Saturday, October 31, 2015

It's 5-3 Royals in the bottom of the 8th. The announcers are talking about the Mets saving their closer, Familia, for Game 5 tomorrow.

As a Royals fan, all I've seen is Familia blow two out of two saves. So um, sure, save Familia for tomorrow. I'd love to see him again.

Edit: At 9:30 pm, taking a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the 9th with Davis on the mound, I was dreaming of Royals in 5. At 9:35 pm, there's two on, only one out. A home run wins it for the Mets. At this point, I'm thinking this series could go 7 games if that happens. At 9:39, there's a double play and the game is over. Royals up 3-1 in the series. They could end it tomorrow night. If they don't they'll have two chances at home. (I can't watch a potential Game 6, so I'd really, really love if they won it all tomorrow.)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I just realized that the Avs game I'm going to on Tuesday night...coincides with a potential Game 6.

Hmm. Here's hoping the Royals pull it out in 5 or less!

New prediction: Royals win in 6 while I'm at the hockey game.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thoughts from End 5th

It was 1-1 with 2 outs.

Hosmer comes up to bat. Going into the 9th inning less than 24 hours ago, he was the goat. He ends up winning the game with a sac fly last night. In the 5th, he hits it up the middle scoring two. With one swing it's now 3-1.

Then Morales singles and Hosmer goes first to third on a ball that most teams don't run on. Truth be told, I think Granderson in right field should have been charging harder in that situation. Then Moustakas singles and Hosmer scores from third.

Now it's 4-1. All with 2 outs.

Royals Take Game 1 in 14

The previous game the Royals played I called one of the best games I've ever seen. 

This one belongs in the conversation too. 

It started with a inside-the-park home run. Would you believe that's the first time that's happened on a team's first at-bat in a World Series? It's true. (The 1903 Series featured a lead off inside the park one but it was in Game 2.)

It continued with a home run in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game. 

And then became the longest World Series Game 1 ever and ended in redemption for Hosmer who's error gave the Mets the lead in the 8th. 

Not to mention, the national TV feed went out and the Royals' starting pitcher was pitching without knowing his father had died. Will Leitch goes into more detail.

One thing that I think has been overlooked is Perez throwing out Wright in the top of the 9th. With one out, a runner in scoring position could have easily turned into a 5-3 lead, rendering a home run in the bottom of the 9th moot. Good thing for replay.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Thoughts from the Mid-6th

The Mets have better starters.
The Royals have better defense.
The bats are about even I think.
I'm guessing the Royals have better relievers.
Advantage: Mets early. Advantage: Royals late.

Royals are sitting down 3-1 but that might be okay. If they can keep things close, down just a run or two in the 6th, that's not a terrible place to be. (Obviously you'd prefer to be up a run or two in the 6th.)

Overall though, it looks like this is going to be a hell of a series.

Edit: It's now 3-3 in the top of the 7th. Which means we're going to see at least one more run tonight.

True Story

Both professional sports teams I follow are 2-5.

Chiefs have a 13.6% chance of making the playoffs. (which seems way too high)
Avs have a 29.7% chance of making the playoffs. (seems about right, maybe a little high)

But hey, there's a baseball game tonight.

Skateboarding: Night 8

A few thoughts.

1. This was my first time an actual skate park. There were no lights.
2. I fell, really for the first time, almost immediately, approaching a quarterpipe.
3. Eventually I was able to approach a quarterpipe, with enough speed to go about a foot into the pipe, and maintain my balance riding out of it.
4. I also sort of did my first ollie.
5. I took video of that but you can't see anything because there were no lights.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Football Trick Play Collection

Did I just watch 9 straight minutes of trick plays? Yes. Yes I did. Also, stay tuned for a special appearance by Demariyus Thomas in college. I would have drafted him based on this play alone.

The Boise State - Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl feels like it was at least 10 years ago. It's from 2007. Also, click that link and stay tuned for an appearance by Adrian Peterson. I also, would have drafted him on that play alone.

