Tecmo Bowl didn't get to the finals because it was a Boston site and New England wasn't even on the original, so the chowds couldn't win it all with the Pats therefore didn't care about it as much as taking the Bruins to the Stanley Cup.
Tecmo Bowl is great but I prefer Tecmo Super Bowl. It had all the NFL teams, it saved your stats, it was far superior to any football game of that time.
Baseball Stars is equally great. A game that you could create and develop your own baseball team was downright revolutionary when it came out. And the game play was fun. I could bust out BS today and still have fun playing it.
I also have a soft spot for Ken Griffey Baseball on SNES. Sure its a bit cartoonish and the OF's can throw frozen ropes that never bounce from the warning track to home, but its still a great game to play with a bunch of friends.
Does Mario Kart count? I think racing games almost deserve their own class. Mario Kart, RC Pro AM, F-Zero, Super Off-Road.
Also one of the greatest and most underrated sports games of all time is Super Dodge Ball for NES. Fabulous game. My buddies and I would stay up all night in the dorms having dodge ball tournies.