Archive for the ‘football etc.’ Category

First Down

First down – Football, etc.


A down begins with a snap or free kick (such as a kickoff or safety kick), and ends when the ball or the player in possession of it is declared down by an official, a team scores, or the ball or player in possession of it leaves the field of play.

Down is also an adjective to describe the condition of the player with possession of the ball after he has been tackled or is otherwise unable to advance the ball further on account of the play having ended (e.g., “He is down at the 34 yard line”).

It may also refer to the ball after it is made dead in one manner or another. The line of scrimmage for the next play will be determined by the position of the ball when it is downed.

Each possession begins with first down. The line to gain is marked 10 yards downfield from the start of this possession, and the situation is described as “1st and 10” (if the goal line is less than 10 yards downfield, then the goal line is the line to gain and the situation is “1st and goal”). If the offensive team moves the ball past the line to gain, they make a new first down. If they fail to do this after a specified number of downs (four in American play and three in Canadian play), the team is said to turn the ball over on downs, and possession of the ball reverts to the opposing team at the spot where the ball was downed at the end of the last down.

When the offensive team has not yet made a first down before reaching the final down, the team faces a last down situation (third down situation in Canadian play and fourth down situation in American play), where the team is forced to decide whether to either scrimmage the ball in an attempt to pick up the first down (this is called going for it [on fourth down]), or alternatively to kick the ball (either by punting or making a field goal attempt). Though statistical analysis of games suggest playing more aggressively is the better option,[1] kicking the ball is typically seen as the safer solution; scrimmaging may lead to a turnover on downs, potentially giving the ball over to the other team with good field position.

Downing the player with possession of the ball is one way to end a play (other ways include the player with the ball going out of bounds, an incomplete pass, or a score). Usually a player is made down when he is tackled by the defense. In the NFL, if the offensive player is touching the ground with some part of his body other than his hands or feet, then he is down if any defensive player touches him. In the NCAA, an offensive player touching the ground in the same manner is down, regardless of whether a defensive player touches him.

If recovering the ball in one’s opponent’s end zone (following a kick-off in American football, and following any kick into the end zone, except for successful field goals, in Canadian football), a player may down the ball by dropping to one knee (note that in Canadian play, doing so scores a single for the opposing team). A player in possession of the ball will down the ball if he fumbles it out of bounds. If a quarterback is running with the ball during his initial possession of the same play following the snap, he may down the ball by voluntarily sliding from his feet to a sitting or recumbent position – this is to protect the quarterback from injury. In the NFL, the quarterback is the only player for whom falling down in this way automatically stops play.

All that Madden, all that Friday Night Lights, all the games i’ve actually somehow watched, and i still don’t get it. It’s probably willful ignorance on my part. Maybe if i played the game.

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Catch the spirit – Football, etc.

Doing this last thing last night meant i was prone for having it here this morning, and here we are. A chance to reiterate how incredible Football, etc. are. And i’m so elated that they are. It is a rare thing that i love an active band – that i’m at once aware and so completely receptive of a band doing things here and now. And especially one in this style of music. Where once there were record reviews in Heartattack or Give Me Back, or certain internet communities to introduce and guide me, i’m now at a near complete loss on where to find and keep up with this music. Everyone moved on.

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Catch the spirit – Football, etc.

Wow, i’m really late with this. Technically it’s tomorrow already. Anyway, those many hours ago when i woke up it was this song by the incredible and still active Football, etc. There’s no etcetera about it – it’s all football. Every song and album title a gridiron reference. You would think it would get old and quickly but they run it into the ground so wonderfully. This song is from their demo, entitled First Down. Eighteen years playing John Madden and i still don’t know what that means.

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