Intuitive board game created by FDU alum and Devils football player
FDU alumnus, John Bogucz (above), with the FDU version of Football Intuition—the strategy board game he developed.
By Dan Landau
An epic showdown is happening on the gridiron. The Fairleigh Dickinson University Devils are in the lead! The players in this game however, are only a few inches tall and the field is a painted board. The game is Football Intuition—a board game created by FDU alumnus John Bogucz.
Here’s how to play: Football Intuition is a two-player game and each player has eight color-coded men. The object is to be the first player to get three men into the other end zone. The pieces can move across the board by jumping over other tokens Chinese checkers-style. On his turn, a player mentally picks the token he wants to move while the opposing player tries to guess which piece it is. An incorrect guess by the second player and the first player is allowed to move the token; a correct guess by the second player ends the first player’s turn.
Strategy comes into play when deciding what tokens to move and where to move them, as well as guessing your opponent’s moves. Hence the name “Intuition.” The psychological aspect is a key component of the game. Bogucz encourages players to “take jabs at your opponents and tease them—basically, try to get in their heads.”
The game began as a test of his son’s intuitive ability. Bogucz says “I was sitting on the living room floor with my son, who was then six years old, and I held a deck of cards with the cards facing away from him and I had him guess the cards I was holding.” Eventually playing pieces and a board were added to the mix and the game evolved into Football Intuition.
“I came up with this game and you try to anticipate what your opponent is going to do,” he says of the game’s focus on brainpower. Bogucz even got a patent on his game, but didn’t do much with it until recently. “It was just a family game,” he says. “We played it to settle disputes (like who had to do the dishes).”
Lately, he has been making more copies of the game and is looking to start selling it. Bogucz makes each version of the game himself, starting with an unfinished wood case, which he stains green. Then he adds a large white sticker with all the football field lines. “Then, I put a bar-top epoxy clear coat on it and finish up with a coat of wax,” says Bogucz.
The alumnus made a special FDU-version of the game for the University, complete with a Devils logo on the game board and red helmets like the ones the Devils wear today. Interestingly enough, the Devils opponents are also the Devils—the black helmets are modeled after the helmets he wore when he played for the Devils back in the late ‘70s. Bogucz presented the game to FDU and hosted an intramural Football Intuition tournament during the spring. He plans to host more Football Intuition tournaments at FDU in the future.
Bogucz studied business at FDU as an undergrad, graduating in 1981. He played on the football team as a wide receiver during his sophomore year. “I always liked football and when I came here, my roommate freshman year was on the football team,” says Bogucz. He convinced Bogucz to try out for the team and so he did the next year.
“I played football for Coach Klika [now Director of Athletics at the College at Florham] and I enjoyed it immensely,” recounts Bogucz. “After being a statistician for the football team in high school, I was actually playing football in college!” Besides playing football with the Devils, Bogucz was heavily involved in intramural sports, playing volleyball, football, golf, and winning the intramural championship in softball one year.
FDU proved to be fertile ground for Bogucz, allowing him to bloom athletically, but also thrive academically. “I began to excel when I got to college and I graduated with honors from FDU,” says Bogucz. “I like the campus and I was able to do very well because I was comfortable here.”
Since graduating from FDU, Bogucz has been working as a stockbroker in New Jersey.
The FDU version of Football Intuition, created by alum John Bogucz.