Sorta, kinda but not really…
As a new season approaches, let the trash talk begin! Get ready to see Raiders caps in the most unexpected places, hear “we them boyz”a zillion times and entertains as much “Brady is the GOAT” talk as you can stand. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, have no fear ladies “I got you!” it’s better to join in rather than be that chick that makes a “Hunny-do-list that you expect to, who ask how long are you going to watch that or the one who comes into the room every so often to ask a stupid as question when it’s 4th down on the 1 yard line. (We’ll circle back to that later)
Have you wanted to join the party but don’t know anything about football? Knowing the basics will not only help you enjoy the game more it’ll help you bond with your spouse in an activity they really enjoy.
Now let’s get started! There are 32 NFL teams divided into two Conferences, the AFC- American Football League (16) and the NFC- National Football League (16). Each conference (16) teams are then split into four (4) divisions, (4) teams make up a division within each conference: NFC-
North, South, East and West and the AFC- North, South, East and West. Each team falls into a division, for example:
The NFC South consist of the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Aint’s. I mean Saint’s… While the AFC South consist of the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars.
The winner of each division automatically makes the playoffs. The teams then play until there are only two teams left. The last two teams standing play in the Super Bowl, one from the NFC and one from the AFC.
Football is a relatively simple game, it’s a forty five minute game divided into four (4) fifteen minute quarters or two (2) thirty minute halves. Why does the game take so long if it’s only a 45 minute game? Well, the clock is stopped after each passing play, during time outs, commercial breaks and various penalty calls. All in all, an average game is approximately three hours.
Each team plays four (4) pre-season games and sixteen (16) regular season games, half at home and half away.
There are two (2) End zones at opposing ends of field and the object of the game is for each team to get the ball into their end zone as many times as possible to win!
Each team plays Offense and Defense with eleven (11) players on each side. The Offense lead by the Quarterback, job is to score. The Defense job is to stop the team from scoring.
Quarterback (QB): calls the play, passes or hands the ball off. He can also run if he’s got balls and not scared to take a hit.
Wide Receiver (WR): catches the ball
Running back (RB): runs the ball but will sometimes catch the ball & block as well.
Tightend (TE): has several functions, they may block for the QB or RB, run the ball or catch the ball in the slot. (an area in the middle of the opposing teams defense, yes it’s a risky situation…)
Offensive line/O-Line: are the extra large guys you see lined up in front of the QB. Their job is to protect the QB not letting him get sacked. (knocked down before he can throw/handoff the ball)
Defensive line/D-Line: the opposing teams defense lines up in front of the Offensive line. (The really big guys with the other color jerseys on) Their job is to sack the QB (hurry into making a mistake and knock down) or stop the run.
Defensive Ends (DE): job is to sack the QB or tackle anything on or behind the line of scrimmage. (prevent them from advancing/moving the ball forward)
Cornerback (CB): cover the opposing teams WR, (stop him from catching the ball or tackling as soon as he does to prevent a touchdown). The CB plays the WR, one on one or on an island away from the rest of the defense.
Safety (S): plays in the middle of the defense, their job is to stop anything that gets passed the D-Line.
Each team gets four (4) tries called downs to pick up a 1st down. i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th down. A 1st down is when the team advances the ball ten (10) yards. If the team picks up the 1st down they are granted four (4) more tries. If the team is too far away from picking up the 1st down after 3rd down they will usually opt to punt the ball. A punt is when the Offense kicks the ball back to the opposing team, giving them a new point to start from.
Touchdown (TD): A touchdown is when a team either runs or throws the ball into the endzone. A touchdown is worth six (6) points.
Field goal/Extra point: after a team scores touchdown they are allowed to kick an extra point. An extra point is worth one (1) point.
Going for two: in really close or tie game you will often see coaches hold up a “peace sign/two fingers” after a touchdown. This means the team wants to go for two (2) points instead of one. The team will now either run or pass the ball like a normal play. Except, going for two is a risky call! If the team makes it they receive two points instead of one but if they don’t make it, they get nothing and everyone will debate if kicking the field goal was the better option.
