Hello SOTGC Community,
Are you ready for some football? That’s right the NFL (National Football League) is back. For some reason the Sunday phenomenon of football causes grown men in the office to beam like little boys at Christmas, paint their faces in team colors and spend the next four months saying “did you see last night’s game?”
That’s why we’re here, we want you to be able to join the conversation about football. First, a few basics before we get started.
- The NFL consists of 32 teams. The regular season is 16 games and runs from September to New Year’s Day with playoffs in January. The season culminates with the Super Bowl which is typically the first Sunday in February.
- The majority of the games are on Sunday although there are also Monday and Thursday night football games.
- Games are played in four quarters. Each offense is given four downs to advance the ball 10 yards for another set of downs, with the ultimate goal of scoring a touchdown (six points) after which teams can opt to kick an extra point (one point) or go for a two-point conversion. Another scoring option besides the big touchdown is to kick a field goal (three points).
- There are three different areas a player can contribute on the field – offense, defense and special teams. Think of it like different departments in the office.
First America, then the world. The NFL is no different from any other corporation – they are keen on earning profits from outside the U.S. While football is huge in the States it pales in popularity globally compared to soccer and rugby. Football a.k.a American football or gridiron to the rest of the world, has grown in popularity with a 15% increase in participation globally. To continue the global exposure, three NFL games will take place in Europe and one Monday Night Football game will be played in Mexico City in the 2016 season.
Seizing the global opportunity, in 2018 the league has also agreed to play a game in where 4.7 million people already stream NFL games online. Although teams are not jumping at the chance to add another stamp to their passports. The demanding traveling schedule for the two teams is the main opposition, not to mention football players are creatures of habit.
Do your best. Like pajama day at the office, don’t be surprised to see the league pivot when it comes to their all-star game – the Pro Bowl. The Pro Bowl takes place right before the Super Bowl and many players turn down the chance to play in it for health reasons. Football is such a hard sport on your body no one wants to risk getting hurt for a game that doesn’t count.
Play nice at the office. The NFL has implemented a few new rules this season. Some were designed to enhance player safety and others to address player conduct. Players will be automatically ejected for throwing a punch or kicking at an opponent (regardless of contact being made); using threatening or insulting language or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials and/or using baiting or taunting tactics or words that generate ill will between the teams. Don’t you wish your morning commute had the same rules?
Use your head. Concussions and the NFL have been no stranger to the media from the Will Smith movie “Concussions” to suicides of high-profile retired NFL players from CTE (brain degeneration likely caused by repeated head traumas). The NFL has agreed on a settlement with former players over concussions. They will pay $1 billion over the next 65 years toward the care of former players suffering from the effects of concussions sustained while playing.
For more about the ins and outs of the NFL and the season ahead, click here for our Five Things to Know About the NFL. We’ll support you through the conversation no matter what season it is. Subscribe to Last Night’s Game’s free triweekly publication, The Rundown, to receive a quick and painless breakdown of the trending topics in the world of sports.