The 2019 Super Bowl attracted 98.2 million viewers, and there will probably be millions watching the big game this Sunday. Some may watch it because they are die-hard football fans, some may watch it for the halftime show, and others may watch it for the commercials. This trifecta of entertainment attracts everyone: from those basically born with a football in their hand to those who have no clue what’s going on. For those who have no clue what’s going on, this article is for you.
Since its infancy in 1920, the National Football League (NFL) has grown into 32 teams playing season after season to answer one question: Who is the best?
The NFL had no clear way to decide this until Jan. 15, 1967, when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the world’s first Super Bowl. It is now 53 years later, and the Kansas City Chiefs are ready to prove themselves against the San Francisco 49ers in the 2020 Super Bowl.
We asked fanatics and players to run through the basics of what you need to know while you’re watching the Super Bowl. Junior defensive back Grant Fitzhugh explained exactly how the teams can score points.
“A team can score a touchdown, which is six points,” Fitzhugh said. “They have the option to kick an extra point or go for a two-point conversion after. They can kick a field goal for three points, and they can get a safety, tackling the other team in their own end zone, for two points.”
A touchdown occurs when a team gets the ball into the end zone; a two-point conversion is getting the ball into the end zone again immediately after scoring a touchdown. Before any team can score, however, they have to get past the defense.
The defense’s job is to prevent the offense from getting a touchdown, but on a much larger scale, they are trying to prevent the other team from gaining 10 yards or more. Sophomore football fan Ryan Syrotchen explained why stopping them is so important.
“The offense has four tries to get 10 or more yards,” Syrotchen said. “If the offense is able to gain 10 or more yards, then they get four more tries until they finally reach the end zone. If they are stopped, they will usually kick the ball away [on the fourth down] because if they don’t, the ball is spotted where the offense’s drive ended, allowing the other team a better chance of scoring.”
Junior Will Philbrick, host of sports podcast “The Philbrick Brothers,” said when watching the game you are likely to see yellow flags fly occasionally.
“Penalties can be things like holding [impeding a player from making a play] to having a false start, grabbing the facemask, roughing the passer, or anything else,” Philbrick said. “There are many more penalties than that, but these are probably the most common.”
The game of football is complicated with rules and strategies, so don’t feel bad for asking questions. As you watch the 2020 Super Bowl Sunday, use these basic rules and guidelines to follow the game, and maybe even impress your friends.