Ignore the Darkside Football Guy…
I meet that “Football Guy” all the time. He’s the one that knows and understands more about the game of football than I ever will and is always extremely happy to break it down the when it comes to talkin’ the game. He knows all the big words, the names of all formations from popular to the obscure, and he even knows what elementary school every pro football player attended and relishes the opportunity to explain why he knew a particular player was on his way to “the show” in the 4th grade. HOWEVER a clavicle, is still a collarbone and a patella, is still the knee cap.
I like that “Football Guy,” I always learn something when we chat, as long as he has not traveled over to the dark side and that over abundance of knowledge is now used for evil. The “Darkside Football Guy” likes to make people feel silly or stupid for not understanding why a Flexbone Offensive Set may or may not be a wise choice, especially when facing a 33 Stack Defense with attitude.
A mentor once told me that the game of football is like music. Fundamentally there are only so many keys that you can play, but it’s the virtuoso that practices those fundamentals until it’s no longer mental, he practices until he no longer has to think about it, and well… it’s fun.
So, let’s put the FUN in fundamentals and talk football basics.
My wife loves football…well she likes football… she loves Eli Manning. She bought a book a few years back written by Holly Robinson Peete (she’s married to NFL Quarterback Rodney Peete) called Get Your Own Damn Beer, I’m Watching the Game!: A Woman’s Guide to Loving Pro Football. We recommend it to anyone who wants to understand football, but is surrounded by Dark Side Football Guys. It explains the game and helps you realize how simple and simply beautiful it is.
I will be breaking down some basic formations over the next several blog posts and it’s my hope that it helps those who don’t yet understand the game and want to understand it a little better.
Football consists of 11 players on each side of the ball. One side is called the Offense (the ones with possession of the ball and looking to score) and the Defense is on the other side of the ball looking to get the ball back and not let the Offense score.
That’s basically all it is. Each team gets their fair opportunity to be on the Offense and attempt to score points. You are given 4 attempts to move the ball 10 yards. Every time you move the ball 10 yards your attempt count goes back to one. These are called downs. Have you heard folks say “4th down and one, punt or go for it?” Well this means you are on your 4th attempt to move the ball the 10 yards needed for the attempts to revert back to one, and you have one yard to go. You can punt (kick it away) down the field to keep the other team as far away from the their end zone as possible (the end zone is where you score points) or you go for it by moving the ball one more yard and keep the ball.
That’s a good start for now. We’ll dive into more tomorrow where I will discuss what a formation is and give you examples of what one looks like.
If you want another great resource for Football and Cougar Athletics, check out Jeff Nusser’s work at Coug Center