Safety: A safety occurs when the team on defense tackles a player on offense inside the opposing teams end zone. (the end zone behind them) A Safety is also worth (2) points. Keep in mind, Safeties are a big deal which garner lots of excited yelling, cussing and/or both. They don’t happen a lot so this isn’t one you’ll need to focus on knowing.
Penalties and Calls
Don’t concern yourself too much with trying to learn every nuance of the game in the beginning. The more you watch, the more you’ll get the hang of it but here are a few you should know.
Holding- a player held the other player obstructing them from completing their move. Holding can be called on the offense or defense at any time. It’s a 10 yard penalty and an automatic 1st down.
Off sides- a player moved or jumped over the line before the ball was snapped. It’s a 5 yard penalty, which can also be called on either team.
Pass interference/PI- occurs when the CB or Safety impedes, holds or pushes down the WR before the ball gets to them. PI is a spot foul, which means there is no set standard of yards given. ie. wherever the foul is committed the team is awarded that yardage. Example: if the WR runs 25 yards up field and the player covering him grabs his arm and he’s unable to catch the ball, the team will receive 25 yards and a 1st down.
Interception- happens when a member of the team on defense catches the ball. This is a big deal and could be a game changer. Emotions of great joy or great sadness occurs when this happens. NOTE! if this happens to your man’s team please understand that they’re HOT, as in HEATED! Everyone is going to stupid and this definitely takes the wind out of any fan sail. In one
word it’s “heartbreaking”, so don’t say sh!+!! I need you to understand me on this one. When I say, you’re not going to be able to win with this one either way you go with it. Example: if you say damn I’m sorry Babe. He’ll probably say something sarcastic because he’s not trying to hear that right now. If you ask why did he do that, he’ll look at you annoyed because it really is a stupid question… the answer is he wasn’t supposed to do that. This situation could go many different ways, but it’ll mostly end in him highly annoyed, with your all of a sudden interest, having to explain every single thing and you chiming in inappropriately at a time when emotions are running high.
Do’s and Don’ts
Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s get to the do’s and don’ts.
Do- try to watch at least a quarter or half with your spouse.
Don’t- keep asking what happened
Do- Ask questions at an appropriate time.
Don’t- be that chick that keeps asking stupid ass questions when it’s 4th down on the 1 yard line!! Wait until commercial break but be mindful football season is when the best commercials air. You may just want to wait until he comes back from a bathroom break or snack run.
Do- Have snacks and brown liquor on deck! This will win you crazy cool points. . I suggest finger foods such as pizza, hot wings, sandwiches, chips, etc.
Don’t- keep asking what they want to eat when the game is on? It doesn’t matter what you bring to eat during the game. Seriously, they will eat a cardboard box with pizza sauce on it without looking away from the game once.
Do- try to know what’s going on. If he’s out with the boys, try watching a game on your own. You’ll eventually figure out what’s going on or at least get a few peeks at some fine guys and tight butts. (Shrug… ijs)
Do- Expect him to be consumed with football all day! Kickoff in most cases is Sunday at 10 am on the West Coast (PT) and 1 pm here on the East Coast (ET). The second game begins at 1pm (PT) and 4 pm (ET) with the last game of the day airing at 5 pm (PT) and 8 pm (ET). Yes, his team might have already played but he will want to watch all of them. Why?… It’s important to know how other teams in opposing divisions and conferences are playing and because it’s simply fun to watch.
Do- Spring for surprise tickets to his favorite team game for the two of you to attend together or throw a game watching kickback inviting a few friends over. Experiencing a live NFL game is the “Creme de la Creme” of all the gifts you can give a man. “Trust me on this one!” He’s going to eat
it up, beat it up and stand up in it when you get home. (wink)
Don’t- complain about him wanting to go out to watch the game, tailgate or about how much the tickets cost. Living your best life is priceless.
Contributed by your resident diehard “I don’t want to talk about the Super Bowl”, Falcon fan who isn’t a fan of her starting QB’s cajones. Latrice C.