Football is a game full of complexities. Keeping track of the ball can make the game difficult to watch and follow, let alone all the penalties. I think a lot of people don’t know how to watch a football game with enough insight to make it enjoyable experience. I think with the right advice anyone can enjoy watching any game of football. I “played” one year of football in high school. By play I mean I stood on the sidelines and watched other people play football. Yeah, I was bad. Whatever. I’m by no means an expert in the game as shown by my sterling experiences playing the game. I think I have watched enough football and played enough Madden to know a thing or two about football and how to watch it. So I’m going to impart some advice about how to get the most out of watching a game. Watching ESPN or Sportscenter doesn’t really do the game justice and I think leads people to incorrect conclusions.
1. Listen to the announcers when you’re watching a primetime football game. If you’re watching the Jaguars versus the Texans with fox D-list announcers, they’re not going to be very useful in understanding the game. John Gruden, on Monday night football, is one of the best announcers in terms of teaching you about the game of football. He explains the game well. Explains the fundamentals, and makes it very easy to understand what teams are trying to do how they use their personnel to do this.
2. Penalties. There’s a lot of them. If you don’t understand one ask a friend who does. In this day and age football has gotten a lot more ticky tacky, with flags every other play. Football has a lot of rules and it would take entirely too long to go over each penalty individually. Again, the announcers will do a good job talking about why or why not the play in question is a penalty and with a little background from your friend you can make your own judgements on whether you think its a penalty or not. Since there’s a lot of instant replays not knowing about the penalty can make the difference between enjoying a game and being bored out of your mind.
3. Watch the line on passing plays. Count the number of rushers. This is one of the simplest ways to figure out what the defense is doing. If Tom Brady drops back, you don’t need to watch him to know he’s going to hold the ball and throw it. If you look at how many people are rushing you can get a good idea of why Brady got sacked or why no one was open. As a rule of thumb 4 rushers is standard 3 is low and more than 4 indicates a blitz.
If you try out these three tips I think you might find you’re better able to follow the game and you might enjoy it not. If you don’t like football at all and you made it this far you’re probably my mom.