Saturday, July 18, 2015

Candidate for Weirdest Game

What’s the dumbest thing to make a game of that you can think of? I think I discovered the exemplar last week when I saw an ad touting fantasy golf. Yes, that is not a typo; it promised more stats! More action! Making a paper/pencil/cardboard/dice-type game out of an actual sport is complicated and I only know of two that have done it well, and they are also fantasy sports leagues now: Strat-o-Matic’s Baseball and Football.

You can make a pretty convincing argument that fantasy baseball and football are a logical evolution of the S-o-M classics. I played the baseball version for a couple of seasons and even have a friend that was National Champion three times. The batting and fielding stats were pretty exacting and detailed. While I never played in one of the football leagues, I know the S-o-M game well enough to see the corollary.

Fantasy baseball became much like the teams we played in our league; they were super-teams of nearly all All-Stars.

I pondered the possible structure of fantasy golf as a game, because fantasy baseball and football rely on a game-system with its own rules and conventions. But golf? In fantasy, you always have a guy on your team that you want to start against lefties because he clobbers them all over the park, even though he couldn’t hit a right-handed nun throwing watermelons. That mirrors MLB. But golf?

I am not knocking golf; I played it a bunch in HS but got away from it in the Navy. (You can smack the shit out of a ball with a driver off the flight deck, but damn, it’s hard getting your balls back.) Putting was out of the question. I have lots of friends that golf.

Fantasy golf? Just how do you do that? If it’s a course with notoriously tricky greens, do you have a ‘designated putter”, a “designated chipper”? Let’s face it, watching golf on TV is excruciating, in the sense that root-canals can be excruciating. The only thing that comes close is watching a darts tournament where two rotund blokes flick darts better than you can ever hope to do.

I just had an idea for a game show on one of the fix-‘em-up networks. We will call it Glory Rolls. The competition will be three teams covering identical rooms with wallpaper with a wicked pattern match in a given amount of time. They could be scored on waste, pattern-matching, viscosity of their paste and the mess they left all over the room.  They would be penalized for potty breaks.
Now tell me, is that any dumber than fantasy golf?

I took 14 pages of notes on our trip, and have at least half that many still floating in my head. I will not be surprised if it reaches 8000 words, or more, by the time I am done. I will share little bits and pieces here once in a while, then make the whole thing available to read from my webpage

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