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The Baby Bananas Guide to the 2006 NFL season (part 1)

September 5, 2006

Yes, folks, it’s time for another installment in the Baby Bananas Guide to… series. Over here at Baby Bananas, we not only like to bake, but we also love to watch football until our wives threaten to divorce us. But not just any football, NFL football. And not just any NFL football, but regular-season football. Screw pre-season. Pre-season is for suckahs. With that being said, regular-season football begins this Thursday, thank the Lord (who in this case would be Vince Lombardi, not Lord Stanley…we still have a few more weeks before the hockey starts up).

We are keeping this basic; we want to bring the NFL to the masses of peeps that don’t normally care. So if you are one of the ones that do care, yay! However, you may find this to post to be quite pedantic and elementary (well, at first anyway…feel free to skip ahead, or wait for tomorrow). You have been warned.

Learn the football. Love the football.

THE BASICS
AFC v. NFC – The NFL is made up of two conferences; the AFC (American Football Conference) and the NFC (National Football Conference). Most people would agree that the AFC is the dominant conference. The NFC is just a bit more stocked with weaker teams. The only reason this matters is that teams only play outside of their conference 4 games out of 16 – thus making the AFC schedule inherently tougher.

DIVISIONS – Within each conference are 4 divisions. East, North, South and West. And they actually follow loose geographical guidelines (I say “loose” because there are anomalies like Dallas. The Cowboys are an NFC East team and the last time I checked Texas was not situated any where near the Atlantic Ocean).

SCORING – Unless you’ve been living in a box, this should not be news (but if you are living in a box, kudos for learning about football!). There are five ways to score (Five! God, I wish it were that easy!) in an NFL game.
Touchdown (6 points) – A ball is carried into an opponent’s end zone or caught in the end zone (that is, the “zone” with the pretty writing at each end of the field).
Extra Point (1 point) – A ball is kicked through the uprights of the opponent’s goalpost after a touchdown. Look for the really tall yellow thingys in each end zone.
Two-Point Conversion (2 points) – A less popular way to garner extra points after the touchdown. A ball is carried into an opponent’s end zone or caught in the end zone after a touchdown, This occurs in lieu of trying for the extra point.
Field Goal (3 points) – A ball is kicked through the uprights of the opponent’s goalpost. If it doesn’t seem likely the team will score a touchdown, they will decide to go for the field goal instead.
Safety (2 points) – A player tackles an opposing player in the opposing player’s own end zone. This doesn’t happen that often, you definitely won’t see it every weekend.

THE TEAM – Each NFL team is allotted 53 spots on it’s roster. At any given time, only 11 of those players are allowed on the field. There are three sub-divisions on each team to which everyone fits (some players, like Dante Hall of the Kansas City Chiefs, can fit into two or more of these; he returns kicks and also lines up as a wide receiver).
Offense – The quarterback, the running back, the receivers, the offensive line (the center, guards and tackles). These are the people that are trying to score points. In 2005, the Seattle Seahawks led the league in scoring, averaging 28.3 points per game.
Defense – Defensive Linemen, linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties. These are the people trying to stop the Offense from scoring points. Last year, the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had two of the league’s best defenses.
Special Teams – No they are not retarded. We’re talking about the placekicker, the punter and the kick returner as well as those that line up on the field during these (kicking) scenarios. The longest field goal of last year belonged to Michael Koenen of the Atlanta Flacons, who made a 58-yarder against the New England Patriot defense. It was his first NFL attempt.

Part 2, to be uploaded tomorrow where we break down who’s who in each division. Stay tuned.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2006 6:41 pm

    This is excellent. Thank you and Go Pats!

  2. September 5, 2006 6:56 pm

    Bated breath, Banana.

    Bated breath.

  3. September 5, 2006 6:57 pm

    Wharman – Wow, you are so welcome. Hell, wait for tomorrow when I actually say something!

  4. September 5, 2006 6:59 pm

    i-66 – You just can’t wait to see what I have to say about the Skins so you can start some shit 🙂

  5. September 5, 2006 7:04 pm

    If special teams players aren’t retarded, then how come some kickers only wear one shoe?

  6. September 5, 2006 9:30 pm

    You say that as if I think I need an excuse.

  7. September 5, 2006 11:20 pm

    Is there anything to say about the Skins other than blah?

  8. September 6, 2006 1:20 pm

    Hammer – and some eat Snicker’s out of them (shoes)! Oh and they wear special helmets. Yeah, they are special people.

    i-66 – Is that a threat?

    Chanuck – Hmmm, but I am not feeling big things out of Philly either. I’m just sayin’

  9. September 6, 2006 2:52 pm

    My God, did you just make a Mitch Berger reference? Turns out he won’t be punting for the Saints this year – he’s out for the season with a groin pull.

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