NFL Draft Games, Part II: The Ball 'n' Chain Game

Caleb GarlingCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  A Pittsburgh Steelers fan kisses a Green Bay Packers fan prior to Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

[This is Part II of a series dedicated to devising games to play on draft day, no matter your situation or what you're doing with your day/evening. Here is a link to Part I, the Standard Draft Game, if you missed it or are going to be watching with your buddies.]

If you are in the three percent of the male population whose girlfriends/wives breathe football and will be by your side without question on draft night, let me say, "Damn you."

If you are in the 97 percent whose better halves would rather clean the toilet than watch the NFL draft, yet you’re on the hook for plans on draft night, let me say, "I feel you" and here’s a game that juuuuust might convince her to stay in and watch.


A Few Prerequisites:

1) Concede every other aspect of the evening. Tofu stir-fry for dinner? Done. Wine instead of beer? Check. Organizing photo albums when the draft is over? Perfect. This game can’t go anywhere if you don’t have some chips stacked in your corner.

2) Love explaining things. The entire draft is an information download. It’s not a regular season game where “home team score = good” and “away team score = bad.” Everything needs explaining.

“I thought they were all on strike, why are they drafting new players?”

“This isn’t basketball; why does a vertical jump matter?”

“That guy looks like he gets laid a lot, do they test for STDs in the Columbine?”

“Why does that Mel guy look like his hair is covered in epoxy?”

Remember: You’ve spent the last six months earning a PhD in prospects and you’re asking her to take the final exam. Be patient. Again, stack those poker chips.

3) Step up “at the right time,” if you know what I mean.


The Game:

She’s going to answer trivia about what transpired during the coverage before the most recent pick. You’re going to answer trivia about her opinions or conjecture on the drafted player in the most recent pick.


Flow: (Read through once completely; there is a cyclical nature to it.)

1) When the Panthers (or any team) go on the clock, the game starts. From now until when Goodell announces Carolina’s pick, the discussion content of the commentators is fair game for a question for you to ask her. She can clarify anything regarding terms, players or teams and you have to explain correctly.

2) Devise three questions (Not too hard…remember, poker chips) and keep them in mind. (i.e. don’t ask yet.)

3) When Goodell announces the pick, your time to create trivia is over and her's starts.

4) Her trivia doesn’t have to be football related. She could ask, “What color dress was Cam Newton’s mom wearing?” or “How many high-fives did he give before he went up?” or even, “What American Idol finalist do you think I’d picture him marrying?” Keep as much about the proceedings as "in play" as possible. (The expanse of draft knowledge you’ve accrued is just as broad and random.)

5) Her window to devise trivia closes when Goodell and the player finish the obligatory handshake and jersey photo.

6) Each of you quickly assign your three questions a value of one, three and six. Those are the points the other person will receive if they get the answer right.

7) Ask trivia questions.

8) Laugh or argue about answers.

9) Tally score.

10) Officially focus back on the draft coverage before the next pick: Your window to devise three questions closes when Goodell comes to the podium again.

11) Repeat.



- The game is mostly designed to give either person quiet while their preferred part of the draft is happening. You should have mostly quiet while the draftheads are talking since she's focusing on what they're saying (though she may have a question or two); and she should have mostly quiet from you as the family/hugs/tears bit is going on since you'll need to be focusing.

- If both of you are super-competitive, then it's clear that either side could make their trivia as hard as possible and you have a kinda downward spiral, zero sum game going on. Perhaps both agree that you'll keep the questions "fun."

- If you are super-competitive and she's not, just relax. By losing, you may win bigger later on.

- Have fun and, again, step up at the right time.


Not watching with the girlfriend? Click here for Part I

Tomorrow: The Twitter Game

Next week: The Buzzword Game and more...

[Featured Columnist Caleb Garling also writes for and can be followed at]