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Girls Guide to the Super Bowl

Girl, I get it not everyone is into football, however almost everyone loves Super Bowl Sunday because of the commercials and the parties. Food, Friends, Family...but if you don't understand the game it can be hard to get into it. So I made a (kinda) quick and easy guide to this Sundays big ( Niners) game.

What is the Super Bowl?

The BIGGEST sporting event of the year ( depending on who you ask). The Super Bowl is the championship (final) game of the National Football League (NFL), played by the winners of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC) each January or February. This year the game will be played February 2, 2020. The game is hosted by a different city each year, this year the Super Bowl will be played in Miami Gardens, Florida at The Hard Rock Stadium which is the home of the Miami Dolphins. This is also the 54th Super Bowl.

Who is Playing?

This year the NFC San Francisco 49ers ( MY TEAM BABY) will take on the AFC Kansas City Chiefs. The 49ers ended their regular season with a 15-3 record ( won 15 games lost 3) & the Chiefs ended their regular season with a 14-4 record ( won 14 games lost 4). The Niners & Chiefs did play against each other in preseason where the Niners defeated the Chiefs 27-17.


The Quarterbacks, who & what are they?

The two main quarterbacks for Super Bowl 54 are Patrick Mahomes #15 for the Kansas City Chiefs and Jimmy Garopollo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers. Mahomes was drafted to the NFL in 2007 and was the backup quarter back to former Chiefs & 49er Alex Smith. Garopollo was a second-round draft pick in 2014 for the New England Patriots and was the backup quarter back for Tom Brady's for about three seasons before he was traded to the 49ers at the end of the 2017 season.

The Quarterback is essentially the most popular and talked about player in football. He is part of the offense and his main job is to direct his team to the end zone ( where a touchdown is scored). Once the quarterback receives the ball and depending on what play is called he essentially makes one of three moves.

1. Hands the football off to a running back, a running back is another offensive player who's main job is to run the football as far down the field as they can, depending on the formation there will either be 1 or 2 running backs on the field.

2. Runs the football down the field himself without passing to another player.

3. The quarterback will move further back and sets himself up to attempt a pass. (Depending on the design of the offense). The quarterback will either take a three-step, five-step, or seven-step drop before throwing the ball.


Basic Rules of the game | Things you will hear the refs call...

There is a lot of stop & go throughout a football game, most of the time you won't know why there was a flag thrown or the play ended, here is a list of basic rules to help ease the chaos this Sunday.

1. Pass interference. (exactly what it sounds like, when one player interfere's with another's ability to catch a pass.) When a pass interference is made by the defense, the offense gets a first down at the spot where the foul happened.. When the foul is made by the offense, they lose 10 yards & have to replay the down ( or the play). There is also Illegal contact which is a less serious version of a pass interference because it usually happens before the ball is thrown & is a five-yard penalty that also results in a first down. 

2. False start and offside. Pre-snap calls that result in five-yard penalties for the offense (false start) or defense (offside). A false start requires the play to be blown dead immediately, but there are a ton of different versions of offside penalties, one that does not require that the play be blown dead & results in a free play for the offense. 

3. Holding, illegal block in the back, illegal blind side block, and illegal hands to the face. All these penalties are exactly what they sounds like, pretty basic stuff. It's illegal for players to grab each other's jerseys & stop his ability to make theplay.

4. Offensive holding ends up being a 10-yard penalty that causes a replay of the down.

5. Defensive holding is a five-yard penalty that ends in a first down for the offense.

6. Illegal block in the back will be called during a kick or punt return, and it's a 10-yard penalty from the spot where the foul was made.

7. Illegal blind side block happens when a play is facing backwards ( facing toward their own end zone) and roughly blocks a defensive player.

8. Illegal hands to the face can be called on offensive or defensive linemen when they are trying to block, get off a block, or on a cornerback trying to jam a wide receiver at the line of scrimmage. When this penalty is called on the offense, it is a 10-yard penalty and replay of the down. When this penalty is called on the defense, it's a five-yard penalty and automatic first down for the offense. 

9. Roughing the passer is when a defensive player engages in a rough or dangerous play against the quarterback. When he is Hit too low or too high or too late or too hard or in too strange or rough of a way. This penalty is extremely inconsistent across the league. It's a 15-yard penalty and results in an automatic first down.

10. Targeting. When a player lowers his helmet and hits another player in the head or neck. This can be called on an offensive player or a defensive player. This is also a 15-yard penalty.


 Basic Football Lingo, blah, blah, blah

Football can sound like a whole other language, so here are some basic terms that should help you stay 1/2 way up to speed during the game.

1. Touchdown- The most valuable score in the game, a touchdown is worth six points.

2.Extra Point- After a team scores a touchdown, the team can opt to attempt to have its placekicker kick the football over the crossbar and through the posts to earn one extra point ( which is why the score usually goes by 7s). The ball is snapped from the 15-yardline for the the kick.

3. End Zone- This is where touchdowns are made it is the scoring areas at each end of the field. To score a touchdown a player must carry the ball into, or catch the ball in, this area.

4. Field Goal- this gives a team three points. A team can score a field goal when the placekicker kicks the ball from the field of play over the crossbar and between the posts.

5. Two-Point Conversion- After a team scores a touchdown, an offense can opt to run one play from the two-yard line ( from the end zone) to try to earn two additional points. The team earns the points if a runner carries the ball across the goal line or catches the ball in the end zone.

6. Safety (score)-Defense can earn 2 points by tackling the offensive player who has the football behind his own goal line or by making the player run or fumble the ball out bounds behind his own goal line. It is also a safety if the offense commits a penalty in its own end zone.

7. The Pocket- This is the area formed by the quarterback’s blockers to prevent defensive players from sacking him.

8. Down- This is the period of action that begins when the football is put in play and ends when the ball is declared dead. Offense has four downs or fewer to advance the 10 yards you have to get to earn a first down. A first down allows the offense to maintain possession and keep another four downs. The initial down in a series of downs is called a first down then the next downs are numbered in order second, third, or fourth.

9. Fumble- Is a turnover that happens when the player with the football drops it during a play. Once a player fumbles, either team can recover the ball.

10. Interception- This is a turnover that happens when a defensive player catches a pass thrown by the offense which creates a change of possession.

11.Line of Scrimmage- Essentially an invisible line that goes from sideline to sideline that passes through the forward point of the ball after it has been made ready for play. The offense and defense line up on opposite sides of the line and cannot cross it until the ball is snapped for the next play.

12. Snap- This is the action that starts a play from scrimmage. A snap happens when the center passes the ball through his legs back to the quarterback, punter, or holder.

13. Touchback- This is when a player downs the ball after a free kick behind his team’s own goal line, or the football is kicked through the back of the end zone, the play is dead and the ball is on the 25-yard line.

14.Turnover- This happens when an opposing defense gains possession of the ball from the offense, most often by picking up a fumble or intercepting a forward pass.


As basic as it gets

That should be more than enough info to impress your Super Bowl Sunday date, or at least know you have heard the terms before. If all else fails bring beer and snacks and enjoy the commercials. An JLO is the halftime performer, I think we are all pretty excited about that!

But if you want a little more information or follow people who are in Miami I love following @fangirlsportsnetwork & @49ersfangirl on Instagram.

Last but not least GO NINERS!

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