Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Dawn Boyle

Everyone around me is getting all geared up for the upcoming Sunday. Invitations are being thrown around, plans are being made. Boxes being bought and attire is purchased. New songs are all over the place for each team.

I realized something...I have no idea what the point of football is...or maybe I should say, I have no understanding of the game. I have watched football, cheered for football, and even bar tended for football games, but still have no idea what the point is. I asked a close friend who is a football fanatic to explain to to me figuring maybe if I understood what was going on in the game I might be able to stick to my 1,000 calorie intake during the food and drinking fest that the Super Bowl has always been for me. Below is a part of an email I received...I hope you are able to understand it. I think I actually get it now!!!

Football is played on a field which is 100 yards from goal to goal.  Each game starts with a coin toss which is one thing that does not happen in any other sport and this determines which team will get the ball first and which side the other team wishes to defend against for the first and fourth quarter or the second and third quarter. The very first thing that happens in a game is called a kickoff, which is when one team kicks the ball across the field to the other team. The other team tries to run into the other teams end zone and score.  They have 4 chances to move the ball ten yards at a time. They can do this by throwing the ball or by running it. If the team doesn't get to a place they feel comfortable after three downs they can do one of three things, either go for the yards to make the ten, punt the ball which is kick the ball to the other team, or go for a field goal which is kicking the ball between the yellow posts which are located at the end of the end zone. 

The point system is;
when they score a touchdown, which means run into the other teams end zone with the ball they score 6 points.
After the touchdown they can either kick for a point or do another play to get into the end zone for two points.

Another way to score is called a safety. This is when you tackle the other team when they are still inside their end zone, this will give the team that makes the tackle 2 points.

There are obstacles to get to the end zone. The receivers are being covered by defenders and you block for everything. The other teams goal is to not allow you to get any points so they will try their best to knock down passes and tackle against the run so no yardage is gained. Also to make things harder, there are penalties such as offsides, which means that the defensive team went before the ball was snapped and this gives the offensive team 5 yards. On the same lines there is a false start which means that a player on the offensive side of the ball went before the ball was snapped to the quarterback and that team will loose 5 yards. There are other penalties such as holding, face mask (grabbing or tackling by a players face mask), personal fouls, roughing the kicker, roughing the passer, chop in the back, illegal formations, halo rule (being within 2 yards of the kick returner before he catches the ball)

There are three time outs given to each team for each half of the game, there are also two challenges given to each team, but they can only be used as long as the challenging team has a time out to use. The challenge means they are not agreeing with the referee's call on the field and want the ruling overturned.

The positions are;
on offense
The quarterback (the guy throwing the ball)
The full back (runs the ball)
The half back (runs the ball)
wide receivers (catch the ball)
tight end (either lineman or receiver)
the line consists of the center, the guy who snaps the ball to the quarterback, two guards and two tackles, the guards stand on both sides of the center, and the tackles next to the guards.

On defense there are
linemen who run through the offensive line to attack the quarterback, safety's, defensive ends, and line backers, they are all there to keep the opponent from gaining yardage. 

Besides offense and defense there is a special teams. These are teams for kickoff, field goal blocking, punt return, punt on offense, and field goal on offense, kickoff return. they are there for those reasons only.