Donna C. Terrell

I Was Just Thinkin'

GET IN THE GAME!!! A Quick Football Guide for the Girls

It’s that time of year! FOOTBALL SEASON is upon us! In 8 days, the 2013 season kicks off, and those of us who love all things NFL will be in hog heaven! (Whatever that is) Ladies, I am here to tell you this:

IT IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE TO DISLIKE FOOTBALL. It ain’t goin’ nowhere. All you single ladies–don’t you know that men will think you’re really cool if you have at least some rudimentary knowledge of this great sport? Married ladies, stop rolling your eyes and getting attitudinal on Sundays, Mondays, and now Thursdays. (Thank you, NFL Network!) It’s time to get in the game.

Football can be summed up as simply this: You have two teams. Team A wants to get the ball, take it into the Team B’s territory and score. Team B wants to stop them.

Now the field these teams play on is 100 yards long, divided into 2. Team A has 50, Team B has 50. [YARDS is at the crux of the game because football is a game of yards (and inches).] At the both ends of the field is the END ZONE, a magical place where touchdowns occur. What glorious celebrations these cause, both on the field and in front of TVs across the country.

Teams have 4 chances to go down the field to try to get that touchdown. These chances are called DOWNS. With each down, the goal is to move the ball ten yards or more to advance down field. Hence the phrase “1st and ten.” That means this is Team A’s first chance to go 10 yards. Say they only gets 3 yards out the deal. Now they are on 2nd and 7. That means Team A has a second chance to try to get 7 more yards to total the ten yards they need. Now say they get 3 more yards. So now what? They have yet a 3rd chance to get the full 10 they need. They got 6, so now we’re on 3rd and 4.

3rd down is crucial. If Team A can get that 4 yards, they have another all-important first down. It’s called a third down conversion. You’ll hear that all throughout the game. If they make it on 3rd down, that means they converted a 3rd down to a 1st down. If not, they have decisions to make. Should we try to get the 4 yards on our 4th chance or 4th down, or just go on and relinquish the ball to Team B? When Team B gets the ball, they start with…right! 1st and 10. Good! You’re catching on!

Now knowing this you can at least begin to make sense of things. Football is very complex and the more you watch, the more you learn. You won’t master it in one season. Here are a few more tidbits you need to know to get you rolling for the start of the season:

Teams have 2 divisions–The offense that scores points, and the defense that stops the offense from scoring. When Team A’s offense is on the field, Team B’s defense is on the field.

Touchdown–6 points plus 1 extra for a kick, 2 points extra for a pass (2-point conversion)

Field Goal–3 points

Safety–2 points (rare, but so cool when they happen.)

Also, most men do not like to answer questions during games, so don’t ask.

Football season officially begins in September, lasting for 16 weeks. Playoffs are in January and the Super Bowl wraps it all up in February.

Let the games begin!

(I will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have!)


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Take-Me-Back Tuesday: Songs of the Summer

My friend Trina lamented the other day that the “summer is over.” Over? It’s early August, what are you talking about? But in Trina’s mind, because she has kids and gauges the seasons by their school schedule, summer is over because they’ll soon be back in school and the whole laborious ritual starts all over again. Personally, I try to hold on to summer as long as I can, childless as I am.

When I was a teenager, I had a joyful ritual on the last day of school. I’d come home and snatch off my watch and unplug my clock. (My friends and I had decided that we wouldn’t keep time in the summer.) Then after making time stand still, I’d find the cassette tape that contained “Summer” by War and I’d play it, thereby officially welcoming summer into my life for another year. That was one of the first songs I deemed necessary to have as a summer playlist. In Chicago, the radio stations would start playing Fatback’s “I Like the Girls” to herald in the season. And you know how you hear a song while involved in a certain activity and it sticks with you, and then you always equate that song to the summer and the fun you were having when you heard it? I mean, seriously–do we have a lot of fond memories of cold and slushy winter days?

Let’s go back to the summers of our youth and reflect on these cool songs. I don’t care what Trina says–there’s a whole lotta summer left!

SUMMER by War (1976) This one would usher in every every high school summer.

WARM SUMMER NIGHT  by Chic (1979) Some folks used this as a make-out song.

GOOD TIMES by Chic (1979) This one reminds me of the backyard party I had. Certain neighbors were irritated and called the cops. This song was our VERY LOUD encore before we shut the whole thing down!

GIVE ME THE NIGHT by George Benson (1980) This one reminds me of cruising with my “shippees” one summer night after we had finished pledging. It warm, it was summer, we were free!

SUMMER SONG by Grover Washington, Jr (1978) This was my introduction to the late great Grover.

RUNNING FOR YOUR LOVING by The Brothers Johnson (1977) This one brings back memories of a hot, steamy night listening to the radio and hanging with my best friends. Not a care in the world!

LAKESHORE DRIVE by Art Porter (1996)  This is a good jazzy jam for being with your honey and driving down, say, Lakeshore Drive!

I’ll leave you with SUMMERTIME by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (1991). What are some of your summer favorites?


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