Several Packers players now avid devotees to ‘The Settlers of Catan’ board game
Given the amount of down time that exists for NFL players as they while away the hours in the locker room, in hotel rooms on the road and such, perhaps it should not be surprising that several members of the Green Bay Packers have developed an addiction to playing “Settlers of Catan,” a glorified board game of sorts that has become all the rage of late.
The basic game — which has countless spinoffs, variations, add-ons and alternate versions, is described on the game’s official site as follows:
The women and men of your expedition build the first two settlements. Fortunately, the land is rich in natural resources. You build roads and new settlements that eventually become cities. Will you succeed in gaining supremacy on Catan? Barter trade dominates the scene. Some resources you have in abundance, other resources are scarce. Ore for wool, brick for lumber – you trade according to what is needed for your current building projects. Proceed strategically! If you found your settlements in the right places and cleverly trade your resources, then the odds will be in your favor. But your opponents are smart too.
Sounds like a rootin’-tootin’ good time, right?
The Wall Street Journal’s Kevin Clark recently put together an interesting write-up documenting how “Settlers of Catan” has become the go-to time-waster for a substantial contingent of Packers players over the past few months, including a majority of offensive linemen, but also backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who became attracted to the game because to him it seemed like “a nonviolent version of Risk.”
Tackle David Bakhtiari — who along with his fellow gamers readily admit the game is somewhat nerdy — apparently introduced the game to his teammates and now it is becoming all the rage.
“At first we’re like, ‘What the hell is this? Brick? Wool? What kind of game is this?’” said center Corey Linsley.
“We are completely addicted to it, we play it whenever we can,” added tight end Justin Perillo.
And the players who participate it apparently take it very, very seriously.
“I was just trying to play some music—some Pearl Jam, and [Bakhtiari] wouldn’t let me.,” Flynn said, describing a scene where he wanted to celebrate a victory. “He wanted to hear the players talk and strategize. He was very serious,” Flynn said. “They take it to a different level.”
Indeed. Sounds like a hoot, so long as it doesn’t interfere with players’ attention to the game plans. Those things have been known to happen. Just ask any obsessed “Dungeons & Dragons” devotee about becoming lost for hours on end in an entertaining, yet addicting, game.