Pro Quarterback- the board game
Kids today play from an assortment of thousands of games. They play “Angry Birds” on their phones along with dozens of other addicting apps. They play games on PlayStation that rob, kill and maim. I cannot even keep up with all the choices of games available today.
As cool as and addicting as all these games seem to be, none can compare to the favorite board game of my youth, Pro Quarterback.
Pro Quarterback was the ultimate football board game. It combined strategy and an element of luck true to the real game. Played with two adversaries there were a series of offensive play cards and defensive play cards. The success of a given offensive play versus a chosen defense would depend on the roll of three dice. A pass play against a pass defense would require a high roll to be successful. A pass play against a stacked run defense would result in a completion even with a low dice roll result. The game even allowed for a strategy to play the clock…run it out...or...extend the game.
I got this game Christmas of my senior year in college. My best friend Charlie and I played this game endlessly over that Winter Vacation. When I went back to school I brought the game with me.
Pro Quarterback was an immediate fraternity house hit. Within days teams were organized and a tournament started. Two leagues of ten teams each. The top teams in each league went to the playoffs, with a champion to be decided before Super bowl Sunday.
Four teams went to the playoffs. Regular season games had a small following; the playoffs brought a frenzy of football board game freaks. Vinnie “Pieman” DeGennaro was undefeated in the regular season. He was the playoff favorite.
“Pieman” made his way to the Championship game by destroying Joe “Joebee” Cady 28-7. Dave “The original Dude” Doughty went into the final by beating Dave “Sterno” Stern in a defensive battle 14-10.
The Championship Game was set up in the living room. Forty fraternity members lined up to watch. The players were announced and they trotted out to the board to great fanfare. There were chants of “Pieman, Pieman” and the boos that rained down were really cries of “Doood, Doood.”
Each player ended the entrance with a warm-up dice toss.
Bets were taken with “Pieman” the favorite giving up 6 points in the spread.
The first half was a back and forth defensive battle ending with “The Dude” leading 7-3. Marty “Hurtica” Kurtika provided the half time entertainment with his high stepping kazoo playing March.
The second half saw the score tied 13-13 with time for one more play before the game went into overtime. “The Dude” was on his own 38. He played a Hail Mary pass card. “Pieman” played a deep pass defense. “The Dude” needed a roll of triple sixes…18 to complete the pass and end the game.
“The Dude” shook the dice, 40 fans held their breath, League President Don “Squeak” Harjes was devising the rules for the expected overtime, and “The Dude” let the dice roll.
“The Dude” won on a last minute spectacular pass completion. “Pieman” could not believe it and was noticeably dejected as he watched the crowd who had bet on the underdog carry Doughty off on their shoulders to an awaiting celebratory keg of beer.
The “Pieman” and his dejected fans eventually followed and the keg was consumed as the game was discussed and debated ad nausea.
I am sure “Angry Birds” and “Grand Theft Auto” are captivating games, but could they ever capture the spectacle and excitement of the first Lafayette College “Pro Quarterback Board Game Super bowl Championship?”
I think not!