My guests for this week's all-sports edition of "A Winner Is You" are Amir Blumenfeld and Ethan Trex, the duo behind CollegeHumor's weekly sports column Straight Cash Homey.

TALKING POINT: What's the best sports game that isn't based in reality?

Jeff: Mutant League Football is the obvious choice here. Here's a game that had it all: button-hooks, a deep playbook, bad puns, and explosive farts. It's an unbeatable combination.

Amir: Wrong, Jeff. An unbeatable combination is 50-50, air japan, revert-manual, one foot smith, air-jesus, revert-manual, and then a series of board tricks that make Rodney Mullen look like a retard on a two-by- four. The Tony Hawk series of games is the best alternative sports game. It's infinitely entertaining, and best of all it was educational. Did you guys know there is something called the Onigri Gap in Japan? Yeah, supposedly skaters do tricks off of it all the time.

Ethan
: This one's easy. NBA Jam. Full court two-on-two never looked so realistic. Between all of the easter eggs, Rony Seikaly, and the ability to catch fire, who cares that there's less defense than in a typical Globetrotters game? And really, who needs Michael Jordan when you've got Air Dog and not one, but two playable Clintons (Bill and George)?

Jeff: Jam had plenty of defense. I once saw programmer Ed Boon jump his entire height to block a shot by Sub-Zero. Sure, he still got called on goal tending but at least he prevented the other team from catching fire.

Ethan: Good point. I guess I want Arch-Rivals style punching in every basketball game.

Amir: Just watch the Pacers!!!! Also, the black-oil spills on their court is very Arch-Rivals-esque. And flat-out inexcusable.

Jeff: I've always hated the idea that the best sports games were the most realistic. The best sports games are the ones that distill the best elements of a real life game and extrapolate them into a fantasy world of players exploding on the field and homing buzzsaws. So let's just agree nothing will ever top Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball and move on.


TALKING POINT: We've seen how the presentation of video game sports can  imitate TV, but how have TV sports imitated video games?

Amir: We all remember EYE-Vision from SuperBowl XXXV. Several cameras around the stadium allowed broadcasters to rotate 360 degrees around the player mid-play. This is something Madden players have been used to for years. It's the ultimate way you rub in a good play. The best part is, nobody really knows how to FULLY control 360 mode in instant replays so the gloating lasts twice as long.  "Hold on! Let me show you how that touchdown looked IN SLOW MOTION!!!" (entire play in fast motion backwards)

Ethan: To me, the X-Games are nothing more than a TV adaptation of Excitebike. Also, John Madden now has fewer catch phrases than he did in Madden '96 for SNES. "Now that is the way to tackle!"

Jeff
: There's plenty of other examples – glowing pucks, NASCAR car identifiers, and magical first down markers.

Ethan: We've talked about this before, but the best Madden players could be competent NFL coaches. At the very least, they'd be better than Art Shell.

Jeff: Maybe Shell has been playing too much NFL Blitz. That would explain the time the Raiders went for a fake field goal on 2nd-and-8 from their own 30.

Amir: "Wait a second… here it comes!" (camera zooms in on the ball so much the whole screen turns brown) "Well, you remember the play. Touchdown city, suckaaa!'

Jeff: Also, as we all know, Ichiro Suzuki is a VR program that escaped the system a'la Russell Crowe in Virtuosity.

Ethan: He's a composite of the greatest base stealers and serial killers of all time. Believe it or not, Ty Cobb counts as both.

TALKING POINT: What's the best 16-bit-or-earlier sports game?

Ethan: Mike Tyson's Punch Out, and it's not even close. Exciting boxing action! Piston punches! Blatant racial stereotyping! Vodka Drunkinski! All combined with the greatest NES soundtrack ever.

Jeff: Goddamn it, that was mine too. Still the greatest boxing game ever. Give me a minute, I'll think of something else. Umm…. Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball?

Amir
: The original Tecmo Bowl is like 8-bit chess on a football field. Two teams, four plays, infinite combinations. For every plan there is a counter plan, and for every counter plan there is another counter plan. I know people will think I'm crazy for thinking this, but chess is probably based on Tecmo Bowl.

Jeff: Tecmo Bowl is in many ways the thinking man's chess, which makes Super Tecmo Bowl like that game they play in Star Wars where the pieces eat each other.

Amir: The best part is, Tecmo Bowl got the rights to using team cities and every players name, but not logos or mascots. So its like… "The Los Angeles Crawfish… starring Bo Jackson, Marcus Allen, and Howie Long!"

Jeff: I prefer games like that that got the league license but not the player's union, like Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball for the SNES. "Now batting, New York Yankees shortstop… Can O' Corn."

Ethan: Wait…does this mean my Can O' Corn throwback jersey isn't based on a real player?

Amir: My second place vote is Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular. Oh snoopy! You carry those pizza pies! Dumb dog.

Jeff: That pizza event was nearly impossible. I usually just plow forward and try to make up for it in the potato sack race.

Amir:  When snoopy won that Gold in the '36 Berlin games and stuck it to Hitler… that's probably the defining moment for the Peanuts gang. God I get chills just thinking about it.

Ethan: Whatever, you know it's Pig-Pen giving the Black Power salute after winning his gold.

Jeff: I always loved the skateboarding half of T&C Surf Factory, but I could never make heads or tails of the surfing. It's like that gorilla had a death wish. Easily the worst gorilla surfer I've ever seen, in real life or video games.

Amir: California Games footbag. Dodos, reverse dodos, and double arches never meant so much.

Ethan: Yeah, but did you ever catch the Frisbee?

Amir: Standing and diving.

Jeff: I've caught the Frisbee. However, I have never once performed a trick in footbag that wasn't just spinning. How the hell do you do a dodo?

Ethan: Only the footbag and the surfing were any fun on California Games. And where's the most important California game of all: making fun of Barry Bonds' head?

Jeff: Is the speed bike scene in Battletoads a sports game?

Amir: No.

Jeff: Good, because that shit was impossible.