tecmo Association, commonly referred to as the "ATA" was founded in 2002. It originated as OTFL Pool 4, a type of minor league for the great OTFL where new coaches would train and play. Coaches would start in Pool 4 and work up through Pool 3 and Pool 2 before joining OTFL
During the inaugural run, Mr. Beef, the commissioner of OTFL, decided that he could no longer stretch his resources to cover the duties of being the commissioner of the young league. "Sonic", a member of the league would take over and take the reigns of Pool 4, or "p4". Bruddog would win the championship in the first season, one of the first of many for Bruddog.
Dissention was forming in OTFL and its Pool System. The OTFL however was the most successful league in online Tecmo history by 2001. Online Tecmo was gaining a steady following and OTFL was at the forefront of the charge. The constant desire to play online helped OTFL keep the pools together for a little longer. Bruddog would return to the championship game but fall to Mysterio6044. Season 2 would mark the end of the OTFL affiliation.
The OTFL had deliberately scrapped the pool system for various reasons, but under the guidance of new commissioner Mort1237, the league and its members disbanded from the OTFL and became an independent league. It was now known as the #1 Tecmo Football League, or TFL.
The league would go on to have a great season under its new name and new leader. The stay at the Tecmobowl.org forums was a great time for the league, as it was also host to the Global Tecmo League, and what would eventually become the sister league to ATA, the Classic Tecmo League. Unfortunately, Kimrari, the owner of Tecmobowl.org, which hosted a handful of leagues, and TFL commissioner Mort had a fall through and decided to part ways in June 2003, part of which stemmed from members of the league getting banned and unable to view the league happenings on the message board.
Commissioner Mort knew that for the TFL to emerge as a strong league for its 4th season, a new message forum was going to be critical. A formidable new Tecmo site with forums and site hosting was established, known as Tecmoworld.com. Shortly after the league landed in the forums, now independent from the dictation of Kimrari, Mort would leave as commissioner of the TFL, but would come back later to play a season without the responsibilities of running the league. In would step Shawn Probst and "The Dirty One". With help from the likes of Eifersucht, GoBlue2400, the idea of league success and stability would start to take root. In celebration of its newfound freedom, the league decided to change its name to fit. The American Tecmo Association was born.
GoBlue2400 would take over from the onset for the overworked Probst. Success was coming quickly to the newly donned "ATA" and at one point the league had as many as 10 people waiting to get in the 20 team league. Commissioner Blue gave it a mighty effort, but the cost of league success was a burnt out commissioner. Blue would inform TDO, TecmoWorld co-founder, that he could no longer run the league. "Endzone" would have a brief stint as commissioner of ATA, but personal problems would pull him off the job, leaving on good terms. TDO himself would take the post as commissioner. Though Eifer did not win the championship, this particular season marked some interesting facts about him. At this point in ATA history, Eifer remains the only original member since the inception of the league. Enjoying early success, Eifer would lead the Cincinnati Bengals to the AFC championship in season 1. In the 4th season, Eifer would finally land his dream job of coaching the New York Giants, and became the only owner to lead a team into the playoffs with an undefeated record. His Giants would go on to lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs to the Seattle Seahawks, but Eifer had yet to have a losing season. The Packers would defeat the Dolphins in what would later be dubbed "American Bowl 4"
The league would finally attain a major part of the vision of former commissioner Mort as it established a stats database thanks to TecmoAaron, and a solid core of owners that are expected to see the league well into the future. Edgefan won America Bowl V the first of what could be many titles for Edge.
This season became a benchmark for all seasons to follow. Numerous league records were destroyed, and the league had its first taste of a dynasty, via coach Edgefan who lead his 49ers to back to back American Bowl Championships V and VI, winning both becoming the first two time champion of the league.
The league learned a hard lesson in season number 7: Less is more. 20 teams proved to me too much for the otherwise thriving league. The New York Giants defeated the San Francisco 49ers in American Bowl VII , denying the 49ers a chance at an unprecedented 3rd title giving Eifer the title after a 7 season odyssey.
After a restructuring of the league, the 16 team, 4 division league would pull off a rare occurrence. Not one team needed a replacement coach over the duration of the season, the first in online Tecmo history. The league would go 3 full seasons without having to replace an owner. The 49ers would make it to a 4th consecutive American Bowl, but instead of winning 3 out of 4, they fell to 2-2 in American Bowls, losing back to back championship games in AB VII and VIII, after winning V and VI. Nostalgia47 won the super match up 27-14, giving him the title many think he deserved back in season 3, and the New Orleans Saints were American Bowl VIII champions!
