Football rules can be difficult to keep up with, especially during the Super Bowl. Who knew that a bunch of big, beefy dudes running back and forth across a field could be so complicated? Well, worry not football dummy, we’ve got you covered! Whether you’re looking to get into the sport full time or just want to know what the heck is going on during the big game, these simplified rules should make things a little clearer for you!
1. There are players, and they’re hot.
Let’s be honest, even if you hate football the players are serious eye candy. Watching two dozen jacked dudes bend down with their behinds in the air during the game is really a sight to behold. But you probably want to have kind of an idea of what they’re doing besides running, so here’s the simplified breakdown: The offensive side of the team are the players who throw the ball. The defensive side of the team are the players who do all the tackling and keep the opposing team at bay. Oh, and the only quarterback who matters is Tom Brady. That’s all. We don’t make the football rules, we’re just sharing them.
2. There are four quarters in a game, just like in your bank account.
A football game is split up into four different quarters, lasting 15 minutes each with a break for halftime in the middle. So the game should only be an hour, right? Don’t get your hopes up, Becky. With all of the stop and go that happens between timeouts, penalties, etc etc, games can last up to 3 and a half hours. So put down the car keys and prepare to spend your evening glued to the TV screen.
3. Let’s get the actual game rules kicked off.
Like any serious decision, which team starts off on the offensive side and which is on the defensive side is determined by a coin toss. The winner gets to decide which side they want to be on to start the game. One that happens, the defending team kicks the ball off to the offending team and that’s when all the running and tackling begins.
4. Sugar we’re going down screaming.
The objective of football is to get the ball from one end of the field to the other. However, every time they’re tackled during their pursuit, that’s considered a “down”. Players get four downs to try and move 10 yards. If they hit that 10-yard mark before their fourth down then they go back to having a first down. Basically, you’re going to be hearing a lot of downs, so just remember to cheer when you hear “first down” and “touchdown”.
5. Penalties SUCK… But not when it’s on the other team.
There are a lot of reasons a team can be penalized–unnecessary roughness, holding, unsportsmanlike conduct, false start, the list goes on. Basically, whenever the team you’re rooting for gets a penalty then you want to start screaming profanities. But if the other team gets a penalty then you can jump out of your seat and cheer. Just make sure you aren’t cheering for the wrong team. That’d be really awkward.
6. Interception, not to be confused with contraception.
Even though the words sound similar, don’t get them mixed up. Trust us, they’re pretty different. An interception is when one member of the defensive team grabs the ball mid-throw from the offensive side of the team. So when your team intercepts the ball from the opposing team break out the celebratory shots. But when your team gets their ball intercepted prepare for the angriest yelling you’ve ever heard.
7. These players can really score.
And we don’t just mean in bed. The main way of scoring in a football game is by getting a touchdown–when the team gets the ball into the other team’s end zone. A touchdown is worth 6 points and is then followed by an attempt at kicking the ball through the field goal, which is worth 1 point. If you’re decent at math then you know that adds up to a total of 7 points. There are other ways to score points, too–like kicking a field goal worth 3 points during a fourth down. But just know that a touchdown is the most important way to score.
8. Think you hate working overtime at work? Try it during football.
If both teams are tied by the end of the fourth quarter then football rules say that results in overtime. So just when you thought you were good to head home, you were wrong. Overtime will last until one of the two teams manages to score, so you may be stuck on that sofa for a while. But if you’re even a little bit invested in the game then you’ll find that overtime is more stressful than waiting for the results of a pregnancy test.
9. And the winner is…
This part of football rules should be simple enough. The team with the higher score at the end of the game is the winner. So if your team won then pop open those bottles and prepare for the after party! But if you lost then… well… at least you got free food and booze out of this all. There’s always a bright side.