Looking back on it, I'd rank my favorite board games growing up in the following order: 1) Life
, 2) Monopoly,
and 3) Mouse Trap
. Playing the "Game of Life" almost made you feel like a grown-up without the actual minivan or stick figure kids. Now, a man in Japan has taken his love of the board game to another level, creating a real life "Game of Life" in Yoron, Japan
Takanori Iwamoto came up with the idea to turn the 8-square mile island into a real life rat race after being stuck inside with his family playing Life
during a typhoon last year. He noticed that the island had an uncanny resemblance to the game's spinner, and designed the real life version as a way to boost tourism and raise relief funds. For $5, participants can join the month-long match, which will feature all the signature pieces from the board game: a life-sized roulette, 18 square foot boards, and a bus parading as a game piece, shuttling players from marriage to retirement, or one side of the island to the other. Iwamoto says the game will feature "Amazing Race"esque challenges, and it's designed so no one goes home broke.
So, who's coming with me?
--- We knew Monday would be a big day for Mark Stoops and Kentucky, and the staff delivered. Three- and four-star safeties Mike Edwards and Darius West committed to Kentucky Monday
, becoming the 13th and 14th members of UK's 2014 class. First, let's talk about Edwards, who was in Lexington all day with the current 2014 commitments, who spent their time together talking up the Cats and convincing him to commit. It worked. Edwards chose the Cats over Louisville, Wisconsin, Nebraska, West Virginia, Vandy and others. Rivals ranks him the 33rd best safety in America, and the 19th best player in the state of Ohio.
In an interview with Steve Jones, Edwards' high school coach calls praised his versatility
“He’s one of the best football players in the state of Ohio,” Winton Woods coach Andrew Parker said. “He is probably one of the most versatile kids we’ve ever coached. He can play cornerback, receiver. He’s just a football player.”
--- Once Edwards was on board, it didn't take much to convince Darius West, his close friend. The two have advertised themselves as a package deal, and both came very close to committing to UK in the past few months. After hearing that Edwards committed, West came to Lexington, met with Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow, and came out of the room a Cat
. He chose Kentucky over Louisville, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Vandy, and others. West's rankings are even more impressive than Edwards; Rivals ranks him the 15th best safety in the nation and the 5th best player in Ohio.
--- Speaking of Ohio, how dominant have Vince Marrow and company been in the Buckeye State so far? They've got commitments from the 4th, 5th, 8th, 19th, 29th, 32nd and 34th ranked players in the state, and they've only just begun the summer recruiting season.
--- Of course, any commitment isn't official until the wide receivers coach cries Yahtzee:
A few hours later...
's my new favorite game.
--- Edwards and West's commitment moves UK's 2014 class to #6 in Rivals' team rankings and #5 in 247's.
Yes, it is very early, and yes, the Cats likely won't finish with a ranking that high, but let's just take a moment to appreciate the surreality of it all. Earlier on Monday, I discussed how Mark Stoops has rebranded the Kentucky football program
, creating a buzz that is impossible to ignore. While it may take longer to see those results on the field, the ears of the elite talent across the country are perking up to what's happening in Lexington. This is the first time in the Rivals era that Kentucky has four commitments rated as four-star prospects (Barker, Snodgrass, Horton and West). As Mark Stoops tweeted on Monday night, it was a "big, big day" for the football program.
--- If all of that wasn't enough to get you amped for football season, check out what Western Kentucky handed out to its faculty over the weekend
--- It wasn't all football news on Monday. Word broke that UK may be pursuing Austrailian 5-star combo guard Dante Exum
, who will likely attend college in the US this season. Exum will be eligible for the 2014 Draft, and says that the Cats have expressed interest in him, along with Indiana and Louisville. He's already visited Indiana, and says they're the favorite right now. He says he'll make his decision by the end of the year, and if he does attend college, enroll in January. Just in time for the conference season...
--- Your Kyle Wiltjer goes to China update of the day: on Monday, Wiltjer and Team Canada beat the Latvians, 82-40
before heading out for another province. However, the real highlight of the day may have been when his translator scored him and his teammates some American snacks:
--- Archie Goodwin worked out for the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday
, and according to Grizzlies beat writer Brandon Speck, feels he could come in and play immediately for the Grizzlies. Archie also said that John Calipari didn't want him to leave Kentucky because he felt the Cats had a point to prove, but that he was comfortable with his decision. Archie will work out for the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
--- Congrats to Lexington native Jake Bell on being named the SEC coordinator of officials
. Bell is a Georgetown and UK alum, as well as the former head football coach at Henry Clay. Doug Shows, you have been warned.
--- Finally, can we all agree that the judge who turned down Chad Johnson's plea deal because he tapped his lawyer on the butt is a wee bit stuck up?
If only we all had that bailiff's sense of humor.
--- And with that, it's time for bed. Matt and Ryan will be live from the Clear Channel Golf Scramble in the morning to talk about Mark Stoops' big Monday and reveal the winner of the "I haven't been totally honest with you" prank. See you then.