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Joel
03-31-2012, 02:46 PM
As some of you are aware, I moved to Norway a year and a half ago, a very different world from TX. Thus I found myself at a recent birthday party talking with an avid sportsfan who proudly informed me he watched the Super Bowl until the end of Madonnas half time show before heading to bed (to be fair, it was past 2AM on Monday by then.) The upshot is I have a number of new quite intelligent friends quite unfamiliar with football, and mean to change the latter, with a little help from SB XXXII.

So I've put together the following overview for a grounding in the basics, to answer questions about inexplicable play stoppage and behavioral motivations. I would, however, like constructive criticism on what to add or subtract for clarity and brevity. Bear in mind: I'm trying to explain the intricacies of what distinguishes a 46 from a Tampa 2, only give intelligent people the basic data necessary to follow the game well enough for some appreciation of what's happening and being accomplished. Not stupid people, just ignorant ones, and I'll save the more complex explanations until needed.

I'm using (and attaching here) a field diagram in Paint scaled at 10 pixels=1 yard (down to 1 pixel pylons; it's easier for an unartistic person to draw pentagrams than stylized broncos so it's Texas Stadium: Deal :tongue:) 1332

The Basics

Scoring:

Field goals earn 3 points and are place-kicked through the uprights. Blocked/missed field goals may be run back; otherwise the opposing team gets the ball at the spot of the kick.

Touchdowns earn 6 points, and are scored when a ball in a players possession “breaks the plane of the goal line” or a player gains possession in an opponents end zone.

Point After Tries (PATs) are awarded after touchdowns.* The ball is placed on the 2 yard line for one untimed play. Place-kicks succeed >98% of the time and earn 1 point; alternatively, moving the ball across the goal line again earns 2 points. Losing the ball ends NFL PATs (in high school and college it can be run back to the other end zone for 2 points.)

Safeties earn 2 points. They are scored when an opponent possessing the ball in their own end is tackled, goes out of bounds or their team commits a penalty (e.g. the Patriots first possession in Super Bowl XLV.) Safeties are also scored if teams lose possession of a ball that goes out of bounds through their end zone. Teams committing safeties must kick to their opponent; this is the only way to score without possession, or possess the ball after scoring.

*Touchdowns immediately end games in “sudden death” overtime, so PATs are not awarded.

Play:
American football began nearly 140 years ago as what has been called “a soccer-rugby hybrid” played between four nearby Ivy League universities, but its character and play have since changed radically. Brevity precludes addressing the compelling cause of each change, though a separate essay on that subject is available. The effects are what matter here.

Regulation play is one hour, divided into halves, which are further divided into quarters (or “periods.”) The visiting team calls a coin toss to start each game: The winner chooses EITHER an end zone (sometimes pivotal in windy games) OR whether to kickoff or receive the ball; the loser receives the remaining choice. Teams switch end zones after each quarter, and the team that kicks off in the first half receives the second half kickoff.

Teams kickoff from tees at their 35 yard line; balls must stay in bounds. Kickoffs may be recovered by either team, but the kicking team may not touch a kick before it travels 10 yards (downfield, not sideways) or is touched by an opponent. Scoring teams return the ball to play with another kickoff. The receiving team may accept a touchback if the kick goes into their end zone (in which case the ball is placed at their 20 yard line) but may return (advance) all kicks until leaving the field or tackled.

Players are tackled down by contact if any part of their body except feet or hands touches the ground during or immediately after opponent contact. Players are also ruled down if officials deem their forward progress stopped. If a tackle FORCES a player back the ball is spotted where forward progress stopped, but if a player voluntarily retreats to evade a tackle and is downed anyway the ball is spotted there.

