Football in Foodie Terms

Football in Foodie Terms

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


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.


Can you give foodies some basic football terminology - in foodie terms?

A TOUCHDOWN is the primary method of scoring in American football. It’s like watching a diner or client enjoy every bite of a 4-course dinner, whereas a FIELDGOAL is like watching them enjoy 2 out of 4 courses.

The QUARTERBACK is the leader of the offensive team and responsible for calling the plays. He’s akin to the Executive Chef in the kitchen, whereas the RUNNING BACK is like the sous chef. The exec makes the plan, but the sous executes it.

A “HAIL MARY “is a desperation play, like when your hollandaise breaks just before service and you grab a bowl and a yolk and hope that you can fix it.

A FUMBLE is when a player who has possession and control of the ball, drops it. Could this be similar to beautifully searing a steak only to overcook it when you finish it in the oven?

An INTERCEPTION is when the quarterback throws a pass and a player from the other team catches it, resulting in the other team gaining possession of the ball. It hasn’t happened, but I guess this would be like losing a client or regular diner to another restaurant or caterer, because of having an off night.

To wrap things up, here are some DON’Ts if you want to be taken seriously…

DON’T call the field a court

DON’T call the stadium an arena

DON’T call the uniforms pretty, even if you do like the color combination (I’ve done that before, and it gets you nowhere.)

DON’T call the referees umpires

DON’T root for whichever team makes a touchdown. Pick a team and stay with them.

You May Also Like...
Recommended by Zergnet