What to Expect When You’re Expecting…A Football Blog

football, news, 2013

It has been a GREAT 2013 season here at Football for Normal Girls! Thank you all so much for being along for the ride!

What’s next? It will be all quiet on the home front for the immediate future, but you can expect the blog to be up and running again once the Combine begins in March! A full offseason schedule will be announced, sure to keep you plugged into all things NFL and ready to rock the 2014 season.

See you all soon!

…What Do We Do Now?

Welp. We are currently in the first days of the dreaded Football Drought. If you are still reading this website post-Super Bowl, you probably fall into the category of someone who is not looking forward to the long (loooooog) off-season. Here are a few dates you can put on the calendar to get you through until September 2014 finally arrives.


The Combine • February 19-25

NFL New Year (Free Agency Begins) • March 11

Draft Day Premieres in Theaters • April 11

2014 Schedule Released • April 17 (my birthday present!)

The Draft • May 8-10

NFL Hall of Fame Induction • August 3

Non-NFL Events (like there is such a thing)

The Olympics • February 7-23

March Madness • March 18 – April 7

Opening Day of the MLB Season • March 31

The Masters • April 10-13

Boston Marathon • April 21

NBA Finals Begin • June 5

College World Series • June 14-25

FIFA World Cup • June 16 – July 13

Wimbledon • June 23 – July 6

Tour de France • July 7-27

PGA Championship • August 7-10

Little League World Series • August 14-24

College Football Begins • August 30

And then, September arrives, and we’re all in the clear: NFL football will be back.

Let’s start counting down the days, people.

*Looking for another sporting event not on this calendar? Check out ESPN’s Major Events Calendar.

Ten Memorable Posts of 2013

Similar to yesterday’s post, these may not be the “best” posts of the season, but they are the ones I’ll remember the most. Here are 10 of my favorite posts from 2013, listed from earliest to most recent:

10. The Preseason Roundup Series

Because it’s always fun to look back and see how wrong preseason predictions are. (Texans, I’m looking at you.)

9. 10 Things You Need to Know to Watch an NFL Game

The basic basics rolled into one post. But wait, there’s more! A free printable reference guide!

8. Ten Common Penalties (Part 1) (Part 2)

An introduction to penalties that won’t make your brain melt.

7. How Do I Pick a Team?

The essence of being a fan. This post was sponsored by 17 years of Packers fandom.

6. The Difference Between Vs. and At

A simple rule that makes all the difference when trying to figure who is playing where.

5. Actual Field Goal Distance

Because it’s essential to avoid confusion. (If they are standing at the 30 yard line…why is it a 47 yard field goal?) (Exactly.)

4. Football Field Fundamentals

I made a video and didn’t pass out in the middle of it. Major win.

3. Their Own 20-yard Line

Similar to #5: essential to avoid confusion during a football broadcast.

2. The 12 Posts of Playoffs

Hopefully this was a helpful series! I really loved writing it and extending Christmas well into January.

1. What It Means to Love a Team

A true story.

Were there any posts that were especially helpful for you that didn’t make this list? Any you needed but didn’t see? Let me know!

Ten Memorable Moments of 2013

As part of the mourning process that takes place once the season ends, let’s think back to the good times. AKA, let’s actively practice avoidance. It’s fun!

These may not be the “best” moments of the 2013 season, but they are a few I’ll remember most.

10. Farewell to Tony

Tony Gonzalez had to retire at some point, but it’s a shame to see him go. What a career. If you are looking for a good read on Gonzalez, click on the link above. Excellent piece on MMQB.

9. Knowshon Moreno Waterfall Tears

Tears that leave you saying, “WHOA.” Did not know water could come out of someone’s face like that.

8. Mike Tomlin Joins the Action

I’m in the minority here, but I don’t think he did it on purpose. Mike Tomlin is a good guy.

7. The Snow Bowl

I was driving to Pennsylvania that day and heard that the game was pretty snowy, but it’s one of those You Have To See It To Believe It kind of scenes. It was pretty awesome as far as iconic football moments go, and pretty unawesome as far as actual football-playing goes.

6. Manning Returns to Indy

If the standing ovation Peyton received when he returned to Indy doesn’t make you well up with tears, you might not be human.

5. The Weirdest Touchdown

I still can’t believe the Boykin fumble touchdown really happened. It felt like finding out that your office is closed on a random holiday when you fully expected to work and now you have the day off. Which is to say, it was the best.

