Football is a game played by many, but understood by few. At any given
game, half of the barroom or stadium will erupt in cheers on the cue of
fellow fans, without really knowing what just happened. This will assist
those of you who have yet to learn the game, and act as a refresher course
for those in the know.
The object of football is to score as many
points as possible. The team that scores the most points within a given
time period is the winner. That's the easy part.
Football rules can
be confusing. When it's not called "football", the game is referred to as
"gridiron", because that's what the playing field is called. The gridiron
has markings that resemble a grill and is 120 yards long and 53-1/3 yards
wide. The 120 yards are split into five sections, each 20 yards in length.
Yard lines are marked every five yards and are numbered from each goal
line to the middle of the field, also called the fifty-yard mark. Confused
yet? Listen to this: a gridiron consists of sidelines and end lines, and
has field posts near each end zone. The end zones are 10 yards wide,
located just before the field post. Field posts are used to mark field
goals; they are 18.5 feet apart.
That's just a description of the
field. We haven't even starting on football rules. A football game is
played between two teams. NFL teams typically have fifty members or more,
but only eleven may be on the playing field at any one time. Because the
game is so complicated, most of the fifty players will have the
opportunity to play in every game. Each team member has a specialized
role, either offense or defense. Players wear systematically numbered
uniforms. Every football team also has special teams.
It's hard to
specify the duration of a football game, because coaches and players can
be called on penalties and fouls that will extend the time of a game.
Important games, like the Super Bowl, can take hours to complete. Every
call must be made because there is so much riding on a game of this
Football rules dictate that each team tries to advance on
the field and gain as many yards at a single time as possible. The closer
the advancing team is to the goal line, the harder the opposing team must
play to stop a touchdown. When defensive players tackle and get the
advancing runner to the ground, the play is done and the ball is dead.
point of football is to get touchdowns and field goals, because that is
what gets the points. The team with the most points takes all the glory.
If it's a championship game, the winning team will take the title as well.
points and win the game. If those are the basic football rules, maybe it
isn't so confusing after all.