The Ladies' Guide To Watching Football This Fall

by Nora Moore

Fall is around the corner.  This means hot chocolate, UGGs, ‘Lincoln Park After Dark’ OPI nail polish and college football. Did I lose the ladies after nail polish? Come on, girls. College football is exhilarating.  It’s time to get onboard.  A typical college game can have more drama and craziness than an episode of “The Bachelor.”

Having attended three big football schools, I was fortunate to experience the pride, tradition, and legacy carried throughout college, such as tailgating, school rivalries, fight songs, etc. This is all part of what makes college football so exciting.

Throw in the fact that college guys play with extreme heart and passion, and they exhibit much less ego and attitude than is seen in NFL players.

Still not sold? Imagine how happy your boo will be when you share his passion for Saturdays on the couch.  Plus, his loud, annoying friends won’t invade your crib for game time when he has you to armchair coach with.

I’m no football guru, but here are some football facts that keep me interested in the game and that everyone woman should know:

The Basics

- There are two teams in each game: home team and visiting team (Hopefully this is self explanatory. If not, just stop reading now... you are a lost cause.)

- 11 players are allowed on the field at a time for each team

- Offense: the team with the ball that’s trying to score

- Defense: the guys trying to stop the opposing offensive line from scoring

- Special Teams: the players on the field during kick attempts

- There are four, 15-minute quarters in a game, which are broken into the first and second half. After the first two quarters (first half), there is a halftime break. Don't think the game will only last an hour - factor in timeouts, play challenges, injuries and general goofing off.

- At the end of four quarters, whichever team has the most points wins (W), and the other team loses (L). In the event of a tie, the game goes into overtime, and when the first team scores, the game is over.

Cool Facts

- The Mascot: a symbol, animal, or person that represents a football team. The team mascot does fun things to pep up the crowd and rallies when a big play is made by doing push ups, back flips, running man, etc.

- Touchdown: occurs when a player runs into the end zone, which is marked by the goal post at either end of the field, and gains six points for the team

- Extra Points: after a touchdown, the team can attempt a field goal, which gets one point when it’s “good,” or the team can go for a conversion, which gets two points (A conversion is kind of like a mini touchdown, where the team runs or throws the ball into the end zone.)

- Field Goal Kick: these plays are somewhat boring, but a team earns three points for a “good” kick, and they are normally attempted when team is on their third down and the chances of a touchdown are slim

- Interception: an “oopsie” basically, or a pass thrown to the offense, which the other team (defense) catches, or intercepts. Think of when a guy buys you a drink at the bar, and your BFF snatches it up before you do - that’s an interception.

- Fumble: someone goofs up and drops the ball. Whichever team recovers the ball then has control of the ball and can attempt to score. Think of when you get your nails done, and you're trying to hold your car keys carefully, but drop them - that's a fumble.

- Sack: the quarterback is tackled by the defense before throwing or handing off the ball

Rundown Of Important Positions

- Quarterback: the number one guy who leads the offense and either throws or hands off the ball (Duh! Hopefully, we have all heard of the QB.)

- Wide Receiver: fast and generally slim player, who catches the ball and runs for touchdowns

- Running Back: the fast guy with a stripper-booty who runs the ball for touchdowns

- Cornerback: usually the fastest guy on defense that guards the wide receiver and tries to stop him from scoring (This matchup sometimes results in better catfights than those on “Real Housewives.”)

- Defensive End: one of the fastest, biggest guys you see on the field, who usually rushes the quarterback to make the tackle

- Safety: farthest on defense from the line of scrimmage, this player covers the open field from long passes and supports the defense on running plays (The safety is the last line of defense.) Think of Madea not letting anyone into her house.  

- Punt Returner: player who catches the punt and tries to run it up field for a touchdown/good field position

If you’re totally lost, here are some things you can say to your honey that will definitely get his attention:

a) “Babe, ya think a defensive player will take the Heisman this year? Jadeveon Clowney is looking pretty impressive.”

b) “I wonder if Johnny Football will miss any playing time for his alleged NCAA violations.”

c) “Snookums, what are your thoughts about the SEC getting eight in a row with another BCS title?”

d)  “OMG! I am so glad the College Football Playoffs will be implemented for the 2014 season!”

e) “Erin Andrews is HOT!”

Good luck, ladies.  There’s so much to learn and love about watching college football.  If it’s not for you, there’s always 12 weeks of hot chocolate, UGGs, and dark-colored nail polish coming your way.

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