I think it feels old to me because I gave that game on DVD as a Christmas present to my dad and I stopped talking to him in 2010 or so. Turns out I gave it to him for Christmas in December 2007. 

Brit picks the Mets to win in 6 or 7.
I've got the Royals in 7.

So expect the Mets to win in 7.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

BCS Playoffs Update

This is an update to this post. FSU and Utah are no longer unbeaten. Michigan took themselves out of the running last week. Here are your remaining Power 5 undefeated teams.

ACC: Clemson
Big Ten: Ohio State/MSU/Iowa
Big 12: TCU/Baylor/OSU
Pac 12: (none)

Now that one conference is out of undefeated teams, it makes things a little simpler.

If you go undefeated, you're in the playoffs. 

So when it comes to projecting the 4 playoff teams, here's my thought process.

I think the SEC Champ is a given. LSU plays at Alabama on November 7, which should determine the winner of the SEC West and likely the SEC.

I suspect the Big Ten will have an undefeated champ, the winner of MSU and Ohio State on 11/21.

I don't trust Oklahoma State. With no conference game, I think the Big 12 Champ will be the winner of Baylor at TCU on 11/21. Will this conference produce an undefeated champ?

The fourth spot is Clemson's to lose. If they can survive the rest of their schedule, they're in. But if they lose, they could get bumped for a 1-loss Pac-12 Champ or even 1-loss Notre Dame or an undefeated mid-major.

So at this point, who do I think will make the playoffs?

It's tempting to pick LSU to win the SEC but because that Alabama game is on the road, I'm going with Alabama.

Ohio State hasn't looked like last year's champ yet, but there's still time. I think they beat MSU and remain undefeated.

TCU's wins have been fluky. I'm guessing Baylor beats them on the road and remains undefeated. (Update 10.26.15: Baylor's QB is out for the year. Yikes. Knowing that, I'm guessing TCU now wins that game and makes the playoffs.)

I trust in Clemson to get the job done.

Basically to get this right, these four teams need to win every game they play between now and the playoffs, including 3 conference championships. The best bet is that there are more surprises between now and then.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Back to Back World Series: One Of The Best Games Ever

The Royals have won more postseason series in the last 13 months, than they did in the entire previous history of the team. Now just need to win one more.

- - -

The best baseball games I've ever seen?

The 2004 ALCS was pretty amazing, especially game 4. Even better than that, was the Cardinals-Rangers Game 6 where the Rangers got to one strike away from winning it all.

Last year, the 2014 AL Wild Card Game. The Royals were down 7-3 in the 8th inning. No team in baseball history had come back from a deficit that big, that late, in the postseason. They managed to get to 7-6 in the eighth. In the bottom on the 9th, a single leads to Dyson pinch running on first. The bunt him over to 2nd. And then he steals 3rd. If he gets thrown out, that's pretty much the ball game. He gets up and does this:

I mean look at that. His team is losing in the bottom of the 9th in an elimination game. But he knows he's going to score. A sacrifice scores him and we go to extras. In the 12th, with two outs, the Royals steal another 2nd base, and Perez pulls one down the line to score the runner. That win almost doesn't happen, but it breaks into sweeps of the next two series and a World Series Game 7.

This year in the ALDS, the Royals found themselves down 6-2 in the 8th. The only team to come back from a deficit that big, that late was the 2014 Royals. But they did it again, winning 9-6, forcing a Game 5 they would also win.

Which brings us to yesterday. So in case you missed it, here's what happened last night in Kansas City.

- - -

This game featured two strong pitching performances. In the 2nd, Moustakas hit a home run to make it 2-0. Or did he? A Royals fan leaned over and caught it. After a review, they leave it as a home run, but it could have gone either way.

In the top of the 4th, Bautista homers to make it 2-1.

