Geeks in the NFL: Andrew Luck and the Settlers of Catan Connection

 Getty Images

What do at least two of the four remaining teams in the NFL have in common? They play Settlers of Catan. Earlier this year, in our September cover story, Andrew Luck, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, revealed his passion for the complex — some would say nerdy — board game, Settlers of Catan. Though the former high school valedictorian said he usually plays with his family, he has eyes on an eventual Settlers tournament for the team.

Likewise, a "double digit number" of Green Bay Packers, including much of the offensive line, have embraced the game. Called "a nonviolent version of Risk," by Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn, the game tasks players with building settlements through resource and infrastructure to accumulate points. In the 20 years since it first was released, Catan has built up a large fan base throughout the world, with some 15 million games sold. 

While the Packers and Luck didn't give a real reason for being drawn to the game, Luck did offer us some insight into how to play it well: "I'm a sucker for the road building, but it always gets me in trouble! Big time. Cause you chase the roads, you get lost. My strategy? I try to focus on, 'What are concrete points?' Settlements and cities."