Who says watching football is a guy thing? There are plenty of us who love to watch football and thoroughly enjoy the sport and always have – and not because we want to impress a man. Some of us were raised on football (or is that just a thing here in the south?) and we have our favorite college teams and even our favorite NFL teams. However, if you’re not a born and raised football fan, you might not know what you’re watching, so here’s a little guide to help you understand what you’re watching now that the season is almost here.
Offense and Defense
It might get a little confusing figuring out who is on the field and who isn’t. Why are there two portions of each time and why aren’t they on the field together? The defense is the team that does not have possession of the ball. Their job is to prevent the offensive team (the team that does have possession of the ball) from scoring.
Football scores are simple to follow. You get to take the ball down to the end zone and cross the 1-yard line into touchdown territory. Once you do this, your team gets 6 points. Now that you’ve scored, you have two choices; you can either form another play and run or throw the ball to a teammate to score two extra points – a play referred to as a two-point conversion, or you can kick the ball in between the uprights (or goal posts) to score one extra point. If your team is 4th and 10 and doesn’t look like they’re going to be able to score, they can kick a field goal (which is just like any extra point) for three points if they think they can make it from any point on the field.
Downs are confusing at times. What do sayings like First & 10 or Second & Goal mean, anyway? Simple; you get four plays to get the ball to the field. You get to “start over” your plays if you make it 10 yards at a time. For example, you have possession (you’re offense now, remember?) and you throw the ball to a receiver, who catches it 8 yards down the field and is tackled immediately. Now you’re Second & 2. You have to make it that extra 2 yards in the next three plays or they lose possession. Now, if the team makes the 10 yards on the 3rd play and only has one left, they start all over with four more plays. Simple.
The most important part of football, however, is the enjoyment factor. Grill some good food, drink some cold drinks, and try to get tickets to the game. The atmosphere in a football stadium is exciting (college more so than pro, in my professional opinion…and if you don’t have a team already, Go Gators!).
(Photo by Mark Ashman/Disney Parks via Getty Images)