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You’re Nuts: Nurf guns, improv games; what’s the best way to make a boring game interesting?

Your (almost) daily dose of good-natured, Ohio State banter.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Joshua A. Bickel/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.

In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.

Today’s Question: What’s the best way to make a boring game interesting?

Context: The Ohio State Buckeyes opened as 41.5-favorites over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday. And while blowouts against traditionally respectable teams like Wisconsin can be fun, generally beating the pants off of consistently overmatched opponents can be tedious and boring.

So, Jami and Matt tried to come up with different ideas to make what could be a difficult game to suffer through more enjoyable.

Jami’s Take: Nerf Gun Darts

As the resident chaos monger of Land-Grand Holy Land, I am begging the football gods not to punish me by unleashing chaos on my Buckeyes this weekend. I need a normal, boring football game against Rutgers to get back in the swing of West Coast 9 AM start times.

In the event that the football gods wreak havoc on my nervous system, please disregard everything after this sentence and go about your normal screaming, crying, and nail-biting routines.

But if I get my wish and the game against the Scarlet Knights on Saturday is a bit of a sleeper, I have the perfect way to liven things up: Nerf guns.

This is a family-friendly activity (that can include but certainly does not require alcohol if it’s that kind of watch party).

In my family, this game has been known to bring maximum chaos (ask my brother and cousin Mary who got locked in a closet together for HOURS while my other cousin and I were babysitting because we were so distracted by the nerf gun game that we couldn’t hear them screaming. They’re still in therapy for this. We got grounded). Fair warning: Keep your hands, arms, and small children inside the room at all times.

The only props you need are nerf guns, armed with the Nerf suction darts.

If you’ve ever played the mustache game (where you stick a mustache on the tv and drink or score a point every time it properly lines up on someone’s face), this game is in the same vein. But it’s a little more active and therefore, is a little more fun.

The general gist is that you shoot your nerf suction darts at the TV (they are foam and shouldn’t harm the TV in any way) – if you hit a target, you score a point. Feel free to make your own rules for scoring to keep things interesting! Some ideas for potential scoring methods are as follows:

  • Score a point any time you hit a Rutgers player
  • Score a point any time a player makes a mistake (turnover, incomplete pass, missed block, flag) and you hit them as a result
  • Choose a specific player and score a point any time you hit your player
  • Bonus points if you hit a mascot
  • Bonus points if you can Dot the I during Script Ohio

The nerf gun game was always a favorite of ours as kids. It’s funny, mostly safe (stay away from closets though), and can keep people entertained for hours. It’s harder than it sounds to hit moving targets, especially when the TV broadcasts change angles on you, so it can also be a challenge that keeps everyone engaged if the game gets boring. And if the game starts to pick up, you can always put the nerf guns down and just enjoy the football.

Matt’s Take: Play-by-play improv

Wow, I honestly don’t know if I can compete with Jami’s idea. I suppose that some people will opt to consume copious amounts of alcohol, but I am a teetotaler, so I have less than zero insight into how to make a game fun that way. So I’m going to have to zig where Jami and others have zagged.

So, my idea is that if the game is boring, what you can do is assign a fictional character or real-life celebrity to each player in the game based on whatever criteria your imagination can come up with; if a player has long blonde hair a la Clay Matthews Jr., call him Thor. If a player shares a name with a character, go with that; Santonio Holmes becomes Sherlock Holmes for example.

Once you have a new name for every major player, take over as the play-by-play announcer, turning the in-game action into a narrative like it’s a movie. Come up with deep, psychological motivations for why Jonathan Taylor Thomas just took down J. Jonah Jameson; or why Steve Urkel just stole the ball from Papa Smurf.

Not only does this bring added stakes to the actual game itself, but it also allows you to exercise your creativity and show off your pop cultural and literary knowledge. Think about it, if you are watching a game with a group of people that is so collectively disinterested in the actual intricacies of the contest, there is a better chance that they will appreciate other things like your encyclopedic knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the complete works of J.R.R. Tolkein.

This is also a great group activity as different people can riff off of the storylines created from play to play. It’s effectively a guided improv game in which different “announcers” can tag in to take over calling the action whenever they want, or you can go in a circle one play at a time.

Essentially, in this exercise, everything is fair game and the only limits are those of your own creativity and imagination; and there are no right or wrong answers, the only thing you have to say is “Yes, and?”


Who has the right answer to today’s question?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Jami: Nerf Gun Darts
    (9 votes)
  • 50%
    Matt: Play-by-play improv
    (9 votes)
18 votes total Vote Now