This season carried the torch from season 8, but with the new implementation of rotating divisions. The league sparked new interest with the original concept of tiered divisions, and giving birth to new rivalries. The playoffs were nothing short of spectacular, and America Bowl IX was a rematch of VIII, with an almost identical outcome. New Orleans 28, San Francisco 14. The 49ers made their 5th consecutive appearance in the American Bowl. A great finish to a great season and a precursor to the highly anticipated anniversary season 10, and America Bowl X.
Season 10 fully showed the power of the skill based divisions. Every team excelled playing other teams on their skill level and proved that ATA had once again became the innovators in something that brings another level to a Tecmo league. Bruddog returned after a 8 season hiatus to not only win his division again but claim the American Bowl for a second time. Fro managed to make his first online championship game and hung with Bruddog most of the way. Kaberger won the "lowly" pool 4 division but proved the pool 4'ers are not just unskilled Tecmoers, as he not only made the playoffs as the #3 seed, but beat his first round opponent. All in all Season 10 was one of the most competitive we have had and ATA will continue to live on strong for quite some time. By completing season 10, ATA became the first current rom league to make it through 10 seasons (even before former parent OTFL) and second only to the High Speed Tecmo League.
Season 11 was over as quick as it started. In 3 months the league completed 20 weeks of games, and only 4 didn't get played. While longtime players Agent and Houlie left, we picked up 3 very good players in Ihoagied and BigHock (both returning to the league) and Carmelhoops who hopes to follow in the footsteps of so many other great rookies who got a start in ATA. This season was the first time in 3 seasons that the Stars and Bars Champion was not in the American Bowl as we saw long time ATA'er Chaos defeated Agnee 24-21. The league continues its roll with no sign of slowing down. Long live ATA!
Season 12 was gearing up to be one of the best in ATA. A couple owners had to be replaced mid-season which is unusual for the league, however Lords shined in his first season, but lost the division on a technicality. Other people stepped up, including new comer Canes, to join the league and all fit in nicely with the league. The playoffs came and went and Nostalgia won the championship in one of the most exciting Tecmo championship games. The game had two 21 point swings and had to be decided by OT. At the end of the season Nos announced his retirement, becoming the 3rd straight person to leave following a championship victory.
Season 13 was a return to glory in terms of showing online Tecmo why ATA is a heavy hitter. For the first time in league history all games were completed within the deadline and games came in very quickly reminiscent of Season 8. Another flashback from the past was Eifer's Giants and Edge's 49ers squaring off for the 3rd time in the American Bowl. Eifer won the contest and further solidified himself as a prominent ATA Hall of Famer. This season set the foundation for Season 14 which will be the first time the league will have over 20 owners since season 3.
Season 14 saw ATA expand to 23 teams. The last time ATA expanded it didn't go very well. After a rough start where owners had to be replaced ATA chugged along at a great pace. Season 14 saw the arrival of the 513 (Hake, Lefty, BigMV, and Vogtcd), Opus, and Bigflu among others. ATA also saw Edgefan's final season. Edgefan's departure and Lefty's winning the American Bowl in his first season was the culmination of what would be seen as the passing of the torch into a new era for ATA going into a historic 15th season.
Season 15 was a very competitive season that was full of surprises and great plays. Season 15 was also the first season to see the website undergo one last transformation to streamline things. The season was a great one with few owner turnovers as ATA was soon to be treading into unheard of waters in terms of league longevity.
Season 16 was another great season for the league and online Tecmo. ATA became the first league to finish 16 seasons. The playoffs saw a first for the league as well when the top seed won every game until American Bowl 16. BigMV would keep the trophy in the 513 by by beating Opus12 for the Caudill Trophy. The passing of the torch in season 14 would be solidified after this season with 2 "newer" players beating numerous veterans on the way to the title game. Online Tecmo is alive and well with the new blood as ATA becomes the first league to begin season 17.
Season 17 was another great season that was strengthened by newcomers. ATA became the first league to finish 17 seasons. The playoffs featured 9 teams for the first time. Late season turnover and the dis-interest of AgneePatel were the reasons. DaBoy would keep the trophy from returning to the 513 by by beating LilLefty in a desynced championship game. The passing of the torch in season 14 would be solidified after this season with 2 "newer" players beating numerous veterans on the way to the title game. Online Tecmo is alive and well with as ATA rolls towards season 18 with a self up loader and automized draft system.