In the bottom of the 7th, with Moustakas on first, Perez hits a deep fly ball to left. I think it's going to go out. Or at least off the wall for an extra base hit. Somehow, Revere catches it, jumping into a chain link fence and scraping his arm. The relay throw almost catches Moustakas out back at first, but the first baseman drops it. That would prove costly as Moustakas would score from 2nd base later in the inning.

It's the top of the 8th and the Royals are up 3-1. We have a report that rain could start falling in the next 20 minutes. Herrera has already pitched 1 and 2/3. Ned Yost could leave in Herrera, who might be at his limit. He could bring in his best guy, Wade Davis and ask him to get six outs. But with the rain on the way, he could get 3 in the 8th and not be available in the 9th. Or he could bring in Madson and try and get him through the inning Davis can come in after the rain delay. Which is what he does. He allows a single and then gets a strikeout. So things are okay. Except that Bautista is up and the one thing you don't want is to let him tie the game on a home run. And that's what happens. Madson walks one more and here comes Davis. He gets an out but throws a wild pitch and then gets behind in the count 2-0 to Tulowitzki. A hit here gives the Blue Jays the lead. He works to a full count and then strikes him out.

And then we get a rain delay. So it's 3-3. And for 45 minutes the crowd is getting rained on and depressed about losing a 3-1 lead so close to eliminating Toronto. No one knows is Davis will be able to go out in the 9th or be effective if he does. It's a long 45 minutes in Kansas City.

To lead off the bottom of the 8th, it's Lorenzo Cain. He works to a 3-1 count. Fouls one off. Fouls off another. And then takes a pitch. Ball four, take your base. Next batter: Hosmer. On a 2-2 he hits a beauty to deep right. Bautista fields it, spins in the corner and throws it to the cut-off man, who's near 2nd base. Hosmer has to stop and retreat to first base. In my kitchen, I'm jumping up and down, waving my right arm in a big circle, telling Cain to come home. He reads my sign perfectly (as well as the actual 3rd base coach) and rounds 3rd. The cut-off man throws it home. Play at the plate...and Cain scores. From first to home on a single. Royals up 4-3. The inning ends with a Perez double play.

And we go to the 9th. It's been an hour since Wade Davis has last pitched. He takes the mound. And gives up a first pitch single. The Royals are playing bunt, but in doing so, allow the runner to steal second without a throw. Seems like a poor choice as a steal is more damaging than a bunt. And then a few pitches latter, same batter, the runner steals third without a throw. So now even a sac fly ties the game. But Davis walks the 2nd batter and now there's two on. I mean, at this point, who knows if Davis has anything left after the rain delay. If he gives up a 3-run homer here it's bad news bears.

So what does Davis do? Strikes him out for the first out. But the runner on first steals second. So now there's two guys in scoring position with only one out. A sac fly ties the game, a base hit takes the lead.

Revere at the plate. With a 2-1 count, Davis throws one outside but gets the call. Revere can't believe it. On 2-2, he strikes out. Two down. Revere attacks a trash can in the dug out.

Donaldson comes up. Bautista is on deck. With two outs, there's no sacrifices. It's either a hit to take the lead or an out to go home. And here's the pitch. "Left side, Moustakas....Royals win the pennant!"

Back to Back World Series appearances. Holy crap. Here's a list of teams who've done that before. It's a long list, but a good one to be on.

See you Tuesday night.

Illinois Football Streaks vs Big Ten

vs Ohio State: 7 straight losses
vs Wisconsin: 6 straight losses
vs Michigan: 3 straight losses
vs Michigan State: 3 straight losses
vs Iowa: 2 straight losses
vs Indiana: 2 straight losses
vs Rutgers: 1 loss
vs Purdue: 1 loss
vs Penn State: 1 win
vs Northwestern: 1 win
vs Minnesota: 1 win
vs Nebraska: 1 win

(Stats include today's loss to Wisconsin. Illinois has never played Maryland.)