As in association football, teams field 11 players at a time, with separate offensive and defensive “platoons” (plus a kicker and punter who only play on kicks.) Play commences from the line of scrimmage (which replaced rugbys scrum) where the ball carrier was tackled (the 20 on touchbacks.) Rather than contesting the ball at the spot of each tackle, the team who possesses it puts it back into play there, the center passing it between his legs to a teammate. Each drive begins with 4 downs (tackles) to gain 10 yards or forfeit the ball at the spot of the fourth tackle (similar to rugby leagues “six tackle rule.”) Teams that gain 10 yards within 4 downs get a first down conversion and “fresh set of downs” to gain another 10 yards. This continues until they score or surrender possession, either by failing to convert 4th down (forfeiting the ball at the current line of scrimmage,) losing the ball or punting.

Teams that do not gain 10 yards within 3 downs usually punt, to avoid forfeiting the ball near its current location on a failed fourth down. Punts are similar to kickoffs, with several key differences. As with association footballs keeper kicks, tees and holders are not used. Punting teams surrender possession; if they touch the ball after punting, their opponent takes possession at that spot (teams often try this to prevent touchbacks.) Punts may go out of bounds; possession is awarded where the ball leaves the field. Teams trailing in the final period “go for it” on fourth down if they doubt they can regain the ball before time expires.

Unlike rugby, players may block tacklers from the ball carrier, but must: 1) use only their hands, arms and/or upper body, 2) not hold or pull opponents, 3) not block opponents in the head, back or side and 4) not link hands/arms with teammates.

Fouls receive penalties, indicated by referees throwing yellow flags, then announcing: 1) the specific foul (accompanied by a hand signal, in case microphones malfunction,) 2) the guilty players jersey number and team, 3) the penalty (usually 5, 10 or 15 yards) and 4) the new down and distance to go.

Most penalties are dead ball fouls assessed from the line of scrimmage at the start of the down, which is then replayed, and do NOT alter yards needed for conversion (e.g. Team A has 1st and 10 at their own 30 yard line and gains 7 yards, but is penalized 10 yards for offensive holding; the ball is moved to their 20 yard line and it is now 1st and 20.) Some defensive penalties, however, cause automatic first downs, and some penalties on offense and defense are assessed “from the spot of the foul” (defensive pass interference does BOTH, resulting in 1st and Goal at the 1 yard line if it happens in the end zone.) Severe fouls may cause ejection from the game, fines and suspension from a future game(s.) Officials may penalize “palpably unfair acts” by awarding the other team a touchdown. No period may end on a defensive penalty; if a defensive penalty is committed as a period expires the offense receives one untimed play. If penalty yardage exceeds half the distance to the guilty teams goal line, half the distance is penalized instead (e.g. Team B has 2nd and 4 from Team As 7 yard line when Team A commits a 5 yard offside penalty: The ball is moved to the 4,5 yard line and it is now 2nd and 1,5.)

Forward passes: One (and ONLY one) forward pass may be thrown from behind the line of scrimmage on each down, but only to players on each end of or behind the line at the snap. Passes that touch the ground are incomplete; the down is over and the ball returns to the original line of scrimmage. Ineligible receivers may not be beyond the line when a pass is thrown, nor be the first to touch it. No player may interfere with an attempt to catch a pass, and defenders are prohibited from illegal contact with opponents more than 5 yards beyond the line. Backward passes (laterals) cannot be incomplete; if not caught, they are live balls that may be recovered by either team, and consequently unpopular, due to the risk of turnover.

Formations

The line of scrimmage led to player formations, and unlimited substitution led to highly specialized positions within formations. Abilities ideally suited for one position often preclude abilities ideally suited for others; a linemans size, strength and power is incompatible with the speed, agility and dexterity of so-called “skill positions.” Counter-intuitively, offenses have a dizzying variety of formations, despite the rules requiring seven players on the line at the snap, while defenses, which are unrestricted, have just two basic formations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:American_Football_Positions.svg