Season 18 was another great season that was a sign to come, not only in ATA but in Online Tecmo. A few new guys didn't pan out, including the return of RickTheSharkster, the season 3 American Bowl champion. Daboy8821 capped off a perfect 16-0 season, the first since season 4. Opus12 finished another strong season and continued to collect titles in other leagues. This would set up a highly anticipated American Bowl game that pitted the now 29 straight win Cowboys versus the Dolphins for the big prize. DaBoy would cap off a perfect season, a first in ATA and push his streak to 30 straight wins. The end of Season 18 also brought much chatter as ATA found 4 solid owners, some new, some returning to make Season 19 a 28 team league for the first time since season 2.
Season 19 was another great season, even with what many seemed as an unnecessary expansion to 28 teams. A few bumps at the start of the season resulted in a few replacements, overall the season was a success. JimmyB06 and LilLefty021 were the only members booted after games commenced. Jimmy for failing to get enough games in and Lefty for not making a true effort to get his playoff game in. There was a lot of energy and excitement with a classic battle for the title. TSBGod finally won a division in the league and stormed to his first bowl appearance. Daboy who finished 2nd best, only to TSBGod met him there as returning back to back champion in an epic #1 vs. #2 game. The game was close and hard fought, but TSBGod finally achieved his 13 season odyssey of winning the ATA crown.
Season 20 started off a little slow with a few owners not able to make it to the six game market. After some changes and a slow start the league finished strong. A few guys stepped up to the next level including TecmoPsycho, who finished 12-4 after a 0-16 season prior. The playoffs were stocked full of contenders that provided excitement and no sure answers as to who the next champion would be. Relative newcomer Regulator088 along with perennial contenders Daboy and TSBGod finished atop the SNB with 13-3 records. Tiebreakers gave the division to Regulator and the #1 seed which he rode all the way to Bowl to face defending champion TSBGod. With an actual trophy on the line for the first time in ATA Regulator nabbed a close game with a 24-14 win and as the sunset on online tecmo's first 20th season, ATA is looking to turn it up again with season 21 firsts, innovations, and surprises.
Season 21 saw a lot of things come to fruition for the league. The website was finally finished after years of work. The website was stable enough for complete accuracy of stats while letting owners make weekly alignment changes. The 8 bit player faces were done away with in favor of a more modern actual photo of the player. The Hall of Fame started catching up with voting on retired players by position and inducted some players who waited a considerable time. The game play itself was very solid and only saw 7 replacements come in to finish things off. 4 of those would be for the Lions and Seahawks who couldn't seem to keep an owner. A strong season saw the shattering of the receiving years in a season record. The playoffs would send the undefeated Cowboys and Daboy against last season's champion Eagles and Regulator. Daboy would cap the season with his 3rd title and 2nd perfect season in the last 5 seasons. Another successful season for the longest continuously running league in online tecmo and still the only league to give real awards!
The more things stay the same the more things change. Season 22 played out in typical fashion. There wasn't many profound spots during the season, it played out with players finishing in their respective slots with little surprise. The surprise came when it was announced that 13 of the 24 teams would make the playoffs. This was done for the fact that a few players (GorillaBrav, Tadaos, BigFlu112) had to leave the season a little early which complicated the playoff order. To be fair it was decided a one time event in ATA of having over half the teams make the playoffs was necessary. Johny_Mx surprised a few guys when he was able to make it past the first round of the playoffs. The bigger surprise was DiscDolo coming into his own and and beating fellow ATA up and comer Psycho to get into the American Bowl for the first time in his career. He would fall short and give Regulator his 2nd championship in ATA who had to beat perennial favorite Daboy to get into the championship game.
This season saw new blood come into the league. Two of the Four newcomers would hastily leave after the season (Gridiron, 8Bit). The remaining two (Fagundes, Dukesta) showed a lot of promise to be pillars for the league. While the suffered the typical ATA Rookie slump, they were consistently among the first two to finish their games each release. A big surprise for the season was Commissioner TDO. TDO, who has gotten off to fast starts before, and reached the playoffs with Wild Card berths in the past, would end the season with 10 wins, the Pool 4 Division title, and his first playoff win in a close fought victory of the departing Johny_Mx. The conference game would return him back to reality as the combination of skill and luck he would succumb to Daboy to end his run 1 game before the American Bowl. On the flip side of the playoffs, Kweh had achieved the success many had seen for him. He beat Dolo to advance to his first American Bowl before falling to Daboy. Daboy won his 2nd ATA DR Caudill trophy in the last 3 years and his 4th in his career.
