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7 Tips for Watching a Football Game

FootballGame_FootballWidow_By Pat Tucker
Author of Sideline Scandals

It’s that time of year again. If your loved one lives for gridiron action, this may as well be Christmas! Kickoff off the new NFL season is upon us, and since more family members are tuning in to the game, a quick crash course will help you both on and off the field.

Off the Field
Start early.
Look for Football 101 workshops specifically for women. Most major cities offer these workshops; if none are offered in your city, there are tons of websites that focus on the game. They run the gamut from the very basics to the most complex.

Dress the part. The growing pool of female fans has resulted in fashionable NFL fan gear made specifically for women. Gone are the days of drowning in his baggy, over-sized jersey. From Victoria’s Secret’s NFL line to each of the teams and the NFL.com, you can represent your team with the style of a serious fashionista.

Follow the crowd. Regardless of where you watch the game, this is when you absolutely want to be a conformist. The cardinal rule to remember: Once kickoff happens, hold your rookie questions. This is the time to pick a team and enjoy the sounds, groans, and screams as fans cheer on their team. Even if you’re unsure of what’s going on, just join the crowd and have a blast.

On the Field
Run up the score. Players score a touchdown, which equals six points. The team scoring a touchdown is given the bonus of trying to add one (by kicking the ball through the goal posts) or two more points. Two points are called extra point conversion attempts. Instead of kicking after the touchdown, offense gets another chance to make it into the end zone for two points. A safety (a player with the ball is tackled in his own end zone) is worth two points.

Flag on the play. This is when two colors really matter: yellow and red. When a yellow flag is thrown, that means the referee is calling a foul on that play. If the coach throws a red flag, this is called a “coach’s challenge,” and it means he disagrees with the referee’s call. If the coach is correct, it’s all good. If he’s wrong, that coach and his team are charged with a timeout.

First down. One of the main objectives in football is to gain a first down. In order to get a first down, the offense must gain 10 yards within a series of four plays, or downs. That’s where the yellow line comes in. It’s only visible on your TV screen, but that yellow line is crucial to offense. The line indicates how far the team has to go to get a first down.

Respect the game. This isn’t the time for any kind of deep, thought-provoking conversation. Game time is just that, game time. If you want your fellow viewers to weigh in or offer feedback, it’d better be about the game and the favorite team, or it needs to wait.

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