The above defensive formation is the 4-3, referring to the number of defensive linemen and linebackers. Half of NFL teams use a 4-3 “base defense,” but the 3-4 is equally popular. The “front sevens” primary responsibility is tackling runners and passers. Both formations complement the front seven with four defensive backs to prevent catches or tackle players after catches.Cornerbacks usually cover the receiver across from them exclusively, while safeties usually cover one area of the field, and are the last line of defense preventing players from reaching the end zone. When it is obvious the offense will pass, defenses often replace one or both outside linebackers with more defensive backs (the nickel and dimebacks) to provide more pass coverage, especially when offenses replace one or both running backs with more receivers. From left to right across the defensive formation:

Cornerbacks Usually 90-95kg, >175cm, with 40m dash times <4,4 seconds. Along with agility and catching ability, they must be able to tackle receivers about their own size.

Outside linebackers Usually 105-115kg, >180cm, with 40m dash times <4,6 seconds. They must stop runs, especially around the edge of the line (or force them back inside to the linemen,) rush passers and sometimes cover secondary receivers in the middle of the field. 4-3 OLBs are further divided into strong-side (“Sam,” the right OLB above) lined up opposite the offenses extra blocker and a weak-side LB (“Will.”) Sam is usually around 115 kg, bigger and slower, to be better against runners but worse against receivers; Will is usually around 105, smaller and faster, to be worse against runners but better against receivers.

Defensive ends Usually 125-135kg >185cm, with 40m dash times <4,8 seconds. Their primary job is tackling runners at the edge of the line, and passers, but defensive ends lined up opposite the left tackle (on the blindside of right-handed passers) tend to be smaller and faster, to specialize in attacking passers. Denvers right defensive end, Elvis Dumervil, only weighs 118kg (and joined the team at 114kg,) but his speed produces many quarterback sacks.

Defensive tackles* Usually >135kg 180-190cm, with 40m dash times <5,0 seconds. DTs are often the biggest players on the field; rarely fast, their main job is stopping runs through the middle of the line and pressing it to “collapse the pocket” around passers.

Middle linebackers Usually 115-120 kg, >185cm with 40m dash times <4,6 seconds. Sometimes called “the quarterback of the defense,” 4-3 MLBs (or “Mikes”) must do everything well, tackle strongly and reliably, attack passers, cover receivers in the middle of the defense and accurately diagnose offensive formations in time to call signals to teammates.

The 3-4 base is slightly different, because it has one less lineman and one more linebacker. The 3-4s sole DT (the “nose tackle,” lined up on the nose of the ball) is almost ogre-like, often weighing >150kg, and relied on to eliminate runs “up the gut,” as well as press the offensive line hard enough to demand a double-team (thereby reducing the blockers available to hinder his teammates.) Defensive ends are similarly larger, to compensate for the reduced number of linemen, and focus more on runs than on passes. In many senses, 3-4 LBs invert the duties of 4-3 LBs; OLBs replace MLBs as the “jack AND master of all trades,” while the two inside linebackers have more responsibility to cover receivers and attack passers; 3-4 OLBs tend to be bigger than 4-3 OLBs, sometimes weighing 125kg.

Both defenses enjoyed periods of exclusive dominance, depending on days dominant offense, because the 4-3s extra lineman excels against running and the 3-4s extra linebacker against passing. In particular, linebacker versatility lets different 3-4 ILBs attack the passer while others cover receivers, so offenses are never certain which LB will do what.
Offensive formations are FAR more diverse; the sole constant is there must be 7 players on the line at the snap, and the 5 interior linemen may not be first to touch a pass. Otherwise, offenses may have 5 receivers and NO backs or tight ends, a single receiver with 2 tight ends and backs, or anything between those extremes. Moving left to right again:

Wide Receiver Usually 85-95 kg, >180cm with 40m dash times <4,2 seconds. Receivers catch passes, and must therefore be fast and agile, with good reflexes, hands and vertical leaping. They vary, some as tall as 195 cm and/or heavy as 100 kg, to “outmuscle” defenders for balls, others smaller and faster. Of particular note are “possession receivers,” often not especially large or fast, but who reliably “gets open” and consistently catches difficult passes in critical situations. In the formation shown, the right receiver is a “flanker” positioned behind the line so both he and the tight end are eligible receivers; alternatively, he could be on the line, with the tight end behind it in a “slot” position, but only 7 players may be on the line, and only the players on each end or behind it are eligible receivers.

