Last week we covered the layout of the field and what exactly a “down” was. Hint: it’s not just the opposite of “up.” This week we will take a stroll through the rules and regulations of the game. We will cover such topics as; time, the importance of a coin, and scoring. Of course, if you manage to get through these topics there is a very eye pleasing award at the end.
For starters, if you haven’t figured it out yet, each quarter in football is 15 minutes. There are 4 quarters in a game, and after the first two quarters comes halftime. This is usually when a ceremony, band, or cheerleaders take the field. If you’re like me, this is a time to grab another beer and see what food you can find. I know what you’re probably thinking. “If a quarter is 15 minutes, why does a game last way longer than an hour?” I’m glad you asked! There is a fun list (I’m talking over a dozen) of reasons to stop the clock. For example: when a team calls for a timeout, when a quarter ends, when there’s an incomplete pass, when someone runs out of bounds… The list goes on and on, but you get the point.
A football game is started with a coin toss. Why? Because it looked silly for grown men to play rock, paper, scissors for a ball. But, really. The captains from each team come to the center of the field where one player from the opposing team calls the toss. If said player calls the toss correctly, his team gets to choose between two choices. A. Which team receives the kickoff. This is usually what a team wants to start with to have the opportunity to score as early as possible in the game. Or option B. Which goal his team will defend. This is usually chosen as a defense to weather. He will choose the goal that will allow his team to have the wind at their back in the second half of the game.
Now I’m going to teach you how to score… (lol at my life. God, I’m so single.) Touchdowns are the main goal at hand. They are worth 6 points and happens upon a player carrying, or catching a ball over the goal line. After a touchdown, a team has two options. They can go for a point after touchdown and try to kick the ball between the goalpost. The second option, usually only used out of cockiness or desperation (there is no in-between), is a two-point conversion. This is when the team tries to take the ball for the 2-yard line, back across the goal line again. Another option for points in a field goal. A field goal, worth three points, happens when the kicker manages to kick the ball through the uprights of the goalpost. To attempt a field goal, the offensive team must be within its opponents 30 yard-line. The final way to score points is through a safety. A safety, worth 2-points, occurs when the ball carrier is tackled or forced out of bounds in his own goal line.
If you have made it to this point, congratulations! You are another week closer to understanding this great game. We covered a lot today with time, coin tosses, and points. Next week we will start to look into the roles of the officials and what the weird motions they make actually mean, and its not them doing the Macarena either!
Player of the Week:
This week we will recognize the Texans defensive end, J.J. Watt. This 6’5”, Wisconsin native was drafted in 2011. He has received the “AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award” three times within his first five seasons. Two years ago, Watt became the first player in NFL history to record two 20+ sack seasons in a career. Plus, he holds the Texan’s records for both sacks and forced fumbles. Watt also founded the Justin J. Watt Foundation, which provides after-school opportunities to children in various communities. This charity organization works hard to ensure children can get involved in athletics in a safe environment. The foundation’s motto? “Dream Big, Work Hard.” His Insta is always blowing up with pictures of him giving back or with his family. Seriously, his grandma is precious. J.J. Watt is America’s sweetheart wrapped up in muscle and washboard abs.