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That’s What She Said: Football Lingo Girls Need to Know

“Wait, why are we cheering right now?”
Let’s be honest. We’ve all said it before.

Fall is here and that means college football!

If you’re like me, that means putting on a cute Carolina blue and white outfit, tailgating and going to the games to have a good time and cheer on the Heels despite being lost about what’s going on half the time.

Yes, I know there are plenty of girls out there who love football and know the lingo, but a lot of girls don’t. A good way to embarrass yourself in front of a guy is to act like you know what’s going on at a game but respond with “Um … something good!” when he asks you what just happened.

So, I thought it would be fun to go around asking girls on campus what they thought some basic football terms meant. Needless to say, it made me feel better about my lack of knowledge. Football is generally easy to follow, but it can be hard to keep up with all the referees’ calls and the teams’ plays.

So here you have it, a list of responses from some fellow ladies at UNC. Whether you already know what these terms mean or you couldn’t tell the difference between a touchdown and a touchback, it’s kinda fun to know what other people think.

1. Safety

Wrong: “Um … the player didn’t go out of bounds, so they’re safe?…” Lauren, sophomore
“I know it’s when the ref puts his hands in the shape of a triangle above his head, but I don’t know why.” Me, junior

Right: The offensive team is tackled in their own end zone; the other team gets two points

2. Touchback

Wrong: “Some way they pass the ball”? Marisa, junior
“When one of the defensive players touches the quarterback but doesn’t tackle him?” Kaitlyn, freshman

Right: When the football becomes dead behind or above the endzone when punted

3. When do teams use a Hail Mary?

Wrong: “At half time when they need to pray about the second half.” Elizabeth, junior
Right: A pass made in desperation with a small chance of success, typically at the end of a half or end of a game

4. What does it mean to ice the kicker?

Wrong: “Ice his leg after a game?” Taylor, junior
“Hmmm… tackle the kicker?” Clara, senior
Right: Calling a time-out before he kicks the ball to get in his head and try to make him miss

5. What is the pocket?

Wrong: “I really have no idea so I’m just going to say where the ref keeps his yellow flags for penalties.” Ciara, sophomore
Right: The area created on a passing play where the offensive line forms a wall of protection around the quarterback

Before you go to the next game, read this list and impress your guy friends by actually knowing why you’re cheering! 

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