Season 24 would see an influx of new blood with Cuban, Suicide, CocoNuts, and Mort's brother Lou joining the league. The changing of the guard could be felt with other newer to the league player's stepping up as well. Fagundes would power his way to a 12-4 record and Coach of the year in his second season. Addic, would reach the championship game in his 5th season defeating tsbgod and kweh before falling in a close fought match up to Regulator. Regulator's win gave him his 3rd championship in his six seasons. The ATA website would finally reach completion after numerous coding changes and design styles. Season 24 was a resounding success that re-affirmed ATA's status as a premeire league in tecmo and a breeding ground for championship players.
Season 25 would be an end of an era for ATA. After this season the league would downsize to 16 teams for the forseeable future due to departures from Kweh, Flu, Lou, Bama, and others. This wouldn't be a bad thing though as it enabled the league to alternate AFC and NFC players each season keeping the ratings fresh and maximizing all 32 NFL teams. For the season Duke stepped up and outshined the rest of Pool 4. Disasta would edge out Fagundes in a stellar competition in TFA for the division crown. Disasta would continue his excellent play advancing to the semi finals before hitting the road block known as Daboy. American Bowl 25 would feature the classic battle of Regulator and Daboy with the final being a close 24-21 victory for the boys from Frisco.
Season 26 brought a new feel to ATA as the league dropped from 24 owners to 16, because in ATA, anything less than dedication is accepted. The quest for championship was hopeful to many due to the back to back champion in season 24 and 25, Regulator, taking a season off. The contenders were highlighted by Ones11Fauzu going 13-3 and winning the TFA division, and Disastmasta142, who returned and won his division for the second season in a row. These two would ultimately falter to TSBGOD and Daboy. Daboys' cowboys beat the TSBGOD Patroits 28-10 in the championship game. This was Daboys 5th ATA champsionship of his career.
Season 27 continued the trend set in Season 26. The quest for the championship was wide open. Regulator failed to make the playoffs due to unplayed games after an attempt at a return. Joeygats was a favorite looking to win his first ATA championship. There was also the typical front runners Daboy and TSBGod in the mix along with Nos who found the fountain of youth and started to dominate like he did during his multi title reign 20 seasons ago. The big surprise came from relative newcomer Hoffnasty though. Hoff plowed through the playoffs and handidly won the Pool 4 Division Crown then went on and defeated Disasta and Daboy to become the first Pool 4 player to appear in the American Bowl championships. The Cinderella story would end there as he fell to JoeyGats in the title game. Hoff would easily win Coach of the Year and has continued to step up and help not only ATA but sister league CTL with admin duties. The losses of Regulator, Dolo, and TSBGod will still in the short term but the return of Canes and a few up and coming players will keep ATA in the running for best league. Online Tecmo may possibly be in the twilight of it's tenure but ATA will remain a constant should the inevitable occur thanks to owner who give a damn and staying ahead of the trends in the community. Long Live ATA.
Season 28 was a success on many levels. Owner turnover not only stabilized but at the final regular season deadline closed only 1 game didn't get played across 16 weeks. Joey, Daboy, Hoff, and Disasta were in a league of their own this year. GoNick returning to the league made a huge splash but went missing in the last few weeks, and didn't make the playoffs due to the lone unplayed game (and no showing). Canes was able to make the playoffs and got a season 15 playoff rematch against Joey but couldn't capitalize. Daboy would crush Disasta in the playoffs before succumbing to Joey who leaves ATA as back to back Champ. A few owners are opting not to return for season 29, but there places were quickly filled including the return of perennial playoff contender TSBGod.
This season would be a bit of a struggle to get through as tecmo interest was at an all time low. The league powered through with some interesting stories. Hoffnasty would succumb to a 4-12 campaign, WarMachine would find his grove with an 11-5 outing, while Tecmo Psycho would continue to hover around .500 for the 5th straight year even though he found much success live in tournament play. Regulator would come back to the league and the result would be a minimum 2 season ban for his lack of effort. WarMachine would run through Suicide, Daboy, and Disasta to claim the Season 29 title. The future would look bright as WarMachine, Disasta, Suicide, and Storks made huge strides to give the consistent Daboy, TSBGod, and Canes competition for more seasons. Unfortunately, the decline in tecmo affected ATA and this would be the last season of 16+ owners for the forseeable future. WarMachine, Disasta, Daboy, Psycho, and Nos would all bow out of the league. ATA has also been able to change with the times and as we head to season 30 expect no less.