The football neophyte, who will remain nameless and shameless, had a quick question for her colleague, a former sportswriter.
“What’s a turnover?” she asked.
“Are you asking because you’re envisioning a cherry-filled pastry?” the former sportswriter asked.
She said she wasn’t, but she probably was.
Football is packed with lingo that can be a tad confusing to those who don’t watch the game. But don’t worry, here’s a guide that will clear up some of those terms.
- What it isn’t: A delicious but fattening pastry.
- What it is: Accidentally giving the ball to the other team by a fumble (losing control of the ball and allowing the other team to recover it) or an interception (throwing a pass that is caught by the other team).
- What it isn’t: The illegal transportation of goods by nudists. Something Russell Wilson would never do.
- What it is: When a quarterback runs toward either sideline without the benefit of a blocker. Something Wilson would do.
- What it isn’t: Convicts chained together and performing menial labor.
- What it is: The crew that handles the first-down chain and the down indicator box.
- What it isn’t: The Canadian rock band a Boise music critic once famously pointed out had fewer Facebook fans than pickles.
- What it is: When the defense adds a fifth defensive back (instead of the usual four) to defend the pass. Five makes a nickel, so it makes sense. Add a sixth and he’s called a dimeback, which doesn’t make sense.
SHOTGUN, PISTOL AND GUNNERS
- What they aren’t: Everything you need to film a Western.
- What they are: When the quarterback takes the snap several yards behind the center he’s in the shotgun, which both men probably prefer to the standard hands-on-the-undercarriage approach. The Pistol (which is run from the shotgun) is a versatile offensive formation best run by an agile quarterback. And a gunner is a player with little regard for his body who runs down the sideline on punts to tackle the return man.
WIDEOUT, SLOT RECEIVER AND SPLIT END
- What they aren’t: White out, the place you put the quarterback and a sign you’re blow drying your hair too much.
- What they are: Other names for wide receiver.
- What it isn’t: Paper or plastic.
- What it is: Tackling the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage when he is trying to pass.
- What it isn’t: The guy on the team with the nicest bum.
- What it is: A player close to the offensive line who both blocks and is eligible to catch passes.
- What it isn’t: Stains left by something legal in Washington and Colorado.
- What it is: Those white yard marks creating two lines down the middle of the field. Each play starts with the ball snapped from on or between the hash marks.
- What it isn’t: New Jersey.
- What it is: Besides uniforms, it’s the only other acceptable name for what a team wears. Everything might match, but football players don’t wear outfits.
Craig Hill: 253-597-8497