4. The Best Touchdown

Also the Never Say Never play of the year!

3. Tom Brady Left Hanging

This gets me every time. Tom Brady can get pretty much anything in the world…except a high five.

2. Patriots Comeback Win Against Denver

Or why I’m glad I didn’t go to bed at halftime.

1. Peyton

When I think about the 2013 season, I think the first thing that will come to mind is Peyton. What he did this year – to be 37, recovered from major surgery, playing his second year with a new team, and having one of the best seasons in quarterbacking history, if not the best season – was mind blowing. What happened on Sunday? Equally mind blowing. No one likes to see a good guy get beat like that. There will be a whole mixed bag of intense Peyton-related emotions when it comes to remembering 2013.

How about you guys? What will you remember from this season?

At the Water Cooler : Super Bowl 48

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos (Seahawks won, 43-8)

Well…where to begin?

I always get concerned when Super Bowls are forecasted to be close because they tend not to play out that way. In this case, that was the understatement to beat all understatements.

It began oddly. Did we all catch the coin toss (no pun intended)? Let’s not talk about The Fur Coat (because, wow), but the coin toss reminded me of one of my favorite Friends episodes. “Somebody call it this time!”

And then it continued oddly, with a safety on the first play from scrimmage. A safety on the first play of a Super Bowl is probably a prop bet that made someone a LOT of money. A miscommunication between the center, Ramirez, and Manning led to 2 easy, early points for the Seahawks.

It was pretty much all downhill from there for the Broncos. Seattle scored three consecutive times – safety, field goal, field goal – for an 8-point lead that felt like an 800-point lead. At halftime, it was 22-0. 

And 12 seconds into the second half…it was 29-0.

It was safe to say the Broncos weren’t in Omaha anymore.

It’s kind of inexplicable what happened to the Broncos last night. While watching, I really felt like we were all having one big Super Bowl nightmare. We couldn’t really all be watching the complete and total collapse of the Denver Broncos, could we? It couldn’t possibly end like this for Manning after having the best season of any quarterback, ever, could it?

Yep. It sure did.

Save for the 8 points scored off of a touchdown and 2-point conversion, it really could not have gone worse for the Broncos. An awful way to end an incredible season.

The Seahawks, though? They were incredible when it mattered most. They forced a lot of mistakes by the Broncos. A well-deserved win by a frighteningly good defense and an offense that stepped up and played very well. We should probably get used to Seattle sticking around for awhile: they have the youngest roster in the NFL, with an average age of 26.4.

The Legion of Boom. The 12th Man. They’re all here to stay.

How was the Super Bowl for you all? Any moments that stood out?  Any happy Seahawks fans in the crowd?

Surviving the Super Bowl : Answers

Ok people, it’s the moment of truth! How did you do on the Surviving the Super Bowl quiz yesterday? Find out below!

1. What’s a snap?

  1. That noise you make with your fingers and thumb
  2. The button thing on your vest
  3. The exchange of the football from the center to the quarterback
  4. The exchange of the football from the quarterback to the center

While 1 & 2 are valid answers, a snap is what happens at the beginning of every play when the center transfers the ball to the quarterback.

2. What’s a drive?

  1. A collection of plays that results in the scoring of a touchdown
  2. A team’s complete collection of plays during one possession of the football
  3. When a defensive player tackles the quarterback
  4. The way a team travels from the hotel to the stadium

Teams can expect to have about a dozen offensive possessions, or drives, per game.

3. There are 6 players on offense who stay constant, 5 who are interchangeable. Which of the following is a constant on offense?

  1. Tight End
  2. Center
  3. Wide Receiver
  4. Running Back

The right and left guards, right and left tackles, center, and quarterback are the players who remain constant on every offensive play. The tight ends, wide receivers, and running backs are interchangeable and arranged in personnel groups.

4. Which of the following is NOT an offensive lineman?

  1. Right Guard
  2. Left Tackle
  3. Center
  4. Linebacker

5. What does the phrase “3 and out” mean?

  1. A team did not convert on it’s first 3 downs and has to punt
  2. A team has 3 players out on injury
  3. A team is sending 3 wide receivers running out routes down the field
  4. A team did not convert on it’s first 3 downs and is kicking a field goal

If a team doesn’t gain 10 yards on their first 3 downs and is deep in their own territory, they’ll likely punt it away on 4th down. This process is called a “3 and out.”

