Friday, September 18, 2009

Intentional grounding

Sometimes, a quarterback will get a penalty for Intentional Grounding.

This happens when he throws the ball away to avoid getting sacked (tackled to the ground with the ball still). If he tries to throw the ball away, he can throw the ball towards:

  • the down marker on the sideline (the bright orange pole that marks the line of scrimmage and the first-down line)
  • a receiver

If he throws the ball and it isn't close to a receiver (I think a receiver has to be within 2-3 yards), then he gets a penalty for Intentional Grounding.

The signal for Intentional Grounding (when the ref announces it), he will:

  • put his hands about 8 inches apart - facing each other
  • move his hands from up by one shoulder diagonally down in front of his body to end by the other hip.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

OK, so how long is an average game?

How much time out of your life will you dedicate to watch an average game from kickoff to the last second?

About 3 hours. Maybe 3 and a half.

Including all commercials, halftime, and timeouts.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What time is the game on?

Sundays are the main NFL day during the week!

On Sundays, the NFL games start at 1:00 Eastern and 4:15 Eastern. Most teams play at 1:00 with only a few "late games" at 4:00.

Most Sundays, there is also a night game - I think that starts at 8:30 Eastern. It's neat because later in the season, the Sunday night teams are re-evaluated as the game approaches - so we all don't get stuck watching some meaningless (in terms of playoffs) or bad (2 loser teams against each other) game.

Then, there's Monday night games on ESPN. It's always a big honor for teams to play on Monday nights - it means their games were interesting or they played well the previous year. Not every team will get to play on Monday night and some teams get to play more than a fair share of Monday night games.

This Monday, they are having 2 games - one at 7:00 and one at 10:30 Eastern. Don't worry - the 10:30 one is the Chargers and the Raiders and probably isn't worth staying up to watch.

The NFL also mixes in Thursday night games - but these aren't every week, so it's hard to keep track of them.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why did the ref take his hat off?

When you see a ref walking around without his hat on, it means that a player has gone out of bounds.

This is important because the player who went out of bounds cannot be the first player to touch the ball that is in play (like on a kickoff or punt...).

Happy football weekend!

(sorry this is short - i've been sick the last 3 days)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

NFL Kick-off Thursday!

So, the season officially kicks off this Thursday night. The Tennessee Titans vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The NFL is making a big deal out of it - trying to turn it into a big deal with performances by Tim McGraw, The Black Eyed Peas, and others. Think Superbowl, only not as good commercials. But hey, football will be on.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

4th preseason game

The 4th preseason game is pretty boring. None of the good players play much (if at all) as no one wants them to get hurt. It is basically a final tryout time for those players who are trying to stay on the team. Teams have to cut to 53 players before the first game (I think), and many teams still have 70 or more players. So you can imagine how they are fighting for their roster spots!

So the final preseason games are more for the coaches than us spectators. Don't feel obligated to watch.

I'm not. That's for sure.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Why is that player waving his hand over his head?

Scene: One team has kicked the ball to the other team.

The player back to receive the ball starts waving his hand in the air over his head.


That is the signal for a "fair catch." Once a player waves his hand over his head, he is saying that he just wants to catch the ball and will not run with it when he does. The kicking team is not allowed to touch him (or it will be a penalty).

If he catches it: His team gets the ball right where he caught it and no players from the other team are allowed to try to tackle him.

If he drops it (and he has touched the ball): either team can recover the ball for their team.

If he doesn't touch the ball and misses it: Then it's like he never signaled for the fair catch. If his team recovers it, they can try to run with it (and the other team can try to tackle him). If the kicking team recovers it, then the next play (for the receiving team) will start wherever the kicking team touched the ball.