“All the fun of football without the inflated egos and deflated balls”
1st & Goal is a card and dice based football game by R&R Games for two to four players that does a fantastic job of giving you experience of coaching a team without getting bogged down in all the stats that other sports games tend to focus on. You play the role of coach for your team, calling plays by playing a card face down. Your opponent does the same, then you reveal and compare the offense and defensive plays selected. The result indicates which dice are rolled to decide the outcome of the down. Yards gained or lost, fumbles, interception, penalties, and game breaker plays are all represented on the roll of the dice.
Not only does the dice roll determine the outcome of each play, but the randomness of it provides plenty of cheers, grumbles, and other reactions you might see and hear from people watching a real game. Even with the randomness of the dice, the balance between the offense and defensive play selection mitigates some of that pure luck feel. It also makes the game surprisingly accessible for those that don’t really enjoy football or know the game.
The other cool feature is the game board itself. The components are well made and the ball is magnetic, so it sticks to the football field if any over enthusiastic dice rolls decide to streak across the field. R&R Games also offer expansions, with other teams represented by their own sets of dice (which allows for varied strengths and weaknesses across the teams)
The Approach: How much more fun could you have then starting a league, getting your friends together, cooking up some hot dogs and making some nachos, then cracking open your favorite beverage to throw down on some gridiron action? What’s missing from that picture? All the sounds of the stadium. While I will leave the crowd noise to your buddies and any kids running around, I have pulled some of the songs I consider essential to football experience. You might have heard some of these at the stadium, or in the case of Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, you may not have known it was even a real song. I hope you enjoy this playlist and it makes a great game experience even better.
Feel free to post in the comments if you agree, disagree, or think you have a song that should be on the playlist. If there is a game you think should have a soundtrack, or you have a soundtrack for a game, drop me a line using the “Contact Roll & Groove” page.
1. The Rolling Stones – Start Me Up: I don’t watch as much football as I used to, but I will always be a huge Kansas City Chiefs fan. Though not exclusive to their stadium, when they play this song at kickoff and Keith rips that opening riff, it really gets me going.
2. AC/DC – If You Want Blood: I have great memories of driving many an early Sunday morning, from St. Louis to Kansas City, for game day. This song would always find its way out of the stereo and into our ears. There’s a section of I-70 Westbound, where you come over the crest and you can see Arrowhead stadium for the first time. This song is served best in that moment and it has been served many times that way. Turn it up. Turn it up again. That’s it.
3. LL Cool J – Momma Said Knock You Out: This song takes on a different feel with all the awareness around concussions in football. Maybe Momma wants you to go get thoroughly examined after you get knocked out, to make sure you’re truly ready to take the field?
4. Otis Day and the Knights (Really, it was Lloyd Williams singing): So what if it was lip synched by Dewayne Jessie, who played Otis? Who cares? It is a fantastic moment in film, the inspiration for many parties, and a great way to get the stadium (or your game group) dancing. I saw Otis Day and the Knights when I was a freshman in high school. We walked around the hotel after the show and found their room; simple enough as it was the only one with a small crowd outside the door. Otis (Dewayne) came out and selected a handful of folks to go in. My buddies and I were part of that group. He thanked us for how enthusiastic we were at the show and we chatted for a while. Then we stood around awkwardly while they partied. One of many memories around this song that make it even more amaze-o to me.
5. Grand Funk Railroad – We’re An American Band: Watch the video below and it will confirm they are an American Band. They ride motorbikes and mess around with blowguns for fun. That’s a pretty American band thing to do, right? Play this song with caution. When it comes on, someone’s going to take off their t-shirt. Whether it’s down by the river, at Mile High Stadium, or your local Circle K. Be warned.
6. Guns and Roses – Welcome To The Jungle: The first half is over, your team is down but not out. This is the song everyone needs to hear to get jacked for a comeback (of which LL Cool J would not want you to call it). This song and the album, Appetite for Destruction, was a kick in the teeth to music when it came out. The whole thing still feels edgy and dangerous, even today.
7. AC/DC – Thunderstruck: Their second appearance on this list. Such a great intro and thundering drums. If you don’t believe the power of Rock and Roll, watch the video below. It’s powerful stuff. Throw long and rock hard!
8. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army: Menacing, dark, and pure energy. I didn’t expect to hear this played at a stadium, but it worked. You may not like everything Jack White does, but everything he does is creative and full of heart. Oh, and most of it rocks its ass off.
9. Steam – Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye: This song was number 1 for two weeks! What amazes me about it the whole thing is that somehow this song got translated into a crowd chant at sporting events. I didn’t even know it was a real song until many years after implementing it as way to vocally smite down my athletic rivals.
10. Queen – We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions: Yes, they are two separate songs, but they go together so perfectly that their solidarity cannot be denied. We Will Rock You was actually released as the B-side to We Are The Champions, though the album in which they appear is ordered as they’ve been played for years. Sports anthems have never been the same since.