Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a football coach? Well wait no longer, here is your chance! This is the story about a driver and a dream and what drives his dreams. Michael Wray Jr., age 51 and a Raymondville, Missouri resident has invented and designed the Ultimate Football Board Game where you can play at all levels: high school, college and pro. Wray came up with the idea as a school project for a short story while in the 8th grade at Liberty High School in Bedford, Virginia in 1982.
Wray enlisted in the US Navy in 1988 and carried his dream with him through various commands in Newport, Rhode Island and Norfolk, Virginia and even had a Super Bowl commercial by the Armed Forces Television featuring his game. To date, Wray has had over 1,500 positive comments on the game from people in various jobs and ages from 6 to 75 years old!
While stationed on board the USS Nassau (LHA 4) Wray had the chance to play his football board game against his Commanding Officer and he loved it. “I was leading at halftime 9-8 but I was taking it easy,” Wray said jokingly. Wray wanted to continue to pursue his goal of every home in America having You’re the Coach in their living room, so after 16 years in the US Navy he pursued driving a truck.
“I chose to drive a truck because, as a kid I can remember riding in the back seat. I may have been 5 years old or so and I would motion for the drivers to blow the horn. Later on, in life I remember the long trips from my home in Bedford, Virginia back to Newport, Rhode Island and letting drivers out or running with them. I went to Memphis, Tennessee to learn how to drive a truck at MS Carriers Truck Driving Academy. I was even showing people my football board game back then,” Wray said.
So, back to the game, when you play this you will feel like you are playing, coaching or on the sidelines watching! The results are so realistic that you could almost take it to Vegas. You’re the Coach can be played on the easiest level or more advanced, with a way to even play against yourself in it - that’s right, a football board game that can be played alone.
As many as 18 people can participate in a game, there is a time clock on paper that simulates the actual game.
On offense, choose your play and the defense will choose their formation and stunt and the dice represents the player’s ability to execute the play and you demonstrate your knowledge to call the right play just like the coaches do.
There are weather conditions simulated of course, power ratings to demonstrate the teams strengths and weaknesses .
No NFL or College names or teams are used due to licensing. Each game has scoresheets and stat sheets.
Just like in real football there is also a fatigue factor, where players get tired and it affects their play on here also.
Injuries are a big part of real football and on here as well, and when you have to substitute players it makes a difference in the game. This is the most realistic football board game ever. Every aspect of football is included. “I really enjoy talking football and setting down with football coaches and playing this and watching their faces in amazement about the game,” Wray stated.
I know what you are thinking it’s a football board game, not a video game… well, there is an excitement factor that helps you visualize what happens on the play just like in real football. The human mind and brain are way stronger and more realistic and vivid than any computer or video game. You’re the Coach also has a fitness factor included in it where if you score a touchdown the defense has to do push-ups or sit ups. All of this and other situations will keep you actively involved.
“You can even implement your kids homework assignments into it! What other game can you say that about?!
Michale Wray began his trucking career driving for Wright Express in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Presently, Wray drives for Stevens Distributors out of Rolla, Missouri, where, when he is on the clock, he is all business delivering the goods just like all of the other professional drivers in this country.
Wray comments, “I enjoy meeting people at the shippers and consignees and fellow drivers and telling them about my football board game and giving all the glory to God in the process for blessing me with this wonderful life changing idea. After 17 years and over 2.5 million miles OTR, I look forward to what God has in store. I would ultimately like to appear on ABC’s Shark Tank, how cool would that be.”
Michael is currently in negotiations with the OFL a new professional football league based out of Baltimore, Maryland. The OFL designated You’re the Coach as their official board game and an app designed by Brad Collins, for this new up and coming professional football league with a Facebook page as well.
Michael and his fiancée Chrissy White are busy assembling 500 games in their Raymondville, Missouri home. They will be printed in the USA by Scott’s Printing in Rolla, Missouri. These games will be available soon in various truck stops and stores as well as online. He said that his late Grandmother Christine Smith, who died at the age of 99 has been his role model for striving to reach his dreams. His parents Michael and Sybil Wray have also been believers and supporters.
If you want to reach Michael or talk football with him, you can email him at [email protected].