PART 2: Down and Distance
I think many football enthusiasts would agree that the most important thing about understanding American Football, is understanding how the game is played and scored. Since scoring involves many rules and regulations—which can be learned later—we’ll concentrate mostly on going down…uh, down the field.
The game starts with those manly men meeting at the center of the field with the referee (the men in those surprisingly unflattering stripes), who tosses a coin to decide which team goes first. The team that wins the toss gets to decide whether they want to kick the football to the other team, or have the ball kicked to them. There are advantages to both, but that’s for another Tea Time.
The team that gets the ball kicked to them (the “receiving team”–don’t GO there) has to catch it, and try to get it as close to the other team’s end zone (again, DON’T GO THERE)–(that area at the opposite end of the field with the goal posts–those large poles in the shape of a kind of square “Y”–and the cute little team logo on it) as possible. They do this in a series of “downs.”
A down is a complete turn—or “play” (like in a board game when you get the dice and make a move). A down begins when the actual ball is put into play (“snapped”), and ends when the referee whistles that the play is over (usually when the ball touches the ground).
A team gets four plays (“downs”) to get the ball at least ten-yards closer to their opponent’s end zone. If they can do that, then they get what is called a “first down”, which means they have secured another four plays to get the ball even closer.
Let’s see an example using the terms my gay brethren used to help me understand:
Pretend that the football field is actually the Men’s floor of your favorite department store. And it’s Black Friday. And the Queen has found the last of this FIERCE Hermes leather shoulder bag for %90 off (we can dream, can't we?). In order to purchase it, I’ve got to get it past all of these jealous queens who want it for their own (the other team), and to the Cashiers (the “end zone”) at the front of the store. It’s my job as the diva in charge (the Quarterback) to tell all of the divas who came with me (my team) how best to do that. That could be throwing the bag (ball) to another FBQ diva, passing it covertly to one of my queens, or running through the screaming horde of opposing queers myself.
If we make it to the next rack (ten yards) in four tries without one of the other group of bitches (the other team) getting the bag from us, then we get a “first down” and get to try once again to get it to the cashiers in the end zone. If not, then the other team gets to walk around the city with MY BAG (or in the case of football, the team gets “possession” of the ball right where it is, and tries to get it down the opposite end of the field in the same way).
Understand? Of course you do.
There is, of course, a lot more to the game. But honestly, if you can master this concept then the rest of the stuff will fall into place. And you won’t believe how easy it is to get into your man’s good graces by being able to ask questions based on this information.
In the Queen’s last post on this subject, he’ll give you some information that might get your partner so turned on that they turn off the game and jump your bones. Or even MORE erotic: cleans up after the Super Bowl Party.