Crisp air and pumpkin spice lattes are sure signs of the fall season to come. Popping pads and roaring crowds ring in the end of summer as well, though in far more dramatic fashion. For countless fans across the United States, the arrival of football season means a new Sunday morning routine; errands take a back seat to hot wings, and yardwork gives way to the couch. Professional football stands as our country’s most popular sport, but many (myself included) fail to comprehend the true nature of the game and simply holler every time the good guys catch the pigskin.
In this week’s Lunch & Learn, Scott addressed the formations and terminology that football fans encounter but may not understand. The casual fan may see a chaotic wad of muscle and helmets whenever the quarterback screeches for the ball, but the true strategy of football lies within the perceived madness. Every player has a job and every play is a unique opportunity to overpower and outsmart the opponent. Scott, who had a professional stint in Germany after playing collegiately at Northern Arizona University, knows the nuances of football and was happy to share them with the class. Cheryl even provided proper football chow – chips and her ever-famous salsa.
Scott expanded on the “X’s and O’s” of football by identifying key positions and demonstrating typical compositions:
The center, two tackles, and two guards constitute the five-man offensive line in a guard-tackle-center-tackle-guard formation. The quarterback stands behind the line and awaits the snap from the center.
The defensive line features two rows of players to counter the offensive attack. The first row of defensive linesmen includes a combination of offensive tackles and edge rushers, while the linebackers in the second row assemble to snuff out a running play or trickery from the tight end. Depending on the situation, a defensive line may have three linesmen and four linebackers (a 3-4 defense) or vice versa (a 4-3 defense).
On offense, the running back waits in the back field to either receive a hand-off or give the illusion of a hand-off to fool the defense. Meanwhile, one or two safeties may line up in the defensive back field to prevent a big play.
Wide receivers take their positions on the outside to hopefully break from the line of scrimmage and find some real estate to make a reception. On defense, the corners line up against the receivers to disrupt their routes or, if their receivers are targeted, deflect or intercept any pass attempts that come their way.
Scott went on to clarify other common yet potentially unfamiliar football lingo like blitz, zone vs. man-to-man defense, and cover 1/cover 2/ cover 3. By the end of the class, attendees were equipped with new knowledge for use on Sunday mornings.