- - -

I also wanted to include the total head to head records since I became an Illini in August 2001.

vs Indiana: 7-5
vs Rutgers: 1-1
vs Northwestern: 6-8
vs Minnesota: 4-7
vs Penn State: 4-8
vs Purdue: 4-8
vs Nebraska: 1-2
vs Wisconsin: 3-9
vs Michigan: 2-8
vs Ohio State: 2-10
vs Michigan State: 1-6
vs Iowa: 1-7

If you're scoring at home, that's only one winning head to head record.

Nailed It

April 9, 2015
June 15, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The only--and I mean only--bright side to the Chiefs going 1-5, is that if you're going to give away an Arrowhead game to London, it might as well be the year the playoffs are already out of reach.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rocket League

San Francisco: Food Dream List

Instead of making a list, I made a map that I could use when I'm there.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

2015 ADCD Show

Three years ago I attended my first real advertising award show. In Denver there are two local award shows. One--The Denver Fifty--celebrates the 50 best ideas that can take any form--the show itself is treated like an art gallery. The other, the ADCD show is broken into traditional categories. They serve dinner. They recognize 5 winners in every category and notify people before the show, so people will want to attend. But in every category, they award "top honors" to one entry. It's basically just like the Oscars system, except they refer to the 5 nominees as winners. The Top Honors are not revealed until the award show, and they call them up on stage and they have the option of giving a speech.

So yeah, three years ago, I attended the ADCD show for the first time. A few things that I worked on won awards but the more senior people on our team accepted them on stage and gave the speech.

I didn't go to the 2013 show. In 2014, I did go and actually went on stage to accept the first Top Honors of the night. It was a project that I did work on, but it must be acknowledged that the award was truly given to the art direction. I essentially wrote the captions. The art director who should have accepted it had already left our agency, so I was the only choice to accept it. I did so gladly, but I recognize it's not really my award.

Which brings us to this year's show.

I had three winners in three different categories. So I could be giving anywhere from 0-3 speeches.

First chance was for mixed-media campaign. Did not get it.

Second chance was for print design. Did not get it.

The last chance was the last award of the night: Broadcast Advertising. Which is a fancy way of saying TV commercial. And wouldn't you know, they called our name. Holy crap.

I hop out of my chair immediately--probably way too fast--and head toward the stage. I collect the award, a 3-d applause sign that lights up when you plug it in. And I give my speech.

The acoustics in the room were terrible and no one could hear my speech. Here it is: "What a week. I spent all day Saturday teaching my toddlers...the rules to Fight Club. And then on Monday I started a 48-hour juice cleanse, but instead of juice, I used buffalo wings."

And then I get to come back to my table with a stupid smile on my face.

Our agency won two awards, so that's super awesome.

Basically, of all the commercials submitted by Denver agencies this year, an esteemed panel of international judges said ours was the best. I've won a number of awards since moving to Denver, but this is the biggest and best so far.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Skateboarding: Night 7

I didn't take a video, but I did get out there for the first time in a couple weeks. And I hit that ramp (that I had the video of last time) for the first time with a bunch of speed, so I did accomplish something new.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Just watched the end of MNF. The closest ending to a game you can have. Holy crap.

It is so mind-boggling that the Kansas City with the most post-seasons success over the last 20 years is the freaking Royals.

the comments in this thread are hilarious...all the royals fans cursing that their season is over...and then the comeback ensues

Sunday, October 11, 2015

It's Hockey Season

The Avs opened their season at home Thursday night against recent nemesis Minnesota Wild. They took a 3-0 lead and led 4-1 at the second intermission. Can you guess what happened next? The Wild scored 4 goals in the third and won 5-4.

Saturday, Colorado had another chance at home against the Dallas Stars. Midway thorough the game, it was 3-1 Dallas. And it looked like the Avs were going to start the season in early standings deficit. Can you guess what happened next? The Avs peeled off 5 straight unanswered goals and won 6-3.

