I am officially going to my very first football game, whew! Yes, yes, I live in Texas. The LAND of football and I’ve never been to one. I mean, I went to my high school football games, you know the high school that was the first one to blow $60 million on a stadium. Go Allen Eagles! I realized I was never a huge football fan then. I only went because 95% of the school population were present and to take pictures with my little ‘eagle’ tattoo. I’ve also always was a basketball kinda girl because Nathan from One Tree Hill had me mesmerized and I wanted to be his Haley. But, it’s football season and one of my favorite people is taking me to the Cowboys vs Giants game this Sunday. Since they adore it, I sucked it up and learned a little football for dummies. Here’s my cheat sheet for all you out there who know nothing about football, I did the dirty work for us.


Football Cheat Sheet

  • I”m sure none of you know but a football field has 120 yards, 10 yards for each end zone. If we’re being honest, we don’t have to pay attention until offense gets 10 yards away from the end zone. So keep on scrolling through Instagram girl, no need to look up from your phone yet
  • The offense is the team trying to make a touchdown, think of it like the guy who won’t stop sliding into your dm’s until he gets your number (touchdown)
  • Defense! Defense! Let’s go. Defense is the team trying to stop them, so like you shutting them all down before they get your number (touchdown)
  • The goal for defense is to prevent the other team from scoring, either by preventing the quarterback from throwing the ball or by tackling someone who’s running toward the end zone, like the overprotective boyfriend tackling every thirsty guy.
  • HOWEVER, the overprotective boyfriend can’t be too protective. Even though defense can’t lose points for the team, they get penalties for causing serious injury or unfair play. (And we thought us girls got feisty)
  • Now, it gets more complicated. Pay attention. Forget having one protective boyfriend, imagine having 3 protective boyfriends. That’s how it works in football, the defense is compromised of 3 groups.
    • The Defensive line that tries to rush or attack the passer so they won’t pass at the line of scrimmage. (Similar to the bouncers who won’t let you anywhere near a 21+ area when you’re 20)
    • The linebackers line behind them and do anything between rushing the passer, covering the receivers from being open or helping with defense. Okay, linebackers, you multitaskers you.
    • Defensive backs line up in the back or near the sidelines to pass plays by blocking wide receivers and tight ends. Not to be dramatic but they are the LAST hope and last line of defense. No pressure though. 
  • Let’s switch over to the shooters shooting their shot. The offense. The offense only has 4 chances to get 10 yards toward their end zone. That means 4 full chances of getting the whole stadium to scream their lungs off or boo them back to the bleachers.
  • If God isn’t on their side (the offensive side) and they don’t think they’re in the red zone (20 yards away from the end zone) then they can just kick a field goal if they’re close enough. Usually this happens when they’re on their 3rdchance (technically, football term is down but I don’t like that lingo) and they don’t think they’ll score a touchdown by their 4th down. You know that thing on the field that looks like an oversized slingshot, that’s where the kicker has to kick the ball to make a field goal. (I wonder if they hire soccer players for that position, that would be smart @nfl)
  • The ultimate goal is the touchdown which results in 6 points. If you see 6 points on the board, yeah somebody (check the scoreboard to find out who since you were too busy on insta) just scored a touchdown. Or just cheer when everybody else cheers and remember to stand when everybody else stands
  • After a team scores a touchdown, they can either kick a field goal called place kick for 1 extra point or even run a two-point conversion for 2 points if 1 isn’t enough. In that case, that team is getting cocky or desperate. They forgo the kick to see if they can score another touchdown. If they didn’t make it to the red zone and decided they can’t score at all, they can score a field goal for 3 points.

As for the team you’re rooting for, let’s just say don’t pick the team because Eric Decker is on it (my go-to). Anyways, you can’t because he’s outta the game forever. Good luck this football season, eat nachos and enjoy the Friday Night Lights vibes.