Offensive Tackle* Usually 130-140kg, >190cm, with 40m dash times <4,6 seconds. At the end of the offensive line, tackles face defensive ends quicker and more agile than defensive tackles, as well as fast linebackers, requiring them to be correspondingly quicker and more agile. In particular, a tackles primary responsibility is to prevent opposing blitzers reaching the passer, especially the left tackle, who faces defenders attacking the passers left side (the blind side of of right handed passers.) Tackles must also run block well, but those who do nothing else often find themselves moved to the next position,

Offensive Guard Usually 135-145kg, >185cm, with 40m dash times <4,8 seconds. On the interior offensive line, guards must match defensive tackles counterparts in strength and power, and typically sacrifice some of the offensive tackles speed and agility as a result. In addition, guards must be alert for linebackers and safeties trying to slip between them and other offensive linemen to attack passers. Most importantly, guards are routinely required to “pull,” leaving their position and running around the end of the line to lead blocking on runs. In general, guards are the offensive linemen most vital for running, and tackles for passing.

Center Usually 130-140kg, >180cm, with 40m dash times <4,6 seconds. Centers are guards with the unique duty of snapping the ball to the quarterback, then immediately blocking a defensive tackle (the hulking nose tackle against 3-4 defensive fronts.) Agility, strength and a deep understanding with the man whose hands are between his thighs are essential. The center is usually one of the most experienced offensive linemen.

Quarterback Usually 95-110kg, >190cm, with 40m dash times <4,6 seconds. The stars and usually best paid players even on teams without strong passing, quarterbacks receive the ball from the center on every down, tasked with either passing it or handing it to a runner. Quarterbacks call a series of signals before each snap, with the center delivering the ball when the signal reaches the “snap count” prearranged with the rest of the offense. Quarterbacks scan opposing defenses before each snap, and will call an audible changing to a different play if they recognize a defense especially dangerous to the intended one (or especially vulnerable to the new one.) Recent years have produced a renaissance of “dual threat” quarterbacks often as much or more dangerous running as passing, more like quarterbacks of a half century ago, when pro and college teams ran more than they passed.

Fullback Usually 105-115kg, 175-185cm, with 40m dash times <4,4 seconds. The larger of the two primary runners, usually tasked with leading blocking (against LBs, DEs or safeties) for the other runner, but also expected to power through defenses in “short yardage” situations. Additionally, fullbacks often provide an extra receiver or blocker for passes.

Halfback Usually 90-100kg, 170-185cm, with 40m dash times <4,2 seconds. The smaller and usually primary runner, requiring speed, agility, quick reflexes and the ability to “find the hole” in blocking and defenses. Often provides an extra blocker/receiver for passes.

Tight End Usually 120-130kg, >185cm, with 40m dash times <4,6 seconds. Essentially a tackle/receiver hybrid, and thus similar to fullbacks. Although tight ends must block for runs and catch, most are significantly better at one or the other; many tight ends are excellent receivers who merely briefly “get in the way” of LBs rather than actively blocking them, while others are punishing run blockers with difficulty catching even perfect throws.

*Both defensive AND offensive tackles are often referred to simply as “tackles.”

How It Is Done

Field position is critical in football. The basic objective is to advance downfield to the end zone, within range of a field goal, or, if no score is possible, punt the ball as far as possible from ones own goal line on fourth down. Scoring is relatively unlikely until a team crosses midfield, so penalties, which move the ball independently of play, can be costly, and turnovers, especially near either goal line, can be devastating (e.g. Houston fumbled a punt at their own 2 yard line in the 2011 playoffs, allowing their opponent a touchdown two plays later, which was their final victory margin.)

