The Basics : The Where

Today, we’re going to talk about where all of this football play happens, in two parts:

Part I : The Field

A football field is 100 yards long and 53 yards wide. Each end zone is 10 yards long and is in addition to the field (so the entire field measures 120 yards).  The 20 yards prior to each end zone is referred to as the “red zone” because it’s where all of the important stuff goes down. At the back of each end zone is a goal post (the “uprights”) into which field goals and extra points are kicked.

Part II : The Locations

Geographically, there are 32 teams located all over the United States. The NFL is arranged in two conferences comprised of four divisions each – a north, south, east, and west component for each division – with four teams in each division. (We went over this briefly last week as well.)

Teams have an equal number of home and away games (eight each). The away games are determined on a rotating schedule so that eventually all of the teams get to play each other – but not all in the same season.

Sometimes games are played in Canada and London. It’s strange but true.

The Basics : The Players


Your absolute basic guide to who is on the field

Offensive Players:

The Quarterback (QB): The guy who gets all the glory and all of the criticism, too. He orchestrates the Offense, throwing or handing the ball off to other members of the Offense in order to score points.

The Center (C): He’s the guy who snaps the ball to the quarterback. It’s important to know who he is because he handles the ball on every play and is usually a key to the whole Offensive system.

The Offensive Guards and Offensive Tackles (RT, LT, RG, LG): The four other guys who, along with the Center, comprise the Offensive Line and keep the Defense at bay. They’re often burly.

The Running Backs (RB): The Running Back lines up behind the QB. He receives a handoff, looks for holes in the Defense (“open lanes”), and tries to plow through for as many yards as possible. There are other varieties of this position – Fullbacks, Halfbacks, Tailbacks – but the one you’ll see most often is the Running Back.

The Tight Ends (TE): The tight end can either block the Defense or catch the ball. He’s all about versatility.

The Wide Receivers (WR): These are the guys who run down the field and make spectacular catches. They insight cheers and groans depending on which team you are rooting for.


Defensive Players:

The Defensive LineEnds and Tackles (DE, DT): These guys form the first line of protection, going head to head against the Offensive Line, which is lined up directly across from them. They can also be quite burly.

The Linebackers (LB): Linebackers defend against the pass but can also move up to the Defensive Line to protect against a running play.

The Cornerbacks (CB) and The Safeties (S): Commonly referred to as the “Secondary” or the Defensive Backs, these players cover passing plays and protect the end zone. They are also most often at the receiving end of a “pass interference” penalty.


The Special Teams Unit:

The only player to know on this unit is the Kicker (K), who kicks field goals and extra points. Other than that, the Special Teams unit handles kickoffs and…well, that’s pretty much it. But it’s an important job, even if it isn’t the most lucrative, because a lot of crazy things can happen when Special Teams is on the field.

Our Training Camp : Posting Schedule

Girls, it’s time to have our own version of training camp. It’s going to be long. It’s going to be jam-packed with information and homework. But it’s going to be way more fun than actually being in training camp.

Over the next 6 weeks we will be learning all of the basic information you need to know to survive the 2012 NFL season.

Here’s our training camp schedule:

Mondays: A Basics post containing vital information to build a foundational understanding of the game

Tuesdays/Wednesdays: Divisional Breakdown posts featuring what you need to know about the four teams in each of the eight divisions

Thursdays: A QUIZ about the Basics and Divisional posts!

Fridays: The answers to Thursday’s quiz

Interspersed/Weekends: Training Camp coverage, Preseason coverage, relevant news, player information, and recipes. Because, come on. We’re girls.

Sound good?