For those of us who were consumed by the greatness that was the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), there was a basketball game that could make folks lose all of their home training in the span of 47 seconds. That game, was Double Dribble. If you were a Double Dribble video game aficionado then you were hip to the following:
- You knew about the hot spots. (Both baseline corners running out of bounds on the three-point line, the elbow-three from 30-feet)
- You knew that almost any defense you played was futile, so your only hope was to keep mashing the steal button incessantly.
- You knew that the national anthem music in the game could arguably be the third greatest anthem of all-time behind Marvin Gaye and Jim Cornelison.
While the game was relatively easy-to-play, playing against a friend could quickly turn into a hyper-competitive event. Could you imagine being able to play Double Dribble online in a league like this generation can today? (Check out esports betting opportunities here.) Cuss words could be exchanged, bets could be made and mamas would be talked about. That NES controller could barely withstand the constant beating it took from the user. Constant button-mashing, occasionally being thrown in a raging fury and sometimes even being gnawed on due to such frustration (Oh, just me? Ok.) was commonplace during Double Dribble games, as this was a natural matriculation for all young folks who grew up on the game.
However, just like a runningback finds a small crease in the line that can break open to daylight, in Double Dribble there would be a few instances where the lane would open up and a dunk could be attempted. A couple of things to note here:
ONE: Getting a dunk in Double Dribble was the equivalent of getting chocolate milk on Fridays in school.
TWO: Every time the screen went black-and-white and the dunk scene began, the room would get SUPER quiet.
THREE: Missing the dunk and hearing the CLANG noise was easily the worst sound in video game history. More than the doodle noise you heard when you fumbled the ball in Tecmo Bowl, more than the "INTERCEPTION" you'd hear when playing Madden, more than the "OOO-OOOH" grunt sound one would make after losing in Street Fighter II, more than hearing "FINISH HIM" once you failed to win in a game of Mortal Kombat.
That CLANGGGGGG will ruin your freaking day.
At that point, you were resigned to doing chores, alphabetizing your tape/CD collection, ironing all of your outfits for school next week, and sitting down with your grandmother to watch "the stories." Nothing else mattered, because the CLANGGGGG ruined your freaking day. Oh God how much I hated that Double Dribble game. Anyone want to play?
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”