The high risk of potentially crippling turnovers made forward passes unpopular long after they became legal; only in the 1980s did teams begin consistently winning championships passing more than they ran. The prevailing philosophy before then was running, because NFL teams average about 4 yards per run (so they can reliably gain 10 yards within 3 downs) and the risk of losing the ball (a fumble) is about three times less than that of an opponent intercepting a pass. Passes also stop the game clock so officials can respot the ball; the game clock continues moving after a run unless it goes out of bounds in the final five minutes of a half. Teams that establish a lead can slowly but surely win by protecting possession, punting well and do not carelessly giving away the ball. Passes, on the other hand, stop the clock and increase the risk of a turnover, dangerous for teams with a lead (e.g. Dallas led Detroit 27-3 during the fourth quarter of a 2011 game, but continued passing and threw 2 interceptions that resulted in Detroit touchdowns, ultimately losing the game.)

While an offense may pass or run on any down (a disadvantage for defenses, which must guess what offenses will do,) the choice is often a function of down, distance to go, field position, score and time. Teams trailing badly in the second half, particularly the fourth quarter, pass almost exclusively, because running takes too much time even if they score, and they have few remaining chances to draw even (especially since their opponent will try to “kill the clock” running on its next possession, which may be a tactical success by consuming a great deal of time even if they eventually punt.) Likewise, while a team has many options on 1st and 10 or 2nd and 6, a 10 yard penalty that produces 1st and 20 or 2nd and 16 quickly forces them to pass, shifting the tactical advantage to the defense equally aware of that.

Offenses thrive on situations that maximize their options, and defenses thrive on restricting those options. Several plays exist to exploit that. Defenses in likely passing situations (e.g. 3rd and 5+ yards to go, 2nd and 7+ yards to go, or any down with >10 yards to go) often blitz, sending as many as 8 or 9 defenders attacking the passer in the hope of overwhelming the offenses blockers and tackling the quarterback behind the line (a sack) before he can get the ball to any of the undefended receivers. Offenses have several counters, most notably the screen pass, in which the quarterback quickly throws the ball to a receiver near the sideline and behind the line while several linemen pull out to block in front of him, exploiting the fact most defenders are away from the ball sprinting in the wrong direction. Another option is the delayed draw, in which the quarterback takes the snap and briefly pretends to pass before handing the ball to a runner who hopes to be through the line and gone before defenders realize the play is not a pass. The delayed draw play is the running complement to another offensive staple, the play action pass, in which the quarterback takes the snap and fakes a handoff to a runner, who pretends he received the ball, then passes to receivers uncovered by defenders trying to stop the supposed run.

OrangeHoof
03-31-2012, 04:02 PM
"We sweat, bleed and die for 60 minutes so, at the end of the game, some five-foot-nothin' European can come in and go 'Hoo-ray! I keek a touchdown!'." - Alex Karras, Detroit Lions.

Joel
03-31-2012, 04:42 PM
"We sweat, bleed and die for 60 minutes so, at the end of the game, some five-foot-nothin' European can come in and go 'Hoo-ray! I keek a touchdown!'." - Alex Karras, Detroit Lions.Interesting comment from the son of a Greek immigrant, but Karras was never terribly taciturn (except in Blazing Saddles.) The Hidden Game of Football claims he said he and his fellow Lions fell over laughing when the Saints lined up to "keek a touchdown" from their own 37, but the laughter died with their victory when it went through the uprights. That does explain why the only pure kicker in Canton is Norwegian native Jan Stenerud. However, it does little to explain why Knute Rockne was born and spent the first five years of his life in Voss, Norway. ;) "Knut Rokne, All-Norwegian" still doesn't have the same ring to it though. :tongue:

OrangeHoof
04-01-2012, 12:30 AM
I think Karras had Garo Yepremian, a Cypriot, in mind when he made that comment. Garo played with the Lions briefly before a long career with the Dolphins best remembered for his Super Bowl gaffe against the Redskins.

