How to Pretend You Know Football

How to Pretend You Know Football


Remember that time when you were watching the game and shouted “Hole in one!” or said “Wait, I don’t see LeBron James down there” or asked “If it’s called football…why do they play with their hands?”

If you have a shameful memory like that, help is on the way.

Not every American is a football genius, but you don’t have to be obsessed with the game to support your team. Not many can resist the pumped up atmosphere filled with boys, girls, and booze, so why not, right? By all means go to the game and cheer your heart out.

But in order to avoid confused looks and ashamed friends/family, you have to cheer the right way. If you know nothing about football - first of all, God help you. Second of all, here’s how to not sound completely incompetent when watching the game.

“Wait…who’s playing?”

I know it’s shocking, but take look at the scoreboard! This lovely monster of a sign is there for your convenience. It will tell you which two teams are playing. It will most likely give the abbreviation of the team and their team logos next to it. If you can’t distinguish who your home team is on the scoreboard, you should seriously reconsider your life choices, but I digress.

Do yourself and your reputation a favor and never ask anyone around you who is playing; smartphones were invented for a reason, use them. You can type in the abbreviation and you’ll find your answer within seconds. Also, common sense is key. GB does not stand for gigabyte, its Green Bay - just like CHI is not referring to your hair straightener, its Chicago. 

Think people, think! College team abbreviations are very straightforward, for example, IOWA is The University of Iowa, and NDAME is Notre Dame.

“Which one’s the quarterback?...What’s a quarterback?”

To put it simply, there is an offense and a defense on the field. The offense has the ball and is trying to score against the defense, who are trying to defend. The quarterback is the most important offensive player. In social media terms, he is the guy who gets most of the screen time and who’s most likely on all the food/credit card commercials, okay? The quarterback receives the ball after “hut hut hike!” and either runs with the ball or passes it to another teammate to try and score a touchdown.

Learn his name, and you can cheer him on along with everyone else. You don’t want to mistake your quarterback for another player on a different football team or, dare I say it, a different sports team. LeBron James plays basketball, people, not football.

“LET’S GO (insert team name here)!” 

The ultimate way to express your enthusiasm for your team without naming statistics or players is to cheer! Get into it! Show you care! Nobody will put you down for supporting your boys. When everyone else around you is doing a specific motion or chant in response to a play, listen/look once and imitate. You don’t even have to know what it means, save that for Google later.

You will stick out and look ridiculous if you’re the only one in your section not standing up for the kickoff or not participating in Panchero’s Burrito Lift. Your opinion on burritos is irrelevant at this point, put your hands up and lift. Participating in these chants and game rituals makes you look like a local fan who knows what’s up.

“Where’s the basket?”

My poor child, separate your sports please. There is no type of basket, box, or bucket, in football that you put the ball in. Let’s get that straight right now. Instead, there is an "end zone" where all the offensive players are trying to run to with the ball. These zones are the rectangular zones located at each end of the field where those pitchfork looking structures ("the goalposts") are. They usually are colored differently than the rest of the field and have a team name across them as well.

Once an offensive player runs into this zone with the ball, they have just scored a touchdown. This is where you yell “Touchdown!” and yell your heart out. Clap your hands, high five your neighbor, do a victory dance! Make sure it was your team that just scored though, not your opponent, that would be awkward.   

Knowing these basic facts can help you pull off a football-knowing façade any game day of the year. When it all comes down to it, as long as you love your team then you’re already on the right track to knowing football. Go, fight, win!

Aw, you just learned that? Well there ya go, keep it up.

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Mid-Major College Basketball Team Stuns NCAA Tournament Favorite, Top Overall Seed Virginia

It’s the most hyped up, exciting time of the year for sports fans. That’s right, it’s the 2018 NCAA Tournament. This weekend, a handful of power conference and smaller conference college basketball teams took the basketball courts in eager anticipation for a chance to survive and advance toward winning a national championship. However, for top seeded teams, it is also the one opportunity for small, mid-major conference teams to make a name for themselves on national television and become villains to those filling out their brackets.

This has been the case so far. Already, two 13 seeded NCAA men’s basketball teams, the University of Buffalo Bulls and the Marshall Thundering Herd, did damage to every college basketball/sports fans’ brackets, respectively pulling off wins over Arizona and Wichita State, respectively. March madness is alive and well.

