What Football Terminology Means To A Girl Who Doesn’t Understand Football

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m truly incapable of understanding football.

It’s not that I haven’t tried; I’ve tried harder than anyone could possibly imagine. I’ve had friends, siblings, and significant others explain it to me – dozens and dozens of times. An ex of mine even went so far as to draw me a really detailed picture and when that didn’t work, he put it in musical theater terms: “Halftime is like intermission, and the kickoff is like the overture, okay?” Alas, I still didn’t really understand anything beyond the basic premise of throwing the ball in the end zone. (At least, I think that’s the basic premise.)

There’s just something wrong with me. That portion of the human brain that understands football terminology? I must have been born without that cranial function. But it doesn’t mean I’m not smart. I took A.P. French in high school. I have a Masters Degree. I can talk to you for hours about the science of hair coloring or the evolution of Pretty Little Liars‘s main villain, but I. Just. Don’t. Get. Football.

With that, here’s what I think when I hear these common football terms. And hopefully I’m not alone.


Okay, I understand this one. This is when the football player brings the ball into the end zone and gets a bunch of points. Right? Which brings me to:

End Zone

The ends of the field that are marked with those oversized pitchforks.

First Down

I feel like this is the equivalent of a first “out” in baseball. Except there’s like…four of them. And they have to do with yards. Ugh, wait, is there math involved?


Idk, but all I can think of is this game that the boys in elementary school would play when one of them would fart and he had to say “safety” before the other person could say “doorknob.” No really, I swear this is a thing.


Pretty sure this is the word all fiction writers use when they describe someone undoing a bra clasp. Does it also mean dropping the ball?


I know this one!!!! It’s when the football players have a group hug.

Incomplete Pass

This is when someone tries to throw the ball and their teammate doesn’t catch it. That has to be right.


Umm…. Isn’t this the name of a movie?


The overture! Or, like, the beginning of the game.

Line of Scrimmage

Is this like a kick-line? Like in A Chorus Line?

Running out the clock

This is when there’s thirty seconds left and the team that’s winning is like, “We’re winning, not gonna f*ck this up.” So they just stand around until the timer runs out. But it’s kind of a douchey thing to do.


This has to do with kicking the ball, I think. Is it when you drop the ball on your foot and then kick it over the pitchforks in the end zone?


When the football players jump on each other.


This is when Beyoncé sings.


There’s no way this one isn’t sexual.

Super Bowl

The one time of year when it’s acceptable to eat buffalo chicken dip, nachos, pizza, chicken nuggets, and beer all in one night. Also, a Beyoncé concert.

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