My favorite Yepremian joke was when the leprechaun-like kicker showed up in training camp without his long muttonchop sideburns. So the press asked him why the new look. "Coach told me I have to lose weight," was his reply.

Joel
04-03-2012, 09:29 AM
I think Karras had Garo Yepremian, a Cypriot, in mind when he made that comment. Garo played with the Lions briefly before a long career with the Dolphins best remembered for his Super Bowl gaffe against the Redskins.

My favorite Yepremian joke was when the leprechaun-like kicker showed up in training camp without his long muttonchop sideburns. So the press asked him why the new look. "Coach told me I have to lose weight," was his reply.
Well, to be fair, Yepremian did sort of keek a touchdown, just, y'know, for the wrong team. :tongue: I suppose given the always interesting relationship between Cyprus and Greece that might make more sense though.

Meanwhile, should I conclude from this thread that you people are useless...? ;)

AGap
04-03-2012, 10:38 AM
OMG. I just can't read your Posts Joel, just way too long. sorry about that. the LOS is the big difference between American football and the more closely related European games.

Joel
04-04-2012, 04:55 PM
OMG. I just can't read your Posts Joel, just way too long. sorry about that. the LOS is the big difference between American football and the more closely related European games.
It's definitely longer than I'd like (6 full pages in MSWord,) but I haven't found a way to trim anything without sacrificing clarity or details vital to people completely unfamiliar with the game. I agree LoS is the big difference, yeah, accounting for the greater emphasis on field position and the pause between plays; I'd like to address it sooner, but feel obliged to first address field dimensions, scoring, starting the game etc.

If you see a way to shorten it, things I can cut without causing confusion, more concise ways to state what is covered (or, heaven forbid, something I missed and should ADD) I welcome and appreciate suggestions.

AGap
04-04-2012, 09:12 PM
It's definitely longer than I'd like (6 full pages in MSWord,) but I haven't found a way to trim anything without sacrificing clarity or details vital to people completely unfamiliar with the game. I agree LoS is the big difference, yeah, accounting for the greater emphasis on field position and the pause between plays; I'd like to address it sooner, but feel obliged to first address field dimensions, scoring, starting the game etc.

If you see a way to shorten it, things I can cut without causing confusion, more concise ways to state what is covered (or, heaven forbid, something I missed and should ADD) I welcome and appreciate suggestions.

no, that's gotta be quite a task. I'm supposed to teach my nephew about rugby during my easter visit. Trying to get a tape to watch a game and explain to him the objective that is going on. Your situation would be a bit more challenging though I think.

Joel
04-07-2012, 10:32 AM
no, that's gotta be quite a task. I'm supposed to teach my nephew about rugby during my easter visit. Trying to get a tape to watch a game and explain to him the objective that is going on. Your situation would be a bit more challenging though I think.
To this outside observer, rugby seems less complicated; having scrums instead of a line of scrimmage makes many things simpler. Ironically, if not for the internet, I would've seen more rugby in the past year than football. :tongue: Other ironies: Unlike touchdowns, rugby tries require balls actually touch the ground beyond the goal line, while the term "try" refers to that rather than the subsequent attempt to add points with a kick.

In case you haven't seen them already, you might get some use from these links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_football_and_rugby_union http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_football_and_rugby_league

Note that, as referenced in my essay, rugby union and league differ slightly but significantly (in fact, league is similar to gridiron, both in the six tackle rule and field appearance.) Good luck, in any event.

sneakers
04-10-2012, 12:47 AM
Make it easy for them.

The team with the ball has 4 plays to move the ball (through passing or running with it) 10 meters, if they make it those 10 meters they get another 4 plays (aka "downs") to move the ball another 10 meters. Until they reach the end of the field. At that point if they have possession of the ball in the "end zone" (end of field) they recieve 6 points.

you can go on from there.

