Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Favorite Board Games: January 2018

Previous Installments: 
July 2015
October 2015
January 2016
April 2016

At this point, I'm going to adjust my structure for these lists. I find it very hard to compare games that I've only played physical versions of with games that I've only played digital. I discovered that digital games are a solid way for me to play games that I wouldn't otherwise be able to play, since I no longer have a board game group around. However, the physical versions will always have the appeal of not looking at a screen, actually moving pieces around a board.

Tabletop Games I Own

Eldritch Horror
Police Precinct
Flash Point
Roll For It
Hostage Negotiator
Ticket To Ride
Dead of Winter
Forbidden Island
A Duel Betwixt Us
Lost Cities
Clue: The Great Museum Caper
Zombie Dice
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
New York Slice
Time Stories
Secret Hitler
Castle Panic
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Ice Cool
New York: 1901
Escape: Curse of the Temple
Scotland Yard 
Sushi Go 
Love Letter
Burgle Bros.
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
Pandemic Legacy: Season One

Digital Games I Own

Galaxy Trucker
Colt Express
Settlers of Catan
Ticket To Ride
Camel Up
Mr. Jack Pocket

Scotland Yard

Possible Wish List



Captain Sonar 

Beyond Baker Street

Pandemic Legacy Season 2

Imhotep (cool, simple family friendly game of building, somewhat similar to Archaeology)

Quadropolis (city building game for 2-4 with unique cool mechanics) maybe hold out and hope they build an app

Between Two Cities (don't have the group for this, but another cool city building game)

Dice Town (old west themed, dice rolling, economy game, when the kids are older)

Arboretum: (tree planting card game for 2-4 players, inexpensive)

Mafia de Cuba (secret role game for 6-12 players)

Operation FAUST (bluffing art game for 3-8 players)

Robinson Crusoe (longer, complex survival game for 1-4 players)

The Networks (tv executive game, 1-5 players)

Freedom: The Underground Railroad (co-op historical game with serious theme)

[redacted] (bluffing, hidden information spy game best with 4 or 6 players)

The Resistance (like Mafia but without eliminating players, 5-10 players)

7 Wonders (civilization game, 2-7 players)

King of Tokyo (good first serious game for kids, 2-6 players)

Two Rooms and a Boom (cool party game for 12+)

Tesla vs Edison: War of Currents (complex invention and stock market history simulation, 2-5 players)

Letter Tycoon (better version of scrabble gameplay where you can patent letters, 2-5 players)

Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game (cool theme, not sure if good gameplay, 2-4 players)

Tobago (deduction and competitive treasure hunting, 2-4 players)

Train Heist (family game, 1-4 players)

Nations (civilization game, 1-5 players)

Glass Road?
D-Day Dice

Infection: Humanity’s Last Grasp 


Nations Dice?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday, January 07, 2018

The End of the Alex Smith Era

Let's start with some stats.

The Chiefs become the first team to blow two different playoff games, up 18 at halftime. So sure, the Falcons blew 28-3, the Oilers blew the 1993 game against the Bills...but now the Chiefs have done it twice. (Both blown games included a game where the opposing QB recovered a fluke loose ball and scored a TD.)

The Chiefs have lost their last 6 home playoff games. (And this is a team that has the loudest crowd, allegedly one of the toughest places to play.)

The Chiefs have lost 11 of their last 12 playoff games. (The only win was over a Texans team led by Brian Hoyer.)

This decade the Chiefs have made the playoffs 5 times out of 8 chances. They've been eliminated by 5 different teams, Ravens, Colts, Patriots, Steelers and now Titans. (I say this just to show this is not one team has our number.)

- - -

This game had a number of crazy plays. For a while it seemed like a new crazy play would cancel out the previous one.

