Carla Hall

The Season 5 Top Chef gives some basic football terminology ... in foodie terms!

on Sep 8, 2009


Carla Hall: First off, let’s start with what’s a “football fan”? Are they always the FANatic? Is it possible to be a fan without being an "atic" - as in rooting for your home team because they have a presence in your state or hometown, wearing their colors and jerseys (especially when you visit other cities), going to a couple of games at the stadium, or even waiting until the playoffs to show your home town support? OK, so maybe not the latter, because you would be considered a fair-weather "fan," but you get my drift. What are some key terms that every football fan or poser says and knows?

I clearly don’t know football, but I’m OK with asking Matthew and Noah questions about the game during the game. Here’s what I do know, and what I think a poser will know.

A FAN or FANATIC will know the various offensive and defensive play types like rush, pass, incomplete pass, third down conversion, option run, play action pass, scramble, screen pass, etc. A POSER may only know the first four plays.

A FAN will know the various positions and special teams, but a POSER will know the quarterback, the running back, the wide receiver, the linemen and the linemen.

A FAN may watch most games from start to finish whereas a POSER will have watched Sports Center or an NFL Countdown show before the game to get a quick inside scoop.

This is what I know about football...

A TOUCHDOWN equals 6 points


A FIELD GOAL equals 3 points

A FIRST DOWN is a minimum of ten yards, and the teams get up to four attempts to make a FIRST DOWN

TACKLE – defensive team hitting hard and low while holding back the offensive team. If successful, the other team does not make a first down.

SACK – a “tackle”, behind the line of scrimmage, reserved for the quarterback

OFFENSIVE/DEFENSIVE LINES – these are the biggest guys on the team that line up around the ball.

OFF SIDES – a player (offensive or defensive) who gets anxious and jumps the line of scrimmage before the ball is hiked.

What’s the best way to kind of know what’s going on even if you’re not paying attention?

If you don’t know what’s going on, don’t be loud about it. The score, time and quarter are always displayed at the top of the screen. Take a gander at this first before commenting, however even the most seasoned fan will get away with asking “who has the ball?”

Scores and stats for other games being played are displayed in the crawl at the bottom of the screen. It’s like looking at MSNBC and getting a quick update on the news.