Dear Poor Rix: A guy just invited me to a football game. I do not understand this event. Can you explain it? — Sport Watcher
This game begins with the entrance of referees, people with striped shirts who enforce the rules. Occasionally, someone with striped shirt and long stick may appear, and wander aimlessly. He is a “lost golfer,” and must be removed.
Next come the cheerleaders, who bounce onto the field, often displaying skimpy uniforms and bare midriffs. And those are just the guys.
The girls look even better, and may wave their massive pom-poms to excite the crowd. (We’ll discuss pom-poms another time.)
Then comes the team “mascot,” often a farm animal, or a human dressed like one. Mascot uniforms are sometimes very silly, and not appropriate wearing apparel for, say, a wedding.
Next come two teams that wear different colors, plus a helmet to hide their identities from the opponents they’ll tackle later. For the next three hours each squad tries to go from one end of the field to the other.
Pay attention to the quarterback, who controls the football. Sometimes he throws it to a teammate (a “pass”). Sometimes he hands it to somebody (a “handoff”).
And occasionally he may tiptoe to the sidelines, and give some cheerleader a big, wet kiss. This is called the “quarterback sneak.”
There’s more to tell, Sport Watcher, but I gotta go. On TV, they’re about to show a “quarterback sneak” instant replay.
Poor Rix offers bad answers to good questions. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.