Video Post(!) : Football Field Fundamentals

I know that video posts in blog posts are technically supposed to be called “vlogs,” but I just can’t do it. The English language is ridiculous enough as it is without adding new ridiculous words to the mix. And is it really so hard to just say the extra word? Must we merge the two into one? How much longer does it really take to say “video blog” as opposed to “vlog,” and what, exactly, are you planning on doing with those extra 0.25 seconds?

People, join me. Resist the urge to merge.

In other, less grammatically-inclined news, I made a video post…and I survived! I’m so much better with typing words onto a screen than speaking words while looking into a screen. However, I wanted to make this one in preparation for the upcoming Influence Network class in an effort to force myself to stop being Chicken Little. Plus, I’ve wanted to feature video posts here for a long time! I think that sometimes concepts are easier to grasp when they are explained out loud and shown with a visual, so count on more video posts in the future.

This video will help you grasp the basic fundamentals of a football field. If you need to call in the reinforcements, you can always check out the Football Field Fundamentals post, too!

Two things to consider post-video:

1. If you haven’t signed up for Understanding Football, high tail it over to the Influence Network and sign up! The class is only ONE WEEK from today!

2. Is there something you’d like to see covered in a video post as opposed to a regular post? Leave your ideas in the comments!

Fundamentals : The Field

Last week we covered the bare basics of the Who: who’s on the 53-man roster. Today we’ll take a break from personnel and move on to the Where: the field.

File:American Football field (NFL).png

photo credit

The field! You’ve seen the field before. No big deal. Let’s just dive into it a little bit more.

Here are the specs you need to know:

120 yards: the total length of the football field, which includes the 100-yard field and two 10-yard end zones

53.3 yards: the total width of the football field

10 yards: the length of each end zone (the goal posts are located at the back of each end zone)

5 yards: the distance between the yard lines across the field

1 yard: the distance between the hash marks

Aside from the numbers, there are a few important things to note about the field:

The Mysterious Yellow Line

You know that mysterious electronic yellow line that seems to follow teams around the field? That line is going to be your new best friend once you two get to know each other. It signifies how much further a team has to go to get a first down. (For the scoop on first downs, check out this post.) Once you understand the down system you’ll automatically know what the situation is for the offense depending on the down and distance and how close or far away they are from the yellow line. It’s a pretty handy tool for watching games on TV.

The Red Zone

The red zone isn’t red. But it is important! The red zone is identified as the 20 yards prior to the end zone. This is a critical area of the field, hence the high-alert title of “red zone,” because the offense is so close to the other teams end zone. When you hear commentators talking about a team nearing “the red zone,” this is the section of the field they are  referring to.

Their “Own” Side of the Field/The Other Team’s “Territory”

A teams “own” side of the field is the 50 yards of field nearest to their end zone. When a team is on this side of the field and doesn’t convert on 3rd down, they are more likely to punt the ball away so that the other team doesn’t get a field position advantage. (To go for it on 4th down on your own side of the field and not convert is practically giving the other team points; you’ll have to turn the ball over on downs and the other team will already be on your side of the field.)

The other team’s “territory” is the 50 yards of field nearest to their end zone. Once you enter their territory, your chance of scoring – either by touchdown or field goal – is much greater. A team is less likely to punt the ball away if they’re inside of the other team’s territory.

A Note On Sides:

Teams don’t have the same end zone for the entire game. You’ll notice that both end zones are painted for the home team, which might be confusing if you are expecting each team to have their own individual end zone. This is because teams switch sides of the field after each quarter, to ensure fairness in playing conditions (weather, condition of the field, fans, etc).

Grass or Turf?

It’s a pretty even split, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. You may have heard the Redskins take some flack for the condition of their field (grass) during the playoffs – and rightfully so. Hopefully, the NFL will intervene a few improvements to regulations before next season begins.

And there it is: the fundamental facts about NFL fields. Aren’t you glad to know more than you ever thought possible about where the game is played? Of course you are!

Offseason Schedule 2013 : Off the Field

This week, we’ll be previewing the offseason schedule. You can still expect posts every weekday, a mix of education, information and inspiration, nice people in the comments section, and a reason to hold onto hope: the 2013 season will be here before we know it. Here’s what we’ll be talking about until then:

I love football for the game that’s played on the field. But what I love just as much is hearing about all of the good stuff that happens off the field. And there’s lots of it! By and large, NFL players go above and beyond to give back. Seeing all of the good that comes from football makes me love it even more, and I hope the same is true for you!

On Tuesdays, we’ll be hearing about things like this:

I think it’ll make for great Tuesdays around here.