Almanac of Games, July 6th: Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Chicken All-Stars

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(Almanac of Games is a weekly feature, published every Sunday)

OBSERVANCE
July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day

The Chicken industry likely chose this day to fight back against the Hot Dog cabal, which took over July 4th with its eating contest. Dozens of websites say it’s official, but I don’t see any group claiming to have started it. Neither the National Chicken Council or KFC mentions it on their websites

1Is it a legit national observance? The correct answer is: Who Cares! It’s some fried chicken! It’s good (though not “for you”). It’s a day, then, to reminisce back to when you first ate fried chicken. Living in the Northeast, I never got home-cooked friend chicken.

So, for me my earliest memory was of a long-forgotten chicken take-out place called Chicken Delight. “Don’t cook tonight. Call Chicken Delight,” went the earliest jingle I can ever remember. BTW, the chain is still thriving in Canada.

2Today’s choice of games includes this tribute to the fast food business, 1992’s Fast Food Franchise, from Prism Games. It’s a basic roll & move mechanic with an economic victory condition. (Think Monopoly.)

Photos are by (1)  John Holder–peapicker on Board Game Geek.– and (2) BGG Admin (from Board Game Geek)

BIRTHDAY

On July 6th, 1946, Sylvester Stallone was born. 3

The best choice to celebrate Sly’s birthday is this 60’s classic, Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots, published in 1967 by Marx.

Forget about the Hugh Jackman movie based on this game (Real Steel). Rocky was 4the original hit-him-til-his-head-pops-off movie. In fact, the final 10 minutes were far more violent than 10 years of title fights put together, yet the two antagonists were still standing at the end. (But then Apollo Creed did a 180 in the sequel & challenged Rocky to a rematch, that’s when the head popped off this franchise.)

Photos by (1) Joe Xavier (coolio on Board Game Geek), and (2) Chris Brua (cbrua on Board Game Geek)

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

On July 6th, 1933, Baseball’s first All-Star game was held at Chicago’s Comiskey Park.

Imagine FIFA holding an All-Star game in the middle of the World Cup. East vs. West (hemispheres), with all the game’s stars on the field at one time. There are no stakes, just the thrill of watching the best athletes in the world – Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Rooney, Howard – share the same pitch.

It’s not going to happen.

But baseball was in the same position in the early 1930s. For over three decades, there was no interleague gathering of stars in what was the world’s first great organized team sport (unless you want to count offseason barnstorming trips).

This game was established as a special one-off, coinciding with the Chicago World’s Fair. It proved too popular to ignore, and the game has been held ever since.

5Just 8 years after the first All-Star game, Cadaco published its salute to the Midsummer Classic, All-Star Baseball Game. This was my first baseball game (the 1966 edition), a classic early American spinner game.

6But what made this stand out from typical spinner games is that it was statistically relevant. Each player got their own overlay to place on the spinner, and the results were based on actual player performance. It’s the granddaddy of APBA, Strat-o-matic, and every tabletop & video game.

Over 70 years after its original printing, you can still have a satisfying time playing it; it’s that good.

Photos by (1) N T (ntar on Board Game Geek), and (2) Ron Pfeiffer (fuzzyfife on Board Game Geek)

What game are you playing on this special day? Let us know in the Comments!

 

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About Author

Drew is a contributor to the Board Gamers Anonymous podcast. He's a curator by nature, compulsively reading and obsessively organizing what he's read. He's also been a gamer since the age of 3, which means he's been playing board games for... let's just say more than 40 years, and leave it at that...