Today on Kill Screen: NBA Jam Creator on his early childhood

Our “pre-game” interview series rolls on with an interview with NBA Jam/NFL Blitz creator Mark Turmell. Our favorite piece is the unlikely adolescent origins of the famous catchphrase “He’s on fire!”:

Did you have a big childhood secret?

Yeah. I was really a pyromaniac. My buddy Elmer and I would walk through autumn, and we had matches. We’d flick matches into the leaves and then walk away for a certain amount of time before we’d turn around. Then we’d have to run back and put it out. We’d do this in the middle of the night, and we were always starting fires. I loved fire, so it’s ironic that the announcer for NBA Jam said, “He’s on fire.”