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What happens on game day?  Every sport has their own rules and terminology that's important to know in order to understand the game.  I'm not going to just list a bunch of words with a definition. 

I'm going to actually break it down and explain it.  




A coin toss is how it begins!  Every game is decided who gets the ball first with a toss of a coin. Whomever wins decides if they want to receive the ball or kick the ball to the other team.

the kickoff.

The teams line up and prepare to kick the ball that's placed on a tee.  The kicker's main goal is to kick the ball as far as he can and preferably into the end zone keeping it away from the return man.  The return man has the job of catching the ball and running up the field for as far as he can go without getting tackled to get his team ready for the offensive unit to come in.


This is the meat and potatoes ladies and the best part of the game.  That typically handsome man called the quarterback must lead his team of 10 other men down the field with the brown egg shaped ball.  All 11 men form a circle in what's called a huddle which is where the play is called. There is 40 seconds in between each play allowed, so the QB must pay attention.  He can hand off to any of the guys behind him, or he can pass the ball down the field to any of the guys available to catch it or he can run himself!  He is protected by a line of BIG guys called the OFFENSIVE LINE.  These are the guys who BLOCK to make openings for their runner.

when you have the ball

While you are in possession of the ball, you MUST maintain possession.  In other words don't drop it!!!! If you do, and the other team recovers the ball it is considered a FUMBLE.  The quarterback must pass the ball so only HIS receiver can catch it. If the other team catches the ball it is considered an INTERCEPTION.  While the quarterback is attempting to find his teammate to throw the ball, he will try to run around to avoid being tackled himself.  If he does, it's called a SACK.  This sets the team back as the ball will be spotted wherever he lands on the field. SOOOOO .... avoid FUMBLING, throwing an INTERCEPTION and being SACKED for the love of god!!!!

moving down the field

The only GOAL is to score points and in order to do so, you must keep moving the ball down the field to get into the END ZONE.  Each time you are tackled the ball is marked at the spot where you are brought down. Even though you are given 4 tries to move a minimum of ten yards, you really only have 3 because on the 4th try, if you don't make it, the other team automatically gets possession of the ball at that spot.  If you don't make the 10 yards, your punter will come in and punt the ball as far as he can down the field to a single return man on the other team.  

I still DON'T GET IT

Let's say your team has the ball on the 25 yard line.  (On your side of the field) The quarterback snaps the ball on their first try and run 3 yards. Now, it's 2nd down and 7.  [10 yards minus 3 = 7 left to go]  Now, it's your second try and you still have 7 more yards to get the 10 you need in order to keep moving.  The QB snaps the ball and throws the ball and the guy doesn't catch it.  Well, now its 3rd and 7 because you didn't gain any yards.  Next, the quarterback snaps the ball and he hands it to the running back and he runs 15 yards.  YAY!  You've gained the 10 you needed and now you are onto a new set of downs all over again.


Your team has been moving the ball up the field and has been stopped by the defense before getting into the end zone. It won't make sense to try to make it on your last try (4th down) but you are just close enough.  And we want to get points, RIGHT?  So another group of guys come in with one specific job which is to kick the ball through those yellow posts in order to get the 3 points.  Those 3 points become crtical so this is super important to have a great kicker!!!


I'm sure you're wondering how the 11 men on the field know where to be on each play.  The offense creates plays that have been practiced over and over again.  Sometimes the quarterback will change the play based on what he sees from the defense, but he'll alert his teammates by what he yells.  I'm sure you've heard the quarterbacks yell out phrases.  In the end, each player has a specific job to make the play a success.  


EVERYONE I say!  Every single guy has a role and if they are out of sync than it just doesn't work.  My favorite player is the quarterback because he can be the biggest motivator on the team.  His role is HUGE.  The kicker is also a make or break guy for the team.  His leg can get the team 3 points by kicking the ball through the goal post.  Those 3 points add up my friends, trust me.


While the 11 guys with the ball attempt to keep moving closer to the end zone, there are 11 other guys from the other team making sure you don't.  A strong DEFENSIVE will not give up points.  They'll make sure the quarterback isn't in control, hurry him to throw and with any luck tackle him before he throws to a receiver.  These guys are strong, they are fast and as the same goes for the offense, they have to work well together as a unit.

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