…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!

Today is the day!!!

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Today is the day, people!!! If you are dreading the football portion of your Thanksgiving get together in just two short days, this is your answer. You’ll learn everything you need to know to watch a football game from start to finish and can impress/freak out your friends and family members with your newly acquired football knowledge on turkey day. It will be awesome.

If you haven’t signed up for the Understanding Football class over at the Influence Network tonight at 9pm EST, there’s still time! You can sign up here, but be sure to do so before 6pm EST!

Hope to see you all there!!!

Resources : Updated Resources

Now, I know you can all wander over to the Resources page and check out the aforementioned newly updated list for yourselves, but there’s just so much goodness here that I can’t help but bring it front and center. There are SO MANY great resources available to take your football knowledge and enjoyment one step further. Here are some of my favorites:

Websites to Stalk

MMQB has the best writing in all of sports – perhaps in all of anything. Everything (everything) here is good, but Peter King’s weekly column (Monday Morning Quarterback, hence MMQB) is an absolute must-read.

Quickish, now simply “the Q“ has long been my favorite quick-hitting resource for the best news in sports…and now there is a version  just for the NFL! It’s like Christmas!

You can’t beat the statistical quality of the information over at Pro Football Focus. They do a “refocus” of each game every week, breaking it down by the numbers, which is tremendously helpful, and also award a PFF team of the week and “had a bad day” team of the week, both of which are just fun (and informative!) reads.

Helpful Apps

The Football Simplified app will help you break down the basics (and then some!) in short order. (For the Western New Yorkers in the crowd, there is also a hockey version of this app!)

I know from experience that the NFL Mobile app really does cure #FOMOF (Fear Of Missing Out on Football) because I traveled for the first 8 weeks of the season and often had to rely on radio broadcasts to catch games while driving. Much to the chagrin of the other drivers on the road, who must have thought I had severe road rage. Nope…just listening to the sound of Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone breaking. Nothing to see here.

I rely on Bleacher Report to send the first push notifications about breaking NFL news (somehow they are almost always the first to break news) and Packers news with the Team Stream app.

Educational Television Programming

My personal favorite is NFL Turning Point. Beyond getting an up close and personal look at the game, you also get substantial explanations of what happened, specifically, in several games each week that led to wins or losses. Airs: Wednesdays at 10:00pm and 11:00pm (NBC Sports Network) 

Similarly, NFL Matchup is one of the most insightful football shows out there, and definitely the best football programming on ESPN, in my opinion. It’s impossible to walk away from an episode without learning 87 new things about football and having an intel edge on the upcoming games that day. Airs: Sundays at 6:30am (ESPN) and 8:30am (ESPN2)

Even if you aren’t a football fan, chances are you’ll love the A Football Life documentaries. Each focuses on a prolific person in football history (even current history, with players like Michael Strahan). The stories are so well-produced and beautifully told. Airs: Wednesdays at 8:00pm (NFL Network). You can also buy Season One and Two on DVD.)


I’m including this section to highlight the only sports podcast I listen to (though I’m sure there are many other good ones out there): Tuesdays with Aaron. As a Packers fan, this podcast really can’t be missed. Because how often do you a) have the best quarterback in the league on your roster and b) get to listen to him talk and be a real person for a half an hour every week? Admittedly…this happens more often for the Packers than it does for other teams. Green Bay has been extremely fortunate when it comes to high caliber quarterbacks. But the Rodgers era is a golden one for sure, and this podcast is a great way to savor it.

Resources : FootballSimplified App

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There are lots of great places to get your football smarts (and I just did a refresh of the Resources page, which we’ll go over in a post at a later date, to put all of my favorites in one place). I was recently introduced to a new one by the guys over at SportSimplified, and I think it’s one you all will be VERY interested in!

FootballSimplified is an app that teaches the basics of football in just a few sentences. (And you all know there’s no way I can produce that kind of brevity over here. I like words way too much for that.) It’s a quick, informative tutorial that will help tremendously as you dive further into the basics and beyond. Especially beyond! The app covers understanding offense and defense, but also covers offensive play calling, a defensive coverage, and kicking formations. Plus, once you are finished with all of the lessons, you can take a quiz to test your new knowledge!

Here’s why I like the app. Let’s say you wanted to learn more about wide receivers. You can learn about their basic function in the Offense lesson:

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Then, once you are set with who the wide receivers are, you can learn more about where they are on the field in the Offensive Formations lesson:

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Not to leave any stone unturned, you can go one step further and learn what a wide receiver might do during a passing play in the Offensive Playcalling lesson:

football, resources, app

Interested in giving it a whirl yourself? You can download the app for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire. Also worth checking out: the SportSimplified blog. And for all of you Western New Yorkers out there, I know you’ll be thrilled to hear that they also have a HockeySimplified app, so be sure to check that one out, too.

Thanks to Clayton and the team at SportSimplified for reaching out about this app! You guys are doing a great job!

The Influence Network + Football for Normal Girls

football, resources

You are probably here for one of the following reasons:

1. You really love football and want to learn more about it.

2. You really hate football and just want to survive the season without ripping your hair out.

3. You love someone who loves football and you want to support them.

4. You are a friend or family member and you read to support me (hi, guys!).

If any of those things apply to you, you might be interested in learning more about a class I’m teaching over at the Influence Network. The class is called Understanding Football and will be held live online on Wednesday, November 26th, at 9pm EST.

You should attend if: You fit any of the above criteria; you know your stuff but want to brush up on the basics; you know nothing and need a successful starting place; you just want to hang out with cool people online for an hour (and hear me being myself on overdrive, which is usually what happens when I’m nervous/excited/talking about football, which means there will be ample opportunities to laugh with me/at my expense and I would fully encourage you to do so). We’ll be going over everything you need to know to successfully watch a football game from start to finish. Or, alternatively titled, Everything You Need To Know to Watch the Super Bowl Which is Rapidly Approaching (for those of you who appreciate motivation by deadlines, as I do). As per the class description, if you have you ever wondered what a first down is and why the explanation involves an imaginary yellow line, this class is for you.

How does it work?

You can sign up for the class by clicking here. It’s only $10 for an hour that is bound to change the course of your football watching future from now until eternity. And in light of that kind of payoff, what’s $10?! But really, the Influence Network does a great job of offering affordable prices for a wide variety classes, so you should check them all out while you’re there! I’m taking Hayley’s class on building a cohesive brand next week and I can’t wait!

Warning: THERE ARE ONLY 50 SPOTS. And once they sell out there are no additional spots! So I would recommend going over and signing up sooner rather than later if you are interested in attending.

I hope to see some of you there! And please feel free to let me know if you have any questions about the class or how to attend!

*For those of you expecting to see the regular Monday post, At the Water Cooler, it will be back next week! Not to worry!