The first one occurred with 2:41 left in the first half. Derrick Johnson sacks Mariota so hard the ball comes loose and the Chiefs recover it. The ref blows the play dead and rules "forward progress" so it's not reviewable. Plain and simple, it's a bad call. The sack was a hit, he wasn't driving him back. Even if you thought he was down before the ball comes out, it should be reviewable. This allows the Titans to kick a field goal and make it 14-3.

Moments later, the Chiefs catch a similar break. On the play where Kelce was concussed he dropped the ball and regathered as a Titan was ripping it away. Could have been reviewed and given to the Titans. Instead the Chiefs drive and make it 21-3 right before halftime. So at least both balls on the ground were called for the team with possession. It seemed like it all worked out. Though the Kelce injury was perhaps the play with the biggest impact on the game.

On the first drive of the second half, Mariota scrambles is crossing the line of scrimmage when he throws it. Revis bats it away and somehow Mariota is able to catch it and run it in. As I mentioned at the start, very similar to the Luck fumble in the previous Chiefs blown playoff game.

Next Chiefs drive, Kareem Hunt runs for 9 yards to set up a 3rd and 1. Chiefs run a option to the right and Titans destroy it. Chiefs punt but there's a running into the kicker. So Chiefs will get a first down, right? Nope, they call an offsetting penalty that they never showed. So Chiefs punt again and Titans muff it. Ball don't lie. So after a questionable option play and a possibly phantom offsetting penalty, the Chiefs end up with better field position anyways. Seems like it's all balancing out.

But then KC loses two yards and Butker, who set a record for Chiefs field goals made this year, doinks one off the upright. (His kick started out perfectly straight and halfway there, veered violently to the left. Wind? I don't know?)

From there the rest came down to the Chiefs couldn't get a 3rd down stop ever and couldn't get their offense going.

There were two times that it looked like Chiefs had recovered a scoop and score but the correct calls were made in both cases. (I'm okay with the second forward progress call. Sorenson hit Mariota at the 15 and the play was blown dead at the 25, the ball came out at the 27.)

Chiefs were 4/11 on 3rd down.
Titans were 8/13 on 3rd down.

Titans outgained Chiefs 397-325 and had more first downs 23-19.

The Titans were better on the whole by all the metrics. If the Chiefs had gotten a scoop and score to win at the end, the stats would have said the Chiefs won because of winning the turnover battle despite being outgained.

- - -

The thing that makes this one a bit easier? Hope is on the horizon.

Pat Mahomes looks like the real deal. Our version of Favre or Wilson. Andy Reid and Alex Smith did what hadn't been done in forever, which was win a playoff game. Now the Chiefs have a 3-year Super Bowl window where they have the biggest advantage in the NFL. (In theory) A Pro Bowl level QB on a rookie contract. Pair him with a great defense and that's how you win.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Might as well get the heartwrenching playoff loss out of the way early, I always say.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Predicting KC-TEN

I think the most likely Titans score is 13.
Second most likely is 19.
Third most likely is 20.

I think the Chiefs most likely score is 26.
Second most likely is 27.
Third most likely is 23.

So I guess 26-13 is my prediction.

Terez is usually spot on and he has Chiefs 20-17.
Simmons has Chiefs 22-11.

We'll see who is closest.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Choose Your Own Trump

I wrote a book. It would be nice if you bought it. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1973424037/

Monday, January 01, 2018

Fantasy Hindsight is 20/20

So during the Super Bowl 2-week period, my team put up the highest score:

Unfortunately I was knocked into the 3rd place matchup in the first round.

If I wanted to win the Super Bowl, and had 20/20 hindsight, the only path was to face Mark in the first round. Was there a way to do that?

Yep. If I would have gone 7-6, I would have been the 4th seed. I would have beaten Mark in the first round and beaten Jon in the Super Bowl.

If I had lost in weeks 6, 7, and 11 I would have gone 7-6 without sacrificing any of my weekly wins. So there's the lesson. Always rest your players.

