How To Read The Field
Now you know the players to look out for, but there’s another problem: what’s with all the lines and numbers on the field?
First Downs and Yards
I’m sure you understand when a team scores a touchdown, but there’s a reason why a) it’s worth six points when they do and b) it normally doesn’t happen that often. TD’s are hard to come by and there are several attempts at scoring that require small victories. Kind of like when you mastered downward facing dog in yoga class and then hit that downward split like a G. It’s all about the baby steps.
The field is measured by increments of 10 yards. When a team has the ball on offense, they have four attempts (or downs) to move the ball ten yards down the field (or more) to keep possession of the ball. If they’re able to do this, they get a whole new set of downs (four more attempts). This continues until they either score a touchdown or a field goal (that’s when they kick the ball through the two poles). If they can’t gain ten yards, they have to give the ball back.
Usually on 4th Down, teams will kick the ball down the field to other team so that their opponent has a longer way to go to try to score. This action is called punting.