Through the huge sample size of two games, the Avs are 4/6 on the power play, the only team above 50% success. They're also 2nd in goals per game behind Florida who scored 7 in their only game and 25th in goals against per game.

They also are 24th in shot differential because some things never change.
The Chiefs are brutal. After leading 17-3 at halftime over the Bears, they gave up two touchdowns in the last three minutes and lost 18-17. To the Bears! They're terrible. Despite having decent talent, the Chiefs can't win. They also lost Charles with an ACL tear, so yeah...cancel my Super Bowl trip to San Francisco.

On the bright side, the 1-4 Chiefs are actually winning the burger bet. Oh God, that's real sad. If they finish 3rd or 4th, they'll face that level of opponent of the AFC East and AFC North next year. So maybe, Dolphins and Browns instead of Patriots and Steelers. Playing the long con.

Quick recap: Thursday, Avs lost their home opener and Royals lost Game 1. Saturday, I watched the Illini lose to Iowa, and the USMNT lose to Mexico. Today I saw the Chiefs blow the Bears game, and then the Royals lost again. The Avs and Royals did win a game each in that span, so that's 2-6. Not great.

So if the Chiefs's season is over, it must be Avalanche season. Seriously, it's actually nice how that works out.

Closer Look at the CFB Polls

In the AP Poll, Ohio State has the most first place votes with 27. Next up, Utah has 16 first place votes. And yet they're #4. Which means that while some people think they're the best, plenty of people think they're worse than TCU.

The Coaches poll is also interesting. Here Ohio State holds a much stronger majority. My hunch is that coaches are more likely to follow the mantra of "you have to lose to drop in the polls" where as the media is more likely to assess each week who is the best time. I think it goes without saying, buy I prefer the latter approach.

Also, the coaches really don't think much of Utah, who I think has the best resume in the country.

Breaking Down the CFB Playoff Race

I'll go conference by conference to gain a better understanding of the playoff contenders.


Both Clemson and FSU are undefeated and in the running. Clemson looks very strong. 

The Tigers host the Seminoles on November 7. And they're both in the same division so only one of them can reach the ACC Championship. 

Big 12

Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor are all undefeated. Last week TCU and Baylor were #2 and #3, while OSU was #21. TCU skated by against an inferior opponent once again, Baylor beat up Kansas and OSU beat West Virginia on the road in overtime. 

TCU at OSU, November 7
Baylor at OSU, November 21
Baylor at TCU, November 28

They at least have tiebreakers this year to crown a champion, instead of having co-champions like last year.

Big Ten

Michigan State, Ohio State and Iowa are all undefeated, but I don't consider Iowa a threat to win the Big Ten Championship game. Instead, I'll include Michigan, based on how well they've been playing. If a one-loss Michigan beats MSU and Ohio State and then wins the Big Ten title game, I think they're in the playoffs. 

MSU at Michigan, October 17
MSU at Ohio State, November 21
Ohio State at Michigan, November 28


Utah has the best resume in the country. And they're the only team still undefeated in the Pac-12. 

Utah at USC, October 24
UCLA at Utah, November 21

In the other division, Cal or Stanford will likely make the conference title game. Even with one loss, the conference champion will likely make the playoffs. 

Cal at Stanford, November 21


Florida, A&M, and LSU are all undefeated. But Alabama's loss hasn't hurt them in the rankings. You've gotta believe the winner of the SEC championship game will be in the playoffs, but it's a bit early to know who that will be yet. 

LSU plays Florida next week, but Florida could easily make the title game with a loss, so the game is more important to LSU. 


Notre Dame lost so I'm only considering the 5 power conferences right now. Last year, the committee took the four sole champions and left out the Big 12's co-champions. This year, we'll have 5 true champions. Every conference still could have an undefeated champion. Will all 5 do that? Probably not. So the question becomes, how do they compare champions. 