Checking on my NFL Predictions

This year I made two sets on NFL predictions, one before the season started and another in early October. Let's check in and see which did better:


September: 3 teams correct, 1 spot correct
October: 4 teams correct, 1 spot correct


September: 2 teams correct, 0 spots correct
October: 2 teams correct, 1 spot correct

- - -

In October, I correctly called the Pats as a 1-seed, the Bills as a 6-seed and the Panthers as the 5-seed.
But only 50% right after 4 games had been played...? I'm surprised I didn't do better. Let's go deeper.

In the AFC I thought the Texans with Deshaun Watson would win the division. I thought 2 playoff teams would come from Broncos, Bills, Titans, Jags. Instead we got 3.

The Broncos started 3-1 and the Jags were 2-2. Who knew the Broncos were frauds and the Jags were for real?

- - -

Likewise in the NFC, I trusted the Packers but their season was derailed by a QB injury.

I thought the Vikings injuries would be too much and I trusted the Seahawks based on history--both were wrong. I also thought Washington and Cowboys were better than they turned out to be.

Definitely didn't see the Rams and Eagles being world-beaters.

Turns out you can't predict the NFL even a month in.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Top Ten of 2017

I'll be honest, this wasn't my best year for blogging. I blame a combination of my increased role at work and writing a new book in my free time.

Only one honorable mention this year: Chiefs beat the Patriots. I thought I did a decent imitation of a Kansas City Star columnist with this one.

10. Fantasy Champion
After 10 years I finally won fantasy football.

9. Lemon Pepper Wet
FX's Atlanta introduced me to a lemon pepper world.

8. Royals Opening Day and Great Seats
I don't even like baseball that much but hey, free great seats!

7. Work Trip to NYC
The best perk of my job is the work trips.

6. Work Trip to LA
See what I mean?

5. Reimagining the NFL
A really stupid but interesting idea of how football could be restructured.

4. The Best Tweets Of All Time
So many good tweets and none of them are mine.

3. Chiefs vs Broncos on MNF
My first MNF game and my first victory over the Broncos.

2. Making 33 The Best Year Of My Life
I got all deep and stuff thinking about my 33rd year here.

and was the best thing I published all year? Number One

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Let's Just Say...

So with the tiebreaker now and games remaining against the Bills and Jets, let's pencil the Patriots in as the #1 seed, Steelers as #2. Jags get #3 and Chiefs #4. (None of this is set in stone, we're just using pencil.)

5 and 6 are up for grabs. Titans, Bills, Ravens, Chargers are all vying for 2 spots.

For the sake of this let's say the Chiefs win their home playoff game against the 5th seed. I think they'd be favored at home against any of the wild-card teams by at least 3-4 points.

The worst seed then has to go to Gillette in the Divisional Round.

If the #3 Jags win at home against a wild-card team, that means the Chiefs play the Patriots.
If the #3 Jags lose at home against a wild-card team, that means the Chiefs play the Steelers.

By not getting the bye, the Chiefs ensured they would have to play both the Pats and Steelers, both on the road.

If they had closed out the Raiders, Giants, Bills and Jets (all close games in the 4th where the Chiefs were favored) they would be 12-2. If that were the case....

Chiefs would be #1, Pats #2, Steelers #3, Jags #4.

Divisional round would be Jags at Chiefs. They'd only have to play one of Pats/Steelers and it would be at Arrowhead.

I know when the Chiefs are 8-6, pointing out if 4 games had flipped is kind of stupid. I mean, flip 4 the other way and they are 4-10. The Bears are 4-10. But those 4 games were there for the taking. That's what you have to do to have the easy championship road.

For now, KC gets Cutler and the 6-8 Dolphins coming to Arrowhead on Christmas Eve. Win that and they secure back to back division titles for the first time in the franchise's 58-year-history. One game at a time.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

8-team playoff?

So here we are. On December 3, 2017, Dan Wetzel publishes a plan for an 8-team college football playoff. He's eliminating conference championship games and putting the first round of the playoffs on campuses, hosted by the higher seed.

