The Play by Play
The big hits weren’t the only thing to celebrate this past weekend, as the MLB (Major League Baseball) hosted its first ever Players Weekend. In collaboration with the players union, it gave fans the opportunity to connect with their teams and get a glimpse into who these major leaguers really are. Each team sported special uniforms for the occasion, sluggers customized the color of and text on their bats, colorful socks and cleats could be worn and each player chose a fun nickname to rock on the back of their jersey.
The Fight of Fights
You may have heard rumblings, or even an outright uproar, about the boxing match between Conor McGregor (a master of mixed martial arts and participant in the UFC) and Floyd “Money” Mayweather (one of the best boxers of all time). The Saturday showdown took on a life of its own well before the match was even scheduled, with celebrities picking sides and the participants themselves feeding the flames with confrontational press conferences. Needless to say, it’s no real surprise that the professional boxer left with a win but McGregor did put up a good fight, lasting until a 10th round knock out. Victory or defeat, both left with millions of dollars in their pockets, Mayweather with an estimated $100 million and McGregor with $30, making it the most lucrative fight of all time. Now there’s something to celebrate!
Texans Helping Texans
Following Hurricane Harvey’s arrival, and catastrophic damage, the Houston Texans are banning together to help their city. JJ Watt took to Instagram last night to start the donation process, putting in $100,000 of his own money to help with the recovery. This morning, the Texans’ owner announced a $1 million pledge, to be matched by the NFL Foundation. Check out the Red Cross’ Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts to see how you can help.
The Faces and Facts
To Celebrate or not? That is the question: No longer does the NFL stand for the No Fun League. After tightening the celebratory reigns in 2006 (penalizing any celebration in which a player leaves his feet, uses a prop or does anything considered “excessive”) the NFL has decided to let more slide. So expect the return of OTCs (organized team celebrations) and more creative uses of a football…
The Packers: The ONLY team in the NFL actually OWNED by the fans! It has been a publicly owned organization since 1923! That might explain the avid fans and the Lambeau Leap.
Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens: Two of the most notorious end zone celebrators in recent decades (both have retired). Chad Johnson (now known as Chad OchoCinco, as he renamed himself based on his jersey number) played most of his career with the Bengals and once proposed to a cheerleader post-touchdown. Terrell Owens (known most commonly as T.O), played for numerous teams but stayed with the San Francisco 49ers the longest. He opted for some popcorn post-touchdown and most famously pulled a sharpie out of his sock to sign the ball he’d just caught.
Scoreboard! Scoreboard!: Remember those ridiculous and somewhat insulting chants you’d yell at opposing fans whenever your high school team scored?! While points in football don’t add up quite as quickly as in other sports, like basketball, it is important to know how the scoring system works!
Touchdown: When a player on your team carries the ball across the other team’s goal line (the white line separating the end zone from the rest of the field) or catches the ball in that end zone. It can be done by an offensive (running or passing into the end zone) or defensive player (if he gets the ball from the opposing team by recovering a fumble or intercepting a pass). A touchdown earns your team 6 points, making it the biggest single score in football.
Extra Point: Following a touchdown, the team has a chance to earn one additional point, making a total of 7. The extra point is earned when the kicker is able to kick the ball from the 15 yard line through the goal posts/uprights in the back of the end zone. Just recently the league moved the ball further back (it used to be kicked from the 10 yard line) to make the additional point less of a “given.”
Two-Point Conversion: Instead of kicking the extra point, a team can opt to try for a 2-point conversion which, as the name explains, earn 2 points rather than one. The ball is placed on the 2 yard line and the offense runs a regular play, trying to either carry or pass the ball into the end zone. A team might elect this option in a close game, where 1 point would tie whereas 2 points might lead to a win. Case in point- last year’s Super Bowl.
Field Goal: When the offense gets possession of the ball, they have 4 tries to get a first down (gain 10 yards, plus or minus depending on penalties). After 3 downs, if they haven’t gotten a 1st down again, they have three choices: use their 4th down to try and get a first down (usually chosen if the team only has 1 or 2 yards to gain), punt the ball to the other team (if they are too far away from the end zone to try for a field goal) OR try for a field goal (usually the choice if the offense is 40 yards or fewer from the end zone). The field-goal kicker attempts to kick the ball through the uprights at the end of the end zone from wherever the offense was able to move the ball to (if on their previous 3rd down the ball was stopped on the 45 yard line, then that is where the ball is kicked from). This earns the team 3 points.
Safety: These points are earned solely by the defense. Sometimes an offense has to start from very close to their own end zone (meaning they have a LONG way to carry the ball if they want to score). The offense is SO close to it that when the quarterback gets the ball, he is standing inside his own end zone (not a good place to be). If the defense can tackle the ball carrier inside his own end zone, then the defense has earned 2 points for its team.
Game, Set, Match
While Mavis Wanczyk sure hit the jackpot, Maria Sharapova did not. With no wild card offered in the French Open and failing to even request a slot in Wimbledon due to injury, Sharapova finally made it into a Grand Slam tournament. 15-month drug suspension be damned. Yet in the first round she drew Simona Halep, pitting her agains the number 2 player in the world. Tune in to see what happens…
The Social Hour
With Roger Goodell (the man who runs the NFL) giving his players permission to celebrate, let’s think about your choices:
The Motion: You’ve got a range, depending on your personality. The casual high five. The more animated fist bump or pump. Maybe, if you’re feeling so bold, you bust out the chest bump.
The Word Choice: Reference the play itself with a casual comment such as “What a catch!” or “Talk about an accurate throw.” If the points are scored on the ground (someone running) the player’s speed or ability to run through/over/around someone is always a safe reference point.