Football Basics – Chapter One

Football Basics?  Yes.  Some grow up with the game and others don’t.  Up until I got married, 20+ years ago, I had no clue about football; baseball was all I knew.   Thanks to my hubby for his great amount of patience for all my football questions back in the day.  Now Football is my absolute favorite sport and WE love watching it.  It is something we can do together and talk about.

I am not saying I know it all, but I would love to share what I do know.  The rest we can learn together.

So let’s get started and digg in for the 2012 Football Season.  This first chapter will be Football Basics.

NFL Football Basics

The Field

The field is 100 yards long.   It is marked with white lines at every 5 yards and smaller lines called “hash marks” for every one yard.  At each end of the field it is called the “End Zone.”   The “Red Zone” is the last 20 yards before the end zone.  At the very end of each side is the goal posts.


The Team

The team is made up of Offense, Defense and Special Teams.    The team with ball, trying to score is the offense.  The team trying to stop the offense from scoring is the defense.  Each team is allowed 11 people on the field, if they have more or less it is a penalty.

The Game

Each 60 minute game is split into 2 halves and 4 quarters.

The offense has 4 attempts or “downs” to make it 10 yards.  You will see “1st and 10″ when the offense begins their turn on the field.  Each time the offense reaches at least 10 yards the downs start over and they can keep trying for a touch down.  If the offense don’t make those 10 yards the ball goes to the other team and it is their turn to try.

The Line of Scrimmage is where the ball is placed by the Refs.  Either team cannot pass this “line” or they will receive a penalty.

When a team has a penalty they lose yardage.  Penalties can There are several penalties that can occur and I will cover those in future posts.


The offense receives 6 points when they make it into the end zone for a touch down.  They can either try and run into the end zone again for 2 extra points or the kicker can kick a field goal for 1 extra point.  Kicking a field goal is the more common choice because attempting to make to extra points is more challenging.

Offensive Positions

Quarterback (QB) – the guy with the ball

Running Back (RB) – RB’s are handed or tossed the ball by their QB and they run.  These players are excellent at dodging and weaving through the defensive line.  It also helps if the offensive line gets the defense out of the way.

Wide Receiver (WR) – WR’s are thrown the ball some times from very long distances.  They are very good at catching the ball in difficult situations.

Dates to remember:

  • The NFL Preseason starts on August 5th.  Watch it.  It is a good way to see how your rookies (first year players) will preform and the last chance for all to prove they have what it takes before final cuts.
  • Regular NFL Season starts September 5th!

More to come next week…. Now time for Fantasy Football


If you have any questions about football or fantasy football, any at all, please email me:  Remember we are learning and we will enjoy football so much more if we understand the game.


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