I know that there are some big-time female football fans out there - the kind who would rather spend their Sunday afternoons watching NFL contests than, say...planning for a wedding. Or even going to a wedding. Or even getting married. The problem is that I don't know any of these women personally. I'm told that they exist, but I'm not exactly sure. For example, my wife does not know what a "first down" is, and she pretty much heads the list of "women I know." For most women, like my wife, the Super Bowl marks the completion of a seemingly endless list of Sundays spent "doing nothing except watching stupid football and listening to you go on and on about your stupid fantasy matchup and I couldn't care less if Edgerrin what's-his-face fumbled the ball inside the red area." Hypothetical situations like these seem to exist in households across the nation every Sunday during the fall and early winter months, and the Super Bowl is great for most women, not because they will finally discover who will lay claim to the title of "best team in the NFL," but because the season is over. This will probably never change, but that does not mean that women cannot enjoy the Super Bowl, and even impress their significant others while they're at it.
I have conducted a poll of various women who are self described "football haters," and, in an attempt to lure them into the world of professional football, for at least one day, I have allowed them to ask me their most pressing questions about the game of football in general. In return, they have each promised me that they will listen intently to my answers, and that they will then make this the "best Super Bowl ever" for their significant others this weekend, by taking their newfound knowledge to the front lines on Super Bowl Sunday. To assist in this matter, I have even included a statement that each woman can use during the Super Bowl that will not only relate to their question, but will also impress everyone in the room. So let's get started.
Question No. 1: "Why do they always run that stupid play where that guy runs right into all of those other guys and doesn't even get anywhere?" - Jill, 25
Because Marty Schottenheimer's coaching. Ha ha! Just kidding Jill - that's a great question. It may seem strange to a lot of women why so often, running backs seem to be running right into the heart of the other team's defense. In this case, what is SUPPOSED to happen is that the offensive line (those guys in front of the running back) blocks the defensive guys in a manner that will create what is described in football terms as a "hole" for the running back to "run through." Of course, this doesn't happen all the time because a) the offensive line did not block accordingly, b) you are watching the Miami Dolphins, or c) Ron Dayne.
Super Bowl scenario statement for Jill: "Boy, that Patriot O-line is really opening things up for Corey Dillon. Who needs another beer?"
Question No. 2: "What's with all those yellow thingies?" - Patti, 54
Those are penalty flags. The referees toss those flags out whenever something illegal happens on the football field, like the Oakland Raiders. Or pass interference.
Super Bowl scenario statement for Patti: "Oh, THAT play is coming back. Nice job morons. Way to ruin the only positive yardage you've seen all day long.
Question No. 3: "Why is Tom Brady so darn cute?" - Cara, 29
Ummm...Genetics? Excellent grooming habits? I'm not exactly sure how to answer this.
Super Bowl scenario statement for Cara: "Tom Brady makes Brad Pitt look like Brad Johnson."
Question No. 4: "There's too many lines on the field." - Kelly, 29
That's not really a question, but I'll answer it anyway. The white lines are the yardage markers. They're real. The yellow line is the first down. That's fake. The blue line is the line of scrimmage. That's fake. The red line represents feasible field goal range. That's fake. The black and white lines are the referees. They're real.
Super Bowl scenario statement for Kelly: "I know the yellow line is not the 'official' first down marker, but that looks like a bad spot by the referee. I think Andy Reid should challenge that spot. Also, I think I'm going to make some nachos."
Question No. 5: "What's a point spread?" - Judy, 50
The 'point spread' is how many points a team is favored to win by, or how many points the other team is expected to lose by. For example, if Team A is -6, that means they have to win by at least seven points for my cousin-in-law Steve to win money. Unless he teased it with the over/under. That's enough questions out of you.
Super Bowl statement for Judy: "If you ask me, it's ludicrous that the line moved from +6 for Philly to +5, just because of T.O. I mean, he's not even at full strength! If I push, somebody's gettin' their head smacked in!"
Question No. 6: "What else is on TV?" - Anna, 51
Super Bowl statement for Anna: "Don't even think of putting on 'Trading Spaces' - this is the Super Bowl!"
Question No. 7: "What the heck IS a 'first down' anyway?" - Anonymous, 26
When a team gains possession of the ball, they get four chances to advance at least 10 yards. These chances are called "downs." When they reach, or surpass that point, they get a first down, thus four more chances to go 10 more yards. On fourth down, depending where they are on the field, a team has to decide whether to a) punt, b) attempt a field goal, or c) go for another first down. I don't know how many times I have to explain this.
Super Bowl statement for Anonymous: "It looks like Westbrook got the first down on that play, but they may have to bring out the chains."
I hope this information has helped all of you "football hating" ladies out there to understand the game of football a little bit better. I thank you for all of your excellent questions, and I hope that all of you can try your best to make this the best Super Bowl ever! As a matter of fact, if it makes it any easier, consider writing down some of my proposed "Super Bowl statements" on a wristband that you can wear on the big day. This way, if you're having any trouble remembering what to say in certain situations, you can just glance at your wristband, like Ben Roethlisberger does when it's time to call a play.
Question No. 8: "Who the hell is Ben Roethlisberger?" - Anonymous, 26
Aw, forget it! Just watch the game.