Thursday, November 13, 2008

The girls' guide to football - Part 1

So one of my biggest pet peeves is the question: What are those big yellow pole thingies? So to all the girls out there, follow this series on understanding football so you don't have to ask those embarrassing questions. I've edited this to include girl analogies.

Ok so, there's 32 teams in the NFL split into 2 conferences the NFC and the AFC. Each conference has 4 divisions (East, West, North, South). Each division has 4 teams.

Next game play: A game is 60 mins broken down into 4 quarters. To win a game, you have to score more points than your opponent. The game begins with a coin toss, the winner can kick or receive the ball to begin. When the offense is on the field, they have 4 *downs* (a down is a play) to go 10 yards in order to keep the ball. When the offense gets the ball, it's 1st and 10 (meaning they're on their 1st down and they have 10 yards to). On 4th down, they have to punt (kick the ball to the other team), go for the 1st down (generally not a great idea), or kick a field goal if they are close enough. Field goals is where those big yellow pole thingies come in. The kicker must kick the ball in between the posts to be successful. If he does so, his team is awarded 3 points. Ideally, a drive (a group of plays to move the play down the field) would result in a touchdown.

The ends of the field are called the endzones. The offense's goal is to reach the other team's endzone. Doing so is called a touchdown. A touchdown is worth 6 points plus a 1 or 2 point conversion. After a team scores a touchdown, they can kick a point after attempt (basically kick a field goal worth 1 point) or try to get the ball in the endzone again for 2 points.

Now in girl terms. Getting a touchdown is going to the mall and finding that exact pair of shoes you wanted! Kicking a field goal is going to the mall and finding out they don't have your size in those perfect shoes but you settle for a different pair.

The defense's job is to prevent the offense from scoring points and getting a 1st down (remember that's going 10 yards). Once again girl terms - remember that episode of Friends with Monica and the wedding dress and the girls all fighting over dresses. The defense's job is to get the dress for its offense. Dress being football here. And preventing the other team from successfully purchasing the dress (i.e. scoring points)

Part 2 will be on positions. Check back soon.

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