Football: A primer

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The first Super Bowl — although, not the first NFL Championship — to be hosted in the Northeast has finally arrived. Although many people are watching it for the legendary commercials (as well as for the excuse it provides for your usual Sunday binge drinking), there will be a football game featured as well. For those of you who have never seized the opportunity to watch the other great American pastime, now is your chance! Football may come off as barbaric to an outsider, but to understand the basics of football is to see it for the beautiful and highly strategic sport that it is. Also, as a rule, if you’re going to spend 4 hours watching something, you should probably understand what’s going on. Here are the basics:

Four 15 minute quarters, 22 players on the field at a time (11 for each team), and a very important ball that is shaped like Hey Arnold’s head.

When the game begins, the offensive team is tasked first with moving the ball into their opponent’s end zone. The other team, playing defense, wants to prevent the offense from moving the ball down the field until their turn is up. If possible, the defense will also try to intercept the ball, thus reclaiming it and becoming the offense.

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