Is a one-loss Alabama SEC champion getting in vs a undefeated Clemson ACC champion?
Is a one-loss Michigan Big Ten champ getting in vs a one-loss Utah Pac-12 champ?

Say Ohio State, Utah, Clemson and Baylor all go undefeated...can they leave out a one-loss SEC champ?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Super bizarre to make notes for myself in October:

Chiefs at 11am
Royals at 2:10pm

- - -

Also, all the sports are going on. College football, NFL, NHL, MLB playoffs, even international soccer as I type this. Basketball starts in a month. Good sports times.
So I was excited about this soccer game back in July...

And then I forgot about it and didn't hear anything about it until it was halftime, Mexico 1 - USA 1.

So... let's do this?

41 Hours in Champaign

For the first time since 2010, I stepped foot on the campus of the University of Illinois. I figured I should recap a bit so future me will remember what happened.

Brit and I flew to Chicago, grabbed some Portillo's drive-thru and drove straight to Curtis Orchard.

I was looking forward to the orchard as much as anything. I bought apple donuts, apple fritters, apple pie, a caramel apple and some fudge. Unfortunately, my memories were better than the actual food this time around. The donuts, fritters and pie were all disappointing. The caramel apple and fudge were pretty good.

After that we went to the revamped Gameday on campus and Brit got a sweater. From there we walked down the quad, seeing the refurbished Alma Mater, sandblasted eternal flame, and restored Lincoln Hall. Turns out everything had been cleaned up since we were students.

After that we went with Missy and Mark to Dos Reales. The food wasn't as good as I remembered there either, but the margaritas were still great. Our night concluded at Brother's and Murphy's.

Saturday morning our group returned to campus, walked to Allen Hall and then back to Legends for lunch. The bacon cheeseburger here was better than I remembered. Kirat and I played frisbee on the Quad, Brit and I got frozen yogurt at Cocomero (where Moonstruck used to be) and then we walked to the stadium to see the Illini host Nebraska.

Illinois was losing 0-13 after three quarters, so of course, in classic Illinois Football tradition, they came back and won 14-13. The best game I ever saw in Memorial Stadium.

After the game, we had dinner at Jupiter's pizza where I had lots of meat on a pizza. It was good. Thus concludes, our weekend in Illinois.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Interesting MLB stat

8 of the 10 made the playoffs this year and are no longer on the list

Royals playoff opener and Avs season opener tonight. Holy crap.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Favorite Board Games: October 2015

Previous Installments: July 2015

I wanted to update my rankings, but instead of just editing the previous post, I figured I would be better served making a new post and keeping the old one intact. Anyways, here is a ranking of the games that I own in some format or another.

19. Scrabble

I've played some good games of Scrabble. But it's slow and being good at Scrabble involves memorizing two-letter words and manipulating the game instead of being creative.

18. Monopoly

For being America's most popular game, it gets a bad rap both from casual gamers and hardcore gamers. Amongst families, it has a reputation of lasting forever and being boring. Among hardcore gamers, they think it's child's play or crap. But if you actually play by the rules of auctioning every property and not placing money on free parking, it can play quickly.

17. Clue

This was my favorite game as a kid. I loved the mystery element and that it required deduction and not luck. Also, as an adult there are advanced strategies that eluded me as a child. Unfortunately, winning is more based on luck (randomly finding the missing cards first) than deduction skills.

16. Roll For It

I bought this both for kids and adults, but in my opinion it's really just a kid's game. It's a little more fun than Yahtzee, but that's about it.

15. Ticket to Ride

This was the first modern game I was introduced to. I think I played it too much. Also, the fact that it's the same map every time, limits the replayability for me. Basically, to win you need to construct a route that goes from coast to coast and get route cards to match up.

14. Cleopatra

A good game with a nice twist of eliminating the most corrupt player. Has some great mechanics. Still, it feels like the same strategy every time.

13. Lost Cities

A two-player game that is not very complex. The simplicity makes it fun and easy to play but also not very deep or engaging.

