The Clueless Girl’s Guide to Football Season

Hello and welcome to my guide to football season, or as I like to call it “eating all the tailgate food while everyone is distracted by the football game” season. I’m your host, a clueless girl.

Growing up, we only turned on the Superbowl for the halftime show and the Budweiser puppy commercials. However, I find myself at a football game just about every weekend when the leaves start falling.

Walking into a living room, tailgate, bar, or stadium can be intimidating when you are the most clueless one in the crowd.

Everyone else seems to know what’s happening, while I stand there like an idiot, boo-ing at the wrong team with a mouth full of guacamole. It reminds me of walking into a classroom and finding out that you have a test.

(…but at least with football I get guacamole.)

Football season (fut·baal see·zn):

I am making a conscious effort to keep up with the game, but I have some topics I would like to discuss that may induce a few eye-rolls.

ESPN Red Zone

For those who are not used to watching people throw around the ole pigskin: The “red zone” is also known as the distance between the 25-yard line and the end zone. If someone says a team is “in the red zone”, it usually means that they might have a chance of scoring soon.

Gone are the days where you only had to watch one game at a time. Days when, during a series of “boring plays”, you had time to chat and grab some buffalo chicken dip, or perhaps even a beer. ESPN “Red Zone” is a channel that consolidates all of the games where a team is about to score onto one screen. So when someone invites you over to watch “the game”? Buckle up champ: you will actually be watching MANY games.

Imagine if E! or Bravo had a separate channel that aired Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Bachelor in Paradise, and Real Housewives, all at the same time but switched back and forth between the episodes to show the one that’s airing the juiciest drama. Same kinda deal, and let me tell ya:



S T R E S S F U L .

Fantasy Football

Although a captivating activity among many football fans, fantasy football continues to confuse me, but I will try to explain to the best of my knowledge (for whatever that is worth).

So you’re telling me…

  1. You would physically donate both kidneys for one team.
  2. You hate another team with every fiber of your being.
  3. You have also created an entire team–that is made up of players who play various positions, from various teams (including the ones that you hate), all of which having varying skill levels–that you keep track of in addition to the real teams.

A fantasy football league is made up of a group of friends who bet their money (or just their pride) as they “draft” (take turns picking) players to win points for them throughout the season. Each NFL player they draft can win them points depending on how well they play in their respective games. Every week, each member of the fantasy team league goes up against another member in the group. The winner of this match-up depends on how many points each member’s drafted players earn during the games they play that weekend.

If you are in the beginning stages of dating a ~sporty boy~, don’t be alarmed if they ignore you for a few hours during the first week or so of September (before the first NFL game).

Football Definitions: According to Me

God bless the hearts and souls of the many who have tried to explain the game to me. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who either 1. Calmly explain the parts of the game that confuse me, or 2. Let me eat my tailgate food in peace.

Kick off

They kick the ball to the other team, only try and get it right back via stampede.

Punt return

Apparently, just because they’re kickin’ it doesn’t mean it’s a kick off. I’m pretty sure this is when they didn’t get close enough to the end zone, so instead of just not getting a touchdown, they try and kick it further down the field so it’s harder for the other team to score.

Basically, the refs are like “OK Team 1, you’ve had your chance, now you have to let Team 2 play with the ball” and instead of handing it to them, they kick it across the field. I experienced similar situations to this many times as a little sister.

Off sides

No one even knows. There are just dedicated people that scream it at various points in the game. Everyone’s just pretending to know what it means.

False Start

Seems pretty self-explanatory, but fun fact: “false start” has the same referee hand motion as the call for “travel” in basketball. It can also be found in your local conga line.


Call me crazy, but I thought the whole point was to interfere when the other team is passing. Apparently only certain types of interference is okay.

In Conclusion: Don’t Ask Me

One day, I will be a fan who knows the blood type of their favorite running back’s first born son. However, today is not that day. Today, I typically only know the name of a player if he was on “Dancing with The Stars” or has some sort of affiliation with “The Bachelor”.

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