Dr. Christian Heesch Gives Football Facts for New Fans

Watching football during each season is a hobby of marine biologist Dr. Christian Heesch. He has been a fan of the sport since he was small, learning much of his knowledge from his father. He enjoys meeting people who are unfamiliar with the sport, and teaching them the basics. Starting with the most rudimentary rules and topics, he gives the following education to his friends.

  • American football is a team sport that is highly competitive. Two teams meet on the football field to try and best the other with a higher point score. Each team is divided among an offense and defense. The offensive goal is to score points for their own team. The defensive goal is to prevent the other team from scoring points while they are in possession of the football.
  • Since its inception, the National Football League (NFL) located in the United States, has overseen all of the rules and regulations that governs professional American football. Each of the thirty-two professional football teams must adhere to the NFL rules.
  • There are only five possible ways to score points when playing football. Both the offense and defense have the potential to score these points. The most common point scoring plays are a touchdown or a field goal. These plays will earn their team six or three points, respectively. When a touchdown is scored, the team who hold the ball has the option of kicking a short field goal for one extra point, or attempting a two-point conversion play for two additional points. Lastly, if the defense is able to tackle or sac the other team’s quarterback while he is in possession of the ball in his own end-zone, the defense’s team will receive two points for what is known as a safety.
  • On average any single American football team has roster of fifty-two players. However, many of those players do not get to be on the field during a standard football game. According to NFL rules, a team can only have eleven players on the field at one time. This means that they either have eleven offensive or defensive players handling the ball and making plays. The remaining players on the sidelines are there as a backup in case of injury.
  • Aside from the offense and defense, there is a third category of players that is smaller but equally important, called the special teams. The special teams are made up of kickers, returners, snappers, and tacklers. These players are only on the field (not always together) when the ball is being punted or when a field goal or extra point is attempted.
  • Of all of the player positions in football, Dr. Christian Heesch’s favorite is the Tight End.
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