Rulebook Wednesday: Football 101 For Your Girlfriend


It has once again come to my attention within the last couple weeks that while many of us know how the game of football works, not all of us do. For example, the girly girlfriend who goes to the game and watches with you and cheers when you cheer, but she doesn’t quite understand what she’s cheering for and ultimately she’s just hoping and praying the game finishes up quickly so ya’ll can just go home and snuggle. What she doesn’t know is you’re only going to be going home to watch more football… for the rest of the weekend. Or so you thought, haha.

To be fair, some girls do know what’s going on, as these girls to the right seem to (it’s obvious they’re losing right? But I mean, that’s a fabulous bronzing job, and if that’s what she looks like when she’s mad at you, you can live with it!). But more often than not they simply don’t know what’s happening during a football game and that’s what I’m here to help you explain. Anyway, you probably know or have known the gal of which I speak at some point in time in your own life.

Here’s the thing, if you’re with one of these girls more than one time, you will (being the intense football fan that you are) inevitably bring up a football play, player, game or reference that she just will not understand. You will then get that look: You know, the “can we talk about something else, maybe beer or food or a movie, or you, or even soccer because it’s simple(?)” look as they blankly stare into your eyes (or right past them). For a while this could end in “I don’t care, let’s talk about something else” while she changes the subject on you. But you’re a junkie and can’t help but bring these things up, so eventually she’ll cave and say “ya know, I kinda get it, but how exactly does football work? I don’t understand how they get points and stuff”. I know this for a fact because it’s happened to me multiple times, most recently with my current girlfriend. And then you’re like “Whaaaaaaat?”, and you have to explain it. But it can be difficult because you’re so caught off guard by the question, so here’s my version to make you look like you know what you’re talking about while not actually saying a whole lot (remember don’t try to explain penalties or special situations because she won’t be able to process it, just let that play out and explain later, when she asks while you are watching with her).

"Well it’s pretty simple really. One team runs, passes the ball to a teammate or kicks it in an attempt to get the ball across the goalline or through the goal posts while the defense of course tries to stop them. Scores are counted simply by kicking the ball through the goal post (called a field goal) for 3 points, or taking the ball across the goalline (a touchdown) for 6 points. In the event that a touchdown is scored by either team, they can kick the ball for another point or try to get it over again for 2 points.Each team gets four plays (downs) to make 10 yards or they must give the ball up where they are stopped at. However they can kick it to the other team to create better position or try to kick a field goal if they don’t make it too."

Boom! That’s all you need. Don’t waste your breath on anything else unless she specifically asks because she WON’T PROCESS IT! I don’t care that she doesn’t know about what a safety is. I don’t care that she doesn’t know about turnovers or penalties or positions just yet. Remember Football to you is as simple as tying your shoe, or drinking a can of soda, but it really is a complicated game with lots of provisions and rules. If you make it complicated for her right away she’ll avoid it altogether. However if explained with limited, but still detailed information on how to score and how to move the ball your girlfriend will be able to look for the basics and enjoy it with you more, which you know you need because otherwise it’s off to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning and out to the movies or possibly a nice early dinner while the Game of the Week plays itself out on the “ESPN Score Alerts” app on your (hopefully) smart phone. Don’t waste your entire football Saturday because you tried to explain too much.


The Ref