AGap
04-10-2012, 08:13 AM
To this outside observer, rugby seems less complicated; having scrums instead of a line of scrimmage makes many things simpler. Ironically, if not for the internet, I would've seen more rugby in the past year than football. :tongue: Other ironies: Unlike touchdowns, rugby tries require balls actually touch the ground beyond the goal line, while the term "try" refers to that rather than the subsequent attempt to add points with a kick.

In case you haven't seen them already, you might get some use from these links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_football_and_rugby_union http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_football_and_rugby_league

Note that, as referenced in my essay, rugby union and league differ slightly but significantly (in fact, league is similar to gridiron, both in the six tackle rule and field appearance.) Good luck, in any event.


try v touchdown is a pretty simple explanation. I agree with you that fundamentally, rugby is a much simpler game. the backward passing and offsides throws most Americans off at first.

Joel
04-11-2012, 06:41 AM
Make it easy for them.

The team with the ball has 4 plays to move the ball (through passing or running with it) 10 meters, if they make it those 10 meters they get another 4 plays (aka "downs") to move the ball another 10 meters. Until they reach the end of the field. At that point if they have possession of the ball in the "end zone" (end of field) they recieve 6 points.

you can go on from there.
That might be the better way to start, or at least save scoring until after I tackle that and starting the game. I'd like to go from the coin toss so they have some feel for how things being, then flow, but it does all revolve around gaining 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. Line of scrimmage complicates things, because I need it as a reference point for the 10 yards to mean anything, and that requires a basis for it (hence wanting to start from the coin toss, which at least gives soccer fans a familar touchstone as their starting point.)

I could probably trim at least a paragraph by reducing that section to your two sentences, I just worry about people being confused by the difference between punts and kickoffs (which is easy to do) if I don't give some explanation. When you think about it, it IS a bit arbitrary to say kickoffs are live balls but punts may only be recovered by the receiving team; it only makes sense in the context of punts automatically forfeiting possession (on the other hand, why don't kickoffs do that?)


try v touchdown is a pretty simple explanation. I agree with you that fundamentally, rugby is a much simpler game. the backward passing and offsides throws most Americans off at first.
Yeah, offsides confuses the Hell out of me. Rugby union in general does; I think anything beyond rugby league may be too far beyond football for my simple mind to process. :redface:

AGap
04-11-2012, 01:14 PM
Yeah, offsides confuses the Hell out of me. Rugby union in general does; I think anything beyond rugby league may be too far beyond football for my simple mind to process. :redface:

ah, I don't know about that. the thing with rugby is that the ball is always the line of scrimmage.. so that is continuous play, the LOS is always moving. Any player of the possessing team that is in front of the ball is offsides. pretty simple really.

spikerman
04-11-2012, 02:15 PM
Joel, nice job! I have some suggestions, but I'm traveling. I'll send them to you when I get home (hopefully Sunday). They're mainly cosmetic things. I think you did a great job with the explanation.

AGap
04-11-2012, 02:16 PM
Interesting comment from the son of a Greek immigrant, but Karras was never terribly taciturn (except in Blazing Saddles.) The Hidden Game of Football claims he said he and his fellow Lions fell over laughing when the Saints lined up to "keek a touchdown" from their own 37, but the laughter died with their victory when it went through the uprights. That does explain why the only pure kicker in Canton is Norwegian native Jan Stenerud. However, it does little to explain why Knute Rockne was born and spent the first five years of his life in Voss, Norway. ;) "Knut Rokne, All-Norwegian" still doesn't have the same ring to it though. :tongue:

Joel, are you Norwegian?

Joel
04-11-2012, 02:26 PM
Joel, nice job! I have some suggestions, but I'm traveling. I'll send them to you when I get home (hopefully Sunday). They're mainly cosmetic things. I think you did a great job with the explanation.
Thanks, man; any suggestions would be helpful, and much appreciated. Hope your travels go well.

Joel, are you Norwegian?
Nope, Texan, just living here now.

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