We've all pretended to know more about something to impress a date, but when pretending goes wrong it can be less than impressive to your date (and maybe even a bit awkward). This football season, I"m here to help you make it through your game day date without coming off as annoying or stereotypical. Men expect women to ask dumb questions and kill the excitement of the game with their confusion.. Don't be THAT girl. I've compiled 7 terms that'll get you through the game and maybe even impress your guy over the perfect bonding activity (or at least I think so).
1. Touchdown- This is when the team makes it to the opposite side of the field crossing into the end zone. I know it sounds basic to some but I just want to make sure you're not screaming 'homerun!" or anything wildly incorrect when your team scores. (Cheat code: The announcers will scream this several times when a team has made a valid touchdown. When in doubt, wait for the announcers.)
2. Redzone- This area is considered 20 yards or less from scoring (or maybe just from the goal line). Basically, it gets intense when the team gets into this zone because the expectation is for them to score. Several trips to the redzone without scoring shows weakness on the part of the team to deliver. Commentators and fans alike will ridicule a team for entering the redzone too often without scoring.
3. Interception- When the quarterback tries to throw the ball to a member of his team, but a member of the other team catches it. This is also called a turnover. Fans and commentators are pretty ruthless on the quarterbacks when this happens. Basically, they are supposed to be flawless in this regard and hit the right man. (not too much to ask, right?)
4. Interference (pass interference)- When a member of the opposing team illegally hinders a pass between members of the opposing team. (I'm sure there's more to it than that, but I"m teaching from a level in which us women can understand.) Also, the referees throw a yellow flag on the field when this happens. I seem to always miss seeing the interference until they show the replay, but at least I understand what happened when I see the replay.
5. 1st through 4th Downs- You have 4 chances to pass or run the ball at least 10 yards down the field in the direction of your goal line. These are called the 1st through 4th down. For every yard you gain or lose, it's denoted in the terminology. For example if you attempt to advance the ball 10 yards and only advance 2 yards on your first try, it will be call 2nd and 8. This means you've completed your first down and you still have 8 yards left to go. In the event that you advance 10 yards within 4 tries, you start over with a first down and continue down the field. In the event that you DO NOT advance 10 yards in 4 tries, you turnover the ball to the opposing side. If you do not advance within 3 tries and don't want to risk missing the fourth try, you can try for a field goal (if you are within 45 yards of the goal post).
6. Field Goal- This is when the kicker kicks the ball through the goal after a touchdown or when their team has failed to make a touchdown in 3 downs and wants to try to score. A field goal after a touchdown yields an extra point to the scoring team. A field goal after failing to get a touchdown in 3 downs yields 3 points. (By the way, I'm always disappointed when my team misses getting a touchdown (6pts) and has to opt for a field goal (3pts).
7. 2-pt Conversion- This is when the extra 1 point for a field goal after a touchdown just isn't good enough. I haven't seen it too often, but some teams will opt to try a pass to a team member in the end zone instead of kicking the field goal. This will yield 2 points instead of one. (This stresses me out in close games because the failed attempt can cost the team a major advantage.
Now, there you have it. A quick list of terms that can make you seem like you at least (semi) know what's going on during a football game. Knowing what's going on will help you appreciate the sport and maybe even get you some "cool points" with the guys. Just don't try flexing too much before you know exactly what's going on. That could be a disaster! Enjoy your football season and Go Noles! >>------> (Don't question me on that. We're awesome!)