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Understanding Football


Are you ready for some football?! One of the greatest American past times to view and play. It is a game played by the modern day Gladiator. It is a game of skill, strategies, and strategic planning.  If you are a football fanatic you know how the game is played and you love it, no need for explanation. Just maybe you are part of the few that still do not understand how football works. You want to join in on tailgating; fantasy leagues, Monday’s water cooler chit chat after Sunday’s game, and of course Superbowl parties; but how?  If that is your case it is time to get you ready for all the excitement of the gridiron.


First, to understand football there are several basics you need to be familiar with. We can not  play a game without a playing field or players. The football field is long, 120 yards. At the both ends of the field is what we call the “endzone” along with the goal posts. On the sides following the length of the field are the side lines. Two teams take to the field with eleven players ready to go on each team. The game is normally played within, give or take, one hour.  Of course time is added for commercials, timeouts, half time entertainment, any injures or penalties, and with these the average game you see on the television turns out to be a 3 hour investment. The game time is split into four quarters of 15 minutes each; 1st half of the game is the first 4 quarters, than half time break, and then 2nd half of four quarters of the game is played.


Both football teams take turns playing the offense and defense. During an offensive turn a team gets the chance to charge up the field to score points with a touchdown and/or field goal.  The offense is given four “downs” or tries to move the ball at least 10 yards. Their goal is to move the football down to the opposite side of the field to their opponents “endzone” to score. And of course the team that is able to rack up the most points during the game comes out the victor! During the defensive turn a team’s sole purpose is to stop the opposing team from scoring. This is a very physical game. Defense and offense alike are constantly running, throwing, tackling, blocking, et cetera.


Of course this is just the basics of football. It would take a small book to go into penalties, special teams, kickbacks, and so on.  What you are now armed with enough information to understand what is happening during a game. Now, go get that invite to the tailgating barb-b-que and let everyone know you understand the significance of the awesome touch-down pass when it is chatted about at the water cooler.

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