6. It’s 2nd and 12 at the offenses 30 yard line. Which yard line do they need to reach to earn a first down?

  1. The 40 yard line
  2. The 42 yard line
  3. The 20 yard line
  4. The 18 yard line

2nd and 12 means that the offense needs to gain 12 yards for a first down. Since they’re at their own 30 yard line, they’ll need to reach their 42 yard line to earn a new set of downs.

7. A team has 4 chances, called downs, to gain 10 yards. So why wouldn’t most teams run a play on 4th and 1 from their own 20 yard line instead of punting it away?

  1. It’s against the rules
  2. They’re going to kick a field goal instead
  3. They have to punt at least 10 times per game
  4. They’d be risking turning the ball over to the other team and putting them in scoring position

If a team goes for it on 4th down and doesn’t convert, they have to turn the ball over on downs to the other team. That means that the other team will begin it’s drive right where the offense left off. If the offense left off at their own 20 yard line, that means the other team, now on offense, would be within 20 yards of the end zone and therefore very likely to score if the ball were turned over on downs.

8. The two sections of defense are:

  1. The defensive starters and the defensive backups
  2. The defensive front and the defensive backs
  3. The defensive offense and the defensive defense
  4. The defensive red zone and the defensive end zone

The defensive front consists of the defensive tackles, defensive ends, and linebackers. The defensive backs are the cornerbacks and safeties.

9. Which of the following players does NOT play in the defensive front?

  1. Ends
  2. Tackles
  3. Linebackers
  4. Safeties

Safeties play in the backfield with the cornerbacks.

10. The single tackle in a 3-4 system is called the:

  1. The front tackle
  2. The main tackle
  3. The nose tackle
  4. The head tackle

The one ridiculous answer in this quiz that is actually true: the sole tackle in a 3-4 system who plays in between the defensive ends is called the nose tackle.

11. The defensive backs are also known as the:

  1. Primary
  2. Secondary
  3. Tertiary
  4. Quad Unit

The DB’s are called the secondary because they are the second section of defensive players.

12. The defense brings 8 players into the box. What type of play are they anticipating?

  1. Punt
  2. Field Goal
  3. Run
  4. Pass

Lots of players up front = running play. Lots of players spread out in pass protection = passing play.

13. One linebacker goes out, one defensive back comes in. What package is the defense using?

  1. Penny
  2. Nickel
  3. Dime
  4. Quarter

If two linebackers were swapped out for two DB’s, it’d be a dime package. You’ll rarely see a quarter package (a swap of 3) and a penny package doesn’t exist.

14. Kickoffs occur:

  1. At the beginning of the first half
  2. At the beginning of the second half
  3. After scoring plays
  4. All of the above

The coin flip, however, only happens once, and determines who kicks the ball off first and who defers until the second half.

15. It’s 4th and 1. The offense is on the defense’s 20 yard line and decides to kick a field goal instead of going for it. What will the total field goal distance be?

  1. 2 yards
  2. 20 yards
  3. 30 yards
  4. 37 yards

Ball at the 20 + 10 yards of end zone + 7 yards lined up behind the tee = a 37-yard kick, total.

16. What does it mean to “go for 2″?

  1. Run a 2-pt scoring play instead of kicking for an extra point
  2. Run 2 players into the end zone and have both of them score separate touchdowns
  3. Kick a field goal for 2 points
  4. Kick an extra point for 2 points

If a team needs to even or exceed the score late in the game, they’ll likely go for 2. 

17. When can a team go for 2?

  1. After an extra point
  2. After a field goal
  3. After a touchdown
  4. After a kickoff

A team can only go for 2 after scoring a touchdown, in place of kicking a 1 point extra point.

18. If a team is down and needs to get the ball back quickly, what type of kick might they try?

  1. A kickoff
  2. An onside kick
  3. A fair catch kick
  4. All of the above

If you need more information about the thought process and execution behind onside kicks, check out this post.

19. True or False: Offensive and defensive players can also play on the special teams unit

  1. True
  2. False

True! Sometimes a few of a team’s best offensive players play on the special teams unit as punt returners, like wide receiver Wes Welker.

20. True or False: You are SO PREPARED to Survive the Super Bowl!

  1. True
  2. False

SO TRUE! You can absolutely survive the Super Bowl in fine form with all of this information under your belt. You’re going to love watching the Super Bowl this year! Have fun!

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