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Boston Babe Sports Bible: 5 football buzzwords explained through relationship cliches

Posted by Alex Pearlman  November 13, 2011 02:30 PM

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new england patriots lineup.jpgBy Kayla Brown

I would like to begin by apologizing for not emerging from the womb with a full comprehension of what, exactly, “coming out of a shotgun formation” entails. But is it so much to ask that an explanation of that phrase (and other football terms) not be highly technical or accompanied by an exasperated sigh and the phrase "for the thousandth time..." -- even if I may have asked the same question last Sunday?

Leave those sarcasm-and-logic-packed male explanations of “sports stuff” in the past, babes, because you don’t need them anymore. It’s high time we had sports knowledge explained on our (much more interesting!) terms. Thus, it gives me great pleasure to spend today’s column explaining five football buzzwords through relationship cliches. (Hockey, basketball, etc. fans, never fear -- we haven’t forgotten you; your turn is coming.)

Blitz. Named for the “blitzkrieg” or “lightning war” strategy of the Germans during World War II, a blitz occurs when the defensive team creates a concentrated force at high speed, attempting to break through the offensive line to “sack” (a tackle occurring behind the line of scrimmage) the quarterback before he has a chance to complete a pass.

In relationship terms: You internalize all your frustrations and silently seethe over your mate’s less desirable characteristics: he slurps his soup, he smells funny in the morning, his friends are stupid (except for the hot one and that one funny one), he didn’t say you looked pretty in that dress that time...and so on. But instead of, you know, just saying something, you hold it all in for a few months, then catch him off guard one night when he least expects it. As he’s walking in the door after a long day, you hurl every single thing he’s done wrong over the past six months in his face with infallible accuracy. (Note: It would be a rookie mistake to confuse a “blitz” with a “blintz,” which is a deliciously fattening breakfast food).

Fumble / Interception. This crafty maneuver occurs when an opposing player catches a pass (interception) or grabs a loose ball thrown by the other team (fumble), thereby gaining possession for his team. Both result in a "turnover."

In relationship terms: An interception is like the proverbial “other woman” stealing your man (whom you may or may not have "fumbled"/driven away by "blitzing" with all of those pent-up complaints). If it’s a truly clutch interception, it’s also like the two marrying in a beautiful ceremony and having angelic twin baby girls-turned-Gerber spokesmodels (spokesbabies?).

Huddle. You know that moment in a typical sports movie when the team comes together and the camera looks up from the ground at a circle of faces? That’s a huddle. The offensive team uses a huddle to receive instructions from the quarterback before a play.

In relationship terms: Think of a huddle as a big cuddle sesh in which you talk about where your relationship is going. Only this cuddling would involve a bunch of large, sweaty guys amped up on adrenaline, and the answer to that question is always going to be “downfield.”

Ineligible Receivers. A forward pass from the quarterback must be thrown to the running backs, wide receivers, or tight ends (yes, please!), a.k.a., the “eligible receivers.” Ineligible receivers would therefore include the center, offensive guards, and offensive tackles.

In relationship terms: Just think of ineligible receivers as everyone on your “Do Not Hook Up” list -- mostly, former flames and current obsessions of your BFFs. No matter how open these ineligibles might appear in regards to “receiving your pass,” you’re not gonna be able to “get the ball downfield” without getting flagged.

Punt Return. After three unsuccessful tries to move the football towards their end zone, a team will usually (except under dire circumstances, or if the coach is an idiot) choose to “punt,” or kick the ball really, really far for the other team take possession. Then, it’s that team’s turn to see if they can get anywhere this time around (“It’s gonna be different this time, baby, I promise!”).

In relationship terms: Think of a punt return as your last breakup -- after endless arguments, countless tears, and three downs, it becomes clear that this relationship ("ball possession" -- no pun intended!) is going nowhere. So you boot him out of your territory for the opposing forces (other girls) with a, “Good luck to ya, honey! Good luck getting anywhere with that selfish pig(skin)!”

What other football terms can you explain in a dating cliche?

Photo by laura padgett (Flickr)

"The Boston Babe Sports Bible" is a weekly column featuring sports news and insights from Kayla Brown.

About Kayla -- Kayla Brown is the author of the “Boston Babe Sports Bible” series and TNGG's weekly fashion column "Haute and Dangerous" (inspired by a Ke$ha song). She hopes to one day channel her debilitating caffeine addiction into the noble art of copywriting. Her interests include watching YouTube videos of cute animals doing funny things. If you think you can handle it, follow her on Twitter: @kjbrown22.

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