So, Janet and I went up to Seattle, this weekend, to visit Jessie and Grandma. Oh, yeah, we also had tickets to watch the Seahawks play Cincinnati. I’m not sure if the Bengals are good or we just made them look good. In any case, the Seahawks looked bad. Our other team, the New England Patriots, lost too so it was a bad football weekend for us. Seattle looked a little confused on the field, almost like they didn’t know the rules or what their roles were.
This is where I come in: I thought I would write down a few handy things for the players and coaches to read so they can brush up on their knowledge of football, clearly lost along the way. If you are a fan: you can stop reading, you already know this stuff. If you are a coach or player for the Seahawks: keep reading and take notes.
It’s important to have a general grasp of the field itself. The American football field is 100 yards long, from goal line to goal line. One each end, coaches, there are end zones, the places where points are found (remember this…very important). At the back of each end zone is a goal post. I know you are aware of the goal post as I seem to recall, in your last game, you scored a field goal. Just the one all game. Sad, but painfully true. Silver Lining: you did manage to score in that game.
There are only two teams playing per game. Coaches: it may seem like more…trust me, it’s not. With only 11 players allowed on the field per team, you’d think the teams would be evenly matched. They were not. The players can be substituted as often as needed, unlike baseball, where you are taken out and sent to the locker room. Hey, I read baseball players like to drink when they’re not playing. Wouldn’t that be nice, guys? You have to wait until after the football game is over to drown your embarrassment.
Teams are made up of three parts: offense, defense, and special teams. Janet is convinced the Seahawks left their special team players on the bus and I tend to agree.
Here’s how the offense looks:
Quarterback – He is the leader on the field, the bus driver, the guy making the calls. So I’ve heard. Hey, who is our third stringer? He any good?
Running Back – He’s the guy who runs with the football, usually for positive yards. He’s looking for the ‘hole’ to run through. If you don’t immediately see the hole, go make one. If you are in the open field and a defensive player wants to tackle you, don’t let him. Seriously, go check out some footage on Barry Sanders, he always made me smile.
Fullback – Is this even really a position anymore? I only mention it in the hopes that Moose will come out of retirement and play for the Seahawks.
Wide Receiver – You guys make me exasperated. You have one real job: Catch Ball. You need to wear different gloves, the kind with stick-um on them…or velcro. Here’s what: Catch Ball. Turn Head and Look Downfield. Run Fast. Evade Tackles. In that order. Didn’t Largent have any kids?
Tight End – Here’s one of my favorite positions: generally bigger than the scrawny wide receivers, good at many things, and generally reliable. But pay attention to my ‘here’s what’ advice to the wide outs so you don’t get their dreaded disease: the Dropsies. Most important: Catch. Ball. First.
Center – He’s the anchor of the offensive line: he snaps the ball to the quarterback and blocks the nose tackle. Usually big and hairy.
Offensive Guard – They line up on either side of the center, their main job is to block the defensive guys who want to hurt the quarterback. Don’t let them: protect the quarterback, he is your friend.
Offensive Tackle – not sure why they are called tackles, I’m pretty sure they can’t tackle the defensive players. That would be nice, though. Help your friends, the guards, in their job of protecting the quarterback.
It would be nice if the offensive linemen were less jabba the hut like and a little more agile. Quick side to side movement would work for me. If you give your quarterback time in the pocket, even the mediocre ones could be good. If only we could find out.
The Seahawk defense looked good, our one little glimmer of hope. Here’s how the defense works:
Nose Tackle – lines up across from center; drools, slobbers, and talks smack trying to get you off your game. Also large and hairy.
Defensive Tackle – these guys line up across from the offensive guards and tackles. From what I’ve seen lately, they are lean, mean, and quick.
Linebacker – the quarterback of the defense. Their main job is to call the shots, blitz, and tackle. They are generally located behind the defensive line. Know where they are at all times, they will make you pay for mistakes.
Cornerback – the next line of defense. They cover the wide receivers and keep them from catching balls. One little thing I’ve learned from my armchair: If you look like you are going for the ball, you can get away with more questionable stuff.
Safety – the last line of defense. The buck stops with you. I hope you are the fastest people on the field.
I’m going to stop here, for today, because I want the coaches to do some research before I talk about special teams. I found all the information I needed for this informational talk from about.com. Just look for the ‘football 101’ section, they go into a lot more detail than I did, I certainly don’t want to insult you, read it for yourself. You lose games without good players, good coaching, on special teams. Look it up.