10.08.2009

How to be a College Football Fan, Pt. 2

When I started yesterday's post, I realized I had way too much incredibly important useless information to share with you for just one post.


So, I bring you Session 2 of:


How to be a College Football Fan 101!
(*Results not guaranteed)


Let's review, steps 1 - 5:
  1. Pick a team.
  2. Go shopping and get some apparel in the team's colors (and remember, no football team's color is pink!).
  3. Plan your first game - will it be watching it from home on TV or will it be live at the field?
  4. Learn the terminology and rules (have no fear, help with this one is today's topic).
  5. Have fun!
Today's topic is all about the rules!  And tomorrow, we'll round out what was meant to be one post, but turned into a 3-day series, with what happens if you break the rules.
    Terminology:
    • Offense - the team with the ball - 11 players at a time
    • Defense - the team without the ball - 11 players at a time
    • Special Teams - used to describe the group of players on the field (from both teams) when the ball is being kicked off or punted
    • Line of Scrimmage - the invisible line that runs from sideline to sideline through the football that the defense must start on one side of and the offense must start on the other side of
    • Referees - the guys in the black and white who blow whistles, wave their arms, and throw yellow flags
    • Chain Crew - look similar to referees, but are found along the sideline holding 2 large (usually orange) sticks stuck together with a chain that is 10 yards long; a third member holds a stick with a number (1, 2, 3, or 4) on it to mark the down
    • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th down - each team gets 4 tries to go 10 yards, if they do not achieve 10 yards in 4 tries (downs) the other team gets the ball at that line of scrimmage
    • First Down - Achieved when the offense gains 10 or more yards of offense, giving the offense a new set of 4 tries
    • Penalty - what it's called when someone breaks the rules (more on these tomorrow)
    • Endzone - the 15 yards at either end of the field that typically have the team/school/city name in them, where Touchdowns are scored
    • Goal posts - the large poles sticking up at either end of the field
    • Punt - a special kind of kick, often used on 4th down, when the offense has not made it the 10 yards (this way, when the other team gets the ball, they have further to go to get to the endzone)
    The play:
    • Each team defends one end zone while trying to score in the opposite endzone.
    • A game consists of 4 quarters, each lasting 15 minutes.
    • There is overtime if the game is tied at the end of 4 quarters - a college football game cannot end in a tie
    Scoring:
    • There are 2 basic ways to score in a football game
      • Touchdown - a player either runs into the endzone or catches a pass in the endzone - scores 6 points
        • A 1 point kick or a 2 point conversion (running or catching the football in the endzone again) is attempted after each touchdown is scored
      • Field Goal - when a team has used 3 of its 4 tries (downs) and has not gone 10 yards, but is close enough to kick the ball through the goal posts - a successful attempt scores 3 points
    • A team can also score a safety by the defense tackling a member of the offense in th end zone the offense is protecting.  A safety scores 2 points and gives the ball to the team that scored the points (it's not good for the team that it happens to).
      There are a whole lot more 'details' - but these are the basics.  Come back tomorrow for what happens to rule breakers, and some fun graphics!

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