12. Clue: The Great Museum Caper

This game really has nothing to do with Clue at all. It's an art heist game, which to me is really the best theme ever. The gameplay isn't perfect but it's still a cool game.

11. Zombie Dice

This is simple and fun, mostly luck based but with a touch of strategy (when to stop, when to keep rolling).

10. Settlers of Catan

I've never owned the board version or even played it, but I have extensively played a computer game version. It's the gateway modern board game for good reason. It requires strategy and a bit of luck, with multiple different ways to succeed.

9. Forbidden Island

This is a game by Matt Leacock, the designer of the #1 game on my list. It's not quite as good at that game, but still has interesting co-op mechanics and great replayability.

8. Carcasonne

Along with Catan, one of the most famous modern games, I think Carcasonne is interesting and fun. I've only played the Android app, which makes it easy to learn the rules. Yet, despite all the strengths, I find it a little lacking.

7. A Duel Betwixt Us

This is a two-player game that I bought on Kickstarter. Okay, I didn't buy in on Kickstarter. I saw it on Kickstarter and then bought it on Amazon. It's pretty cool and has some great mechanics, but for the first time ever, I had to make some house rules to fix some broken mechanics. As created, it's way too easy for the game to be lopsided, not fun in a 2-player game that can take 90 minutes to play.

6. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

This is the best detective board game I've come across yet. It very much simulates solving a murder case and gives you free reign to go wherever you want to find clues and piece it all together. There's so much that I love about this. And yet, there are 10 cases. I've only played 2 and once you play them all, that's it. Unless you can forget what happened. Also, I find it terribly difficult. I'm glad it's not too easy, but I was pretty lost in the first two cases. 

5. Love Letter

This is a simple, light game that's nice because it only takes about 3 minutes to play. It might drop in future ratings, but for now I rate it pretty highly. 

4. Scotland Yard

Along with Clue, this is a game that I grew up with. But finding people to play it with was always a problem. Well, I just recently got the Android version (4.99) and it's awesome. It's nice to be able to control all 5 detectives against an AI Mr. X.

3. Tsuro

Just got this game in June 2015 and it's awesome. The amazing thing about this game is that it's strategic enough for adults but a three-year-old can play it too. It's quick and fun. Every game is different because of the tile-based gameplay. I think it's a great game for non-gamers. Also, for what it's worth, I learned of Tsuro, Forbidden Island, Zombie Dice, Love Letter, and Roll For it through Wil Wheaton's Tabletop series.

2. Codenames

This is a word game that revolves around making strange connections. It seems like a party game but it is actually intense. I think it's awesome. Although there's a 2 or 3 player variant, and you can play standard with 4 or 5, this game shines when you have at least 6, but it's flexible up to 12 or more. One game can be finished in about 20 minutes, but I always want to play 4 or 5 at a time. 

1. Pandemic

Do you have what it takes to save humanity? I love this game. It's a co-op game. Either everyone at the table wins or everyone loses. What makes this game #1 for me? You can use cards in different ways and you have to balance priorities: finding cures and removing diseases from cities. This game is intense. With the game on the line, you could have three equally viable options to decide between. And the difference between winning and losing can be razor thin, so every decision is important.

Ordered October 9th:

Escape: Curse of the Temple (real-time dice rolling game, 1-5 players)

Pandemic: Legacy (a campaign version where games affect future games)

New York 1901 (city-building game, 2-4 players)

Burgle Bros. (co-op heist game)

Possible Wish List

Onirim? (1-2 players)

Hostage Negotiator (a solo game, using cards and dice to save hostages)

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)

Sushi Go (light, quick game, good for the boys, 2-5 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)

Colt Express (western game on a 3-d train, good for kids, 2-6 players)

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

Dead of Winter (zombie survival with betrayer, 2-5 players)

Jaipur (quick two-player game, selling cards at the market)

CV (better version of the game of life, 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)