What I Learned In Football This Week: So Many Reasons To Kick The Ball!

For those of you out of the loop: Four weeks ago I decided to stan an NFL team to get in on the action. After much consideration and an hour long twitch stream, I went with the New Orleans Saints. Here’s where we’re at now.

Another BIG week for the Saints as we pummeled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-17. I’m gonna be honest… it was a 1:00 game this week and I fully slept through it because I was nursing the worst hangover I’ve ever had in my young life. I had intended on heading into the office to watch but I couldn’t even walk. You ever been so hungover your actual body parts stop working?

Anyway, I kept up with the game on twitter. Luckily, I had the beautiful and intelligent Kayce Smith teach me a thing or two earlier in the week which I will now relay back to you.

1. You CAN celebrate a touchdown

Okay, so I was confused last week about whether or not you could celebrate in the endzone after a touchdown. Turns out you absolutely can, but only in the NFL. College football doesn’t let you do it because it’s bad sportsmanship or whatever. I think that’s dumb. If any of those kids are going to end up on an NFL team, shouldn’t they be practicing their touchdown dances in college so they don’t look fucking stupid in real life? Isn’t that what college is for?

I don’t think I want to know about college football because I’m fairly certain they have different rules and I barely understand regular football rules.

2. Garbled explanation of what happens at fourth down, which I sort of get?

Alright, bear with me.

(get it?? ohh I make myself laugh)

Anywayyyyyyy.

So here’s my understanding. When a team is at fourth down it means they only have one try left to go 10 yards and get a first down, so they’ll usually do one of three things.

a. If they’re in ‘field goal range’ i.e. close enough to the endzone that they can kick a field goal (and I have no idea how close that is but that’s a phrase people use) then they’ll try to kick a field goal. If they make it, they get 3 points. If they don’t, they get zero points. But either way, they do a ‘kickoff’ so the other team gets the ball as far away from their own endzone as possible.

    1. Difference between a kickoff and a punt:

    A punt starts wherever the fourth down happens. A kickoff is ALWAYS at the 35 yard line. Both involve kicking the ball away to the other team, just in different scenarios. Kickoffs are normally good, punts are normally bad. You can see where this would be confusing.

b. If they’re close enough to a first down, like 4th & 1 or something, and think they can pull it off, they might ‘go for it’ i.e. try to get however many yards they need to get another first down. Granted I’ve only watched 4 games in my life but I think they don’t do this very often? If they make it, they get another fist down (“set of downs”). If they don’t, the other team gets the ball in that exact spot.

c. If they’re too far from the endzone, like at the 50 yard line or further, they can punt the ball away. The other team will get the ball super far away from their endzone so they have to work that much harder to score. This feels like a good option to me, but I’ve been told that’s not true because if you have to punt, it means your offense couldn’t get the job done.

d. Also, every time someone scores a touchdown or a field goal (or a safety, but we are ABSOLUTELY not talking about that right now because fuck that), there’s a kickoff.

That’s what I’ve got for now. There’s probably a hundred other ways to turn over the ball like interceptions or whatever the fuck, but that feels like a problem for next week me. We’ll tackle that and some of the common penalties ~next week~.