Little known fact about Capitals forward Jay Beagle: He’s the team leader in global domination.
A recent story by Alex Prewitt in Sports Illustrated shed light on Beagle’s conquests, stemming from a team obsession a few seasons back with competing in the online version of the board game ‘Risk.’
Former Caps winger Eric Fehr first set Washington’s efforts to conquer the world into motion, Beagle explained during his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies — ‘The Morning Skate with Jay Beagle,’ sponsored by Sport Automotive — on 106.7 The Fan.
“He was the one who had the game. He played online,” said Beagle. “He played worldwide like against other people.”
“Him and Carly started playing it,” he explained. “And so I started getting in on it too, but I would just play against them on the plane.”
For the 2014-15 season, Beagle assembled a new group featuring forwards Tom Wilson and Aaron Volpatti. Wagering small amounts of per diem – $10 or $20, loose change compared to the hundreds dropped in poker games at the back of the plane – they played Risk on almost every single road trip, an estimated 100 games in total. The student became the map master.
“I don’t think I won a game that year,” Wilson says. “Beags was definitely the master. I grew up playing the board game as a kid. You roll the die, you try to take a country. Whereas Beags has this huge strategy. He plays it to a tee. He just waits. If he needs to wait, he waits. He never does an emotional move. He’s always very calculated about what he’s doing.”
The Junkies shared Wilson’s compliment of Beagle, to which Beagle replied, “That’s awesome Whip (Wilson) says that. I mean, that’s huge coming from him, because we have huge battles in Risk and we go at it pretty hard. To hear a competitor say that is flattering, that’s for sure.”
“Honestly, I didn’t even really play many board games as a kid,” he said. “I never even played Risk the board game. I never have. The app was so easy and it made the game go by so fast. I always heard that the Risk game was, four or five hours it could take, like the actual board game, and I just never played it. So it was just because it was on the app and we had time on the plane, and we started going, and we started wagering money on it and it was fun.”
While their wagers were small and friendly, it was serious business. A bad run of luck on a long road trip could cost a player some serious coin.
“We’d bang out so many games that I think we just made it whatever it was, like 10, 20 bucks a game,” Beagle said. “But you’d bang out like maybe 10 or 20 games in a road trip, so if you were on a huge losing streak you could lose some money.”
“Whoever wanted in, we let ’em in. We weren’t biased,” he said. “If someone downloaded the game and they wanted to get in, which happened a lot, we would dust ’em and they’d be out within three games.
“They’d be like, ‘Forget this game. We’re out of here,’ because me and Whip played it quite a bit. That was like three or four years ago now, though.”