The Green Bay Packers Are "Addicted" To Settlers of Catan

The Green Bay Packers Are "Addicted" To Settlers of Catan

When not at practice or playing football, the Green Bay Packers host an incredibly competitive Settlers of Catan gaming night.

When your entire career could be summed up as "playing games competitively", it's hard to imagine relaxing with more of the same. But for the past two months, that's exactly what the Green Bay Packers have done, with a twist - gathering around the tabletop for surprisingly intense sessions of Settlers of Catan.

It all started when starting tackle David Bakhtiari introduced Catan to the team. "At first we're like, 'What the hell is this?'" starting center Corey Linsley said. "'Brick? Wool? What kind of game is this?'" That stage didn't last for long, as the team quickly embraced Settlers of Catan and its emergent strategies. Now on any given day in the locker room, you'll find Packers talking Catan strategies or making plans to meet for an evening game.

"We are completely addicted to it," tight end Justin Perillo said. "we play it whenever we can."

Settlers of Catan's emphasis on non-violence, resource trading, and city building make it a light-hearted tabletop game for the whole family. A tabletop game with the Packers, however, can be far more cutthroat. "Everyone is super competitive, so when you first start playing they don't tell you all the rules," So you start your moves and they say 'well, actually you can't do that' and it sort of screws you in the game. They get very salty."

All told, Settlers is a great off-field bonding exercise, but what helped board games click in particular? It's partly seasonal - Green Bay is the smallest NFL town, which doesn't leave a lot of activities to take part in during the winter season. But the Packers have also fully embraced Catan's mechanics and strategies to the point of constantly dissecting them at and away from the tabletop. "I was just trying to play some music - some Pearl Jam," center Garth Gerhart noted "and [Bakhtiari] wouldn't let me. He wanted to hear the players talk and strategize. He was very serious. They take it to a different level."

And the best part? As knowledge of the Packers new hobby spreads, it's bringing attention to the local gaming store. At Green Bay's Gnome Games, Settlers of Catan sold out over the Christmas season while encouraging all kinds of new customers to stop by. "When the average person sees the Packers doing it, it becomes a safe thing," Gnome Games' Pat Fuge said. "That it's not the kids in mom's basement anymore."

Source: Wall Street Journal


That is...actually pretty awesome. Also, wow. Now a FOOTBALL TEAM is geekier than I am. And that's a feat.

just wait till they start playing dungeons and dragons

cataan is a gateway drug.....

Nerds! This is actually pretty amazing. The jock vs. nerd playing field just got a little more level. I own this game and have still never actually played it because my family has the same "you want to play what?" attitude. Now I hear the Packers are playing?!??! Fate, you are a fickle mistress.

With the Packers' new strategic skills they Mayfair well in the playoffs.

Between this and beating the Cowboys, I think I'm starting to warm up to the Packers.

Great article, good to hear they're in on it. Surprising though because it sounds like the sort of activity that would split up team cohesion being such a competitive game.

They need to expand their boardgaming horizons. There's much better out there than Settlers these days. Still, nice to hear gaming becoming even more mainstream.

Nerds! This is actually pretty amazing. The jock vs. nerd playing field just got a little more level.

I feel like the jock vs. nerd rivalry died out long ago, and I would guess at the latest it would be somewhere around when comic book movies became mainstream. Then again, I haven't been in high school for many years now, maybe I'm wrong.

Germany, secretly conquering the world via boardgames!

This right here is great.


I hope fights don't break out, 'cos board games can get like that.

Right on.

It's not everyday you hear a sport teams nerd out on a board game, so I can dig it.

That being said, that doesn't make me like them and I hope they lose to Seattle.

No, I'm not a bitter Vikings fan, why would you suggest such a silly thing?

Does the USADA know about the new danger in sport. Steroids are bad enough, but now we have the Greenbay Packers asking each other if the have wood. The horror, the horror.....

Of course, fans of rival teams might start showing up at games with "The Packers have wood for sheep" signs...

Must resist Trading sheep for wood joke... Damn it.

I desperately want to play this game, but I've never been able to. And now to find out that there's an NFL team that plays it...

Of course, fans of rival teams might start showing up at games with "The Packers have wood for sheep" signs...

If someone can do this, and get it on TV...

Of course, fans of rival teams might start showing up at games with "The Packers have wood for sheep" signs...

that would be fun to see at the super bowl while their are winning.

American football has always been one of the nerdier sports anyway, being essentially turn-based and heavy on planning moves ahead of time compared to soccer, basketball, or hockey. People forget about that because it happens to also involve refrigerator-sized men in more padding than a shipment of antique china bashing into each other like trucks in a demolition derby.

Lol at all the 'wood for sheep' jokes in this thread.

Settlers is a pretty addictive game though. I introduced three of my friends one night thinking we'd just play one game... they wanted to keep playing until about 3am.

Looks like Catan is enjoyed in association football as well as American football.

Chadli is obviously very happy at Spurs, as anyone would be who is at the heart of an improving team. But he also has friends there, who share an unusual hobby: board games. While the whole Spurs squad play Mario Kart on Nintendo DS - Kyle Walker is the best, then Kyle Naughton and Rose - a smaller group play perudo - a dice game - or something different.

Settlers of Catan is a German, four-player strategy game which Jan Vertonghen introduced to Tottenham. Vertonghen, Chadli, Mousa Dembélé and Benjamin Stambouli play it at the training ground and at away games. For now, Vertonghen is the best, but Chadli is determined to catch him up.

"Jan has the most experience of this game," Chadli admits. "He played a lot of with his brothers and his friends. I didn't play it so much, now I am learning with my friends and brothers, too. When I play more, I think I am going to beat him." There are always things left to improve.


That's actually a picture of the Belgian national team, but 3 of those players also play for Spurs.

...well, this was not something I expected to ever see. Might have to reconsider my "sports teams are populated by meat heads" stance...
Good on 'em.

So cheese heads are trading cheese?

(The games about trading right?)

Germany, secretly conquering the world via boardgames!

Who told you That? I'm totaly not calling my government or something, because you totaly didn't find out about the super secret mindcontroll device - wich is true.

Also: Don't tell ... - Wait. I'm not into sports - Tell them about Twilight Impreium. Chances are, that could be the end of all comercial sports events.

Alright, awesome. Now let's try to get them into playing Twilight Imperium.

While I'm still rooting for the Seahawks tomorrow, this article did make me like the Packers a little more. The idea of a bunch of 6'5, 300+ lbs guys sitting around a table playing a board game and getting pissed off due to a lack of "wool" made me laugh.

Someone send these guys a box of Arkham Horror. Then they'll see what a real board game looks like :D

I love this. I hope that gamestore works the famous angle with some sweet signage about the footballers loving catan.

joanna bolding:
I love this. I hope that gamestore works the famous angle with some sweet signage about the footballers loving catan.

They already did! Just didn't have a lot of room in this post to squeeze it in.

From the source article:

"The Packers' embrace of the game become such a phenomenon that the store put a sign up that said "Be cool like Justin Perillo, play Catan!" The Packer players quickly noticed it. "We thought it was hilarious," Linsley said."


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