Michael Poppy

Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal only faced each other in the playoffs once, but that was in MJ's shortened No. 45 season, so it doesn't even really count.

In the world of sports video games, however, Jordan and Shaq have a fierce battle that has been going on since the mid-90s, and the title owns the honor of worst sports video game.

Yes, "Shaq-Fu" is a horrible game, but there's no denying Michael Jordan: "Chaos in the Windy City" is even worse. Jordan's game was released months prior to Shaq-Fu, only setting up The Diesel for an awful backlash.

To prove how horrible it was, just hit the "start" button.

The game begins with His Airness heading to the gym for practice with his All-Star buddies, but they are nowhere to be found.

Suddenly, a golden messenger basketball appears from Maximus Cranium, saying that he took Jordan's teammates captive and that MJ must head to the Egypt exhibit at the Field Museum to save them from being used for special experiments.

As bad as this may sound, things only get worse for "Chaos in the Windy City." Jordan's weapon is, of course, a basketball. If basketballs can kill mummies and other enemies, Ron Artest should've been banned from the Association a long time ago.

But it gets better (or is it worse?): Jordan unlocks special items by dunking on random hoops (seriously, why would there be basketball hoops in the basement of the Field Museum?) and can upgrade to different basketballs. Oh, the choices: boomerang balls, homing balls, rebound balls, fire balls, ice balls, iron balls or grenade balls — which one should MJ pick?

And what game could go without a little advertising? I've never understood why video game characters heal by eating food, but Jordan gets his boost from Sprite and Gatorade.

This game is so bad it's good, unlike Shaq-Fu, which is so bad you want to smash the game cartridge to bits just for some excitement.

Dave McGrath

"Shaq-Fu"

Whenever the topic of conversation shifts to the worst in sports, there is only one name that should ever be brought up.

Shaq.

On the basketball court, Shaquille O'Neal is a sure-fire Hall of Famer and one of the best players in the history of the league.

Everywhere else he is the tubbo with glasses who is picked to play everything.

In film he made the train wrecks "Kazaam" and "Steel," both so bad they are hilarious.

In music he has recorded several stink bomb rap albums so rancid that they spawned their own Point-Counterpoint last year (see the March 29, 2006 Point-Counterpoint at www.badgerherald.com).

A mint condition edition "Shaq Talks Back" is currently selling for $3 on eBay, which speaks volumes.

But nowhere has Shaq made a worse impression in media than in the realm of video gaming, with the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad game, "Shaq-Fu."

The premise: Awful. Shaq stumbles into a dojo and then into a parallel universe to fight enemies, most of whom resemble Scooby Doo villains.

The story's narration is equally horrendous, and the dialogue looks like it was written by the Big Aristotle himself.

The graphics: Dreadful. Whoever designed the game obviously had never heard or seen Shaq, as the character is a pixilated svelte character in a basketball uni (with mismatching shorts and jersey) that looks more like Manute Bol than The Diesel.

The music: Let's just say using an all-Shaq rap soundtrack would be an improvement.

On all levels, "Shaq-Fu" qualifies as the worst sports game ever pawned onto the American public. In fact, the game has spawned an alliance (shaqfu.com) whose sole goal is to purchase and destroy every copy of the game ever created. Poppy already did that for them, running over his own copy with a car. That has to be worse than one of his best worst games ever.

Point: "Shaq-Fu."