The calendar says it’s Sports Games Week here at the pond.
Let’s talk about NBA Jam, one of the most disappointing video games of all time, despite the fact that many fondly remember this title as among their favorite sports games ever.
And let me be perfectly, crystally clear: I am speaking from experience. I have played authentic, physical copies of both NBA Jam and NBA Jam: Tournament Edition. I have played the arcade machine multiple times in different locations. Yet, in all of my play:
I never once received any jam.
Not an ounce, not a milliliter, not a sack or a gram or a spoonful or a gallon or even a faint whiff.
Where is my NBA Jam?!
I like jam. In fact, I prefer jam over jelly for its enhanced spreadability. I am fond of blackberry jam. I am also fond of NBA basketball, so I am sure I would be quite a fan of NBA Jam — if such a thing existed, of course, which it apparently does not.
This leaves me feeling like I am missing out on something, like there is a precious experience out there waiting to be had but I cannot grasp it, like a part of my very self is gone, like I have been duped and betrodden and betrayed.
First of all, it’s a blatant case of false advertising. There is no way around that.
Simpler, though, is the fact that I just want some freakin’ jam.
I want to taste the acrid pig-fleshy tinge of hard leather rolling across my tongue as the orange-brown goop slides down my throat with a carnal, ravishing sensual pleasure and ease. I want to breathe deep of the essence of sweat drops and hardwood that were slapped into the basketball with each dribble, the remnant fingerprint grease of every player that got a hold of it.
I want to spoon the NBA Jam over the ropey tendrils of the twin nets and feel the sensory dissonance of trying to grind my teeth over their stubborn sinews. I want my jaws to ache, to unhinge entirely, as I slurp down inch after inch of the jam-soaked strands of late-game glory.
I want to squeeze Charles Oakley’s manly thighs in a hydraulic press until his taut skin bursts open violently with a spill of blood and fatty tissue. I want to hear him scream in physical agony as I process his tender flesh into a tasteful concoction I can spread over a morning bagel. I want to lick the tears off his chiseled face. I want his adrenaline to pump so thick that I can smell it. I want to savor every moment that his spongy chunks of bodily mass spend in my mouth, letting the liquid ichor of his masculine meat pool on my tongue, radiating its gamey, musky taste sensation throughout my upper body.
But, no, I will never receive such pleasure.
The NBA Jam is a lie.