At the core of it, the Power Five conferences get an automatic entry. He also makes a caveat for a non-Power Five team that goes unbeaten gets in automatically.

It's all pretty good.

So I went back to look to see how it compared to the 8-team formula that I came up with. And would you believe that I was pushing this back in 2006? Wow.

I initially included the conference champions (back then there were 6 power conferences) and two years later removed them because we were excluding good teams in favor of champions from weak conferences.

Basically, I've been in favor of the 8-team for 11 years and we still don't have it. If I were in charge today, I'd roll with Dan's plan. Good stuff.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Bad Teams

Last Five Games with wins in Parentheses

Bills: 1-4 (Chiefs)
Giants 1-4 (Chiefs)
Jets: 2-3 (Chiefs, Bills)
Chiefs 1-4 (Broncos)

These New York teams are 1-11 in their last five against non-Chiefs teams and 3-0 against the Chiefs. 

They are bad. The Chiefs are bad.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

2017 Fantasy Analysis

I thought it would go through the results and our draft to see who the best draft picks were. This will involve performance and draft value, since it's not that helpful to point out Bell was the #2 RB but the #1 pick taken. 

Best RB Picks

Gurley - #1RB - 17th
Kamara - #3RB - undrafted
Hunt - #4RB - 43rd
Ingram - #6RB - 72nd
Elliot - #7RB - 36th 

Best WR Picks

Hopkins - #2WR - 24th
Allen - #4WR - 28th
Thielen - #5WR - 90th
Jones Jr. - #8WR - 113th

Best QB Picks

Wentz - #2QB - undrafted

You couldn't really go wrong at QB this year. Brady was the first QB taken and had a good year. Wilson and Cousins could be had later. Wentz, Watson, Goff, even Alex Smith had good years and could be found on the waiver wire. A lot easier to find a top-ten QB replacement than a top-ten WR replacement. 

I'm on track to have the most points scored this year, but I could have done better. 

Bell great first pick.
Fournette great second pick. 
Needed a receiver here, should have taken Hopkins instead of Hilton. Knowing Luck was injured, that's just a bad pick. 
Hill not a bad pick, Adams, Fitzgerald or Landry would have all been better. 
Thought I was getting a steal on Mixon and could get Hunt later. Should have grabbed Hunt.
Gore and Marshall were busts at 6/7. Could have had Ingram. 
Hogan, Eifert and Cousins, all solid. Eifert got hurt but that doesn't make it a bad pick. 
Late round picks are fliers. I mean with perfect hindsight I could have gotten Wentz and Jones Jr. but they're lottery tickets at that point. 

The Hopkins and Hunt decisions were 2 that I should have made. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Chiefs-Bills: I Was There

I won a ticket to the Chiefs-Bills game on Sunday. Disappointing home loss, but it was still nice to go to the stadium. It was my first time in the club level. Felt like a real big shot with the carving stations and $13 bloody mary bar. 

Here's a picture I took just to the left of the glass-walled suites on the club level.

Then I walked over to my seats, Section 239, Row 1.

It was cool to be the front row and all but I wasn't thrilled with sitting in the corner again. Since it was early, I walked through the seats to get to the 50 to take this shot: 

I had a hunch that a decent number of corporate seats go unfilled, so I picked the last row in this section (Section 202, Row 9) and waited for kickoff. I got lucky as there were 5 empty seats and I got a primo view of the game.

NFL Teams with Best Wins and Worst Losses

Through Week 12, there are four teams that have only two losses or less. Eagles, Steelers, Vikings, Patriots. So based on record, beating these teams would be the most impressive wins. Here are the teams with the best wins:

Chiefs (x2)

There are five teams that have less than three wins. 49ers, Giants, Colts, Bears, Broncos. (There's actually six but since the Browns haven't beaten anybody they're irrelevant to this.) Based on record, here are the teams with the worst losses:


There are three teams on both lists, that have one of the most impressive wins and worst losses: Chiefs, Steelers, Panthers.