But just when the tournament couldn’t get any more wild and crazy, it did last night. The top seeded Virginia Cavaliers, coached by Tony Bennett (not to be confused with the legendary singer), traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to take on the America East conference tournament champions the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers. A lot of people counted on Virginia to not only win that game, but to advance to the National Championship and ultimately win it. UMBC punched their ticket to the Big Dance by hitting a game-winning jump shot in the America East tournament final against Vermont. Nobody thought they had a chance.

But the players on UMBC truly believed in themselves and their coach, Ryan Odom. The Cavaliers, best known for their excellent play on defense, found themselves surprisingly tied at 21 at the half. Once the second half began, the game got out of reach. The Retrievers played at a faster pace, with more energy, and kept knocking down two-point and three-point jump shots, while giving the Cavaliers a taste of their own medicine: Virginia was held to 54 points the ENTIRE game! In blowing out Virginia 74-54, UMBC became the first ever 16 seed in the tournament to win against a number one seed. Brackets now are totally busted.

UMBC’s road to the tournament was a strange one. They lost to UAlbany by 44 points earlier in the season, and they clinched a spot in the tournament thanks to a game-winning three point shot over the heavily favored top seed, the Vermont Catamounts. And yet, the team had very high levels of confidence, and didn’t feel phased by the underdog label placed on them. The Retrievers did end up losing to Kansas State in the next round, but their performance against Virginia will be remembered as one of the greatest upsets in college basketball and sports history. Once again, the Retrievers, like the other underdog teams who won, proved that the NCAA tournament is the wildest, craziest, up in the air nationally televised sports event ever. Look for them again next season.

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Jordy Nelson Is The True Packer That Green Bay Will Never Forget

A letter to one of the best to wear green and gold.

This past week, the Green Bay Packers released Jordy Nelson, a truly devastating day for any Packers fan. As what I would call myself, a super fan, I was quite distraught when hearing the news of Nelson's release. Because of this, I have decided that it would be best to get my sadness out through writing an open letter.

Dear Jordy,

The past 10 years have been incredible. Words can not describe how thankful the entirety of Packer nation is to have been able to share the last decade with you. Whether it was coming in clutch during plays, or that infectious smile, you were always able to make your own fans happy, and never disappointed.

When you came into the league, I figured I was around 9 years old. Though your role was not big in your first couple of years in the league, many people knew you'd be destined for some kind of big role on the Pack. As a kid on the playground in 5th grade, I saw your breakout game in Super Bowl XLV and, instantaneously, I wanted to be Jordy Nelson in many games of playground football.

As the years went on, you continued to get better, to the point where you even made yourself into the "got milk?" poster boy all across Wisconsin. Each day in middle school, I remember walking into the cafeteria, seeing a cardboard cut out of you holding milk and would get some milk of my own, just to be like you.

Eventually, you became one of the premier receivers in the NFL, and there was nothing better than watching that Rodgers-Nelson connection week in and week out. In total, we saw you guys combine for 70 touchdowns in your time with the team, while setting team records left and right.

When you tore your ACL in the 2015 season, we were all devastated. It seemed as though you were going to be primed for another big year, and instead, you were forced to watch from the sidelines. However, you did not take this time for granted. You put maximum effort and time into training the young receivers on the team in order to help the squad succeed, and they did.

Following that season, you were your old self, and it was so awesome to have you back. I remember countless "Jordy!" celebrations in my basement on your way to becoming the NFL's comeback player of the year.

Despite a low year this past season, you were still one of the unquestioned leaders on the team, and a teacher to many. Even though you ended up being released, you will forever be remembered in Green Bay.

You define what a true Packer is. You are hard working, humble, and willing to sacrifice for the team. You are unquestionably one of the greatest Packers to ever do it, and even though there was no storybook ending to your time in Green Bay, no one will ever have the same impact that you did.

Thank you for everything, White Lightning, for inspiring kids all over Packer nation, and being a true role model in everything you do. We wish you nothing but the best in your next ventures, and can't wait to see you continue to tear up the NFL.


Packer fans everywhere

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