Friday, September 23, 2011

Football Basics - What You NEED to Know

Football season has started.  College games... NFL... Saturday and Sunday hijacking of the TV....

Cute kid clothes have started to emerge from closets reflecting Daddy's favorite team.  But what about Mommy's team?  In our house, we are split: Mom is a Cowboys fan, Dad is a Jaguars fan, Matty (the dog) is a Bears fan.  Charlotte, our daughter, has not expressed a preference... yet.  When she is old enough to pick her team, I don't really care who she picks - as long as she understands the basics of football.

I took Football 101 in high school... but it did not make sense to me.  We focused on different play routes, a 3-4 split versus a 4-3, penalties.  Yeah, that's all well and good if I wanted to play Madden.  What I wanted was a basic understanding.  Instead I received information overload and lost interest in all the mechanics.  Over the years I've learned the basics of football, and it really makes the sport so much more enjoyable to watch!

So, now I am going to give you a (very) basic lesson in football.  This post is intended for the person who has very little, or even non-existent, knowledge of football.  If this is not you, then you may want to find something else to read for awhile. 
Ready?  Here we go.

A football field is 100 yards long, marked in 5-yard increments by white lines called "hash marks."  At each end is the goal post.  The 50 yard line is the center of the field.  The unmarked areas that are between the zero yard line and the goal post are called the "endzones."  Each endzone is 10 yards long.   The areas between each zero yard line and the 20 yard line are called the "red zones."  When you see the football field, you will notice that the field does not go from 0-100, but instead goes from 0-50-0.  A football game is made of 4 quarters.  Each quarter is 15 minutes long.  Between the second and third quarter is halftime. 

The "offense" is the team trying to get the ball to the endzone (the team that is taking "their turn").  The "defense" is the team trying to prevent the other team from scoring.  There is also a group called "special teams" that get involved when the ball is going to be kicked.  Each side is only allowed 11 men on the field at a time.  Any more than that could result in a penalty.  The object in football is to score the most points.  There are a number of ways a player can score points.  The first is to score a touchdown.  This is done when a player either carries the ball into the endzone, or catches the ball in the endzone.  This is worth 6 points.  When this happens, the scoring team has the opportunity to go for either a one- or two-point conversion.  If they kick the ball through the goal post, then it is a one-point conversion.  If they decide to either carry or catch the ball in the endzone, it is a two-point conversion.

Another way to score is to make a field goal.  A field goal is worth 3 points, and it is done by kicking the ball through the goal post.  (Remember, this move is called an extra-point conversion if it happens immediately after a touchdown.)  Another common scoring possibility is a "safety."  This occurs when an offensive player is tackled in their own endzone (the one behind them) by the defense.  It will usually be the quarterback who is tackled; although it is sometimes one of the offensive players trying to carry the ball out of the endzone.  When this happens, the defense gets 2 points. 

So how is the ball moved down the field?  By either throwing or carrying the ball.  The offense gets 4 chances to go 10 yards.  When the offense gets those 10 yards, they get 4 more chances.  Each chance is called a "down."  So when you hear "first and ten," that means the offense is on its first down (chance) and has to get 10 yards.  If you hear "third and eight," that means the offense has gained 2 yards,  is on its third chance ("down"), and has 8 more yards to go.  Sometimes you will hear something like "second and 18" -- this means that there was a penalty which added more yards for the offense to cover.   (Different penalties are assessed different yardage amounts or loss of downs.)  When the offense gets to their fourth down, they either have to score, get their remaining yardage, or kick the ball (called a "punt") to the other team.

While the offense is trying to move the ball down the field, the defense is trying to take the ball away from them.  This can be done by either intercepting the ball as it is being thrown by the quarterback to another offensive player, or by causing and offensive player to fumble the ball so the defense can pick it up.  The defense is also going to try to prevent the offense from getting downs.  The defense is going to do everything they can to keep the offense as close to their endzone that they can.  This back-and-forth will continue until the game ends.

Okay, that was your basic lesson.  I did not get into the different players, the penalties, play routes, etc -- that is a whole separate post!  I hope this information has been helpful, and helps you understand football next time it is on tv.



Your "Key" to well.... Everything!

Hello World!

We are The Sapphire Key! ~ We are your "key" place for advice, help, how-to, and stuff to buy that you don't need but WANT!

The Sapphire Key started out of Sammy's house.  She started making aprons that, I felt, were showroom quality.  I convinced her that she needed to sell these to the world!  ~ Yes, they are THAT good!

Once we started this idea of actually selling these amazing aprons we started to really get excited.  We have created a whole pile of goodies that you might not need - but that you will definitely want!  However, we soon realized that just setting up a website and blog to sell the goodies just wasn't going to be enough.  We decided that with Sammy's incredible sense of "how-to" and my sense of entertaining and general "know how" (I guess I should have said "basic" know how)... that we could wrap all of that together and make something really special.  A place that people could turn to, to do just about anything.  Literally, anything.

So, with that being said... Welcome to our first post as The Sapphire Key!

With this blog we are hoping to give you a fun place to go and get fun information.  Not only fun... but useful.  From how to sand down and re-finish that old rocking chair that has been sitting in your house for 6 years... to fixing your leaky toilet.

I speak from experience when I mentioned the "old rocking chair sitting in your house".   It took me 6 years to get the courage  to re-finish my grandmothers favorite rocking chair... 6 YEARS!  ~ I was always too afraid to do it by myself.  I truly didn't think I could do it.  I always thought that I would have to pay someone else, but I didn't know who I could trust with it.  Well, guess what?  I finally decided that I could trust myself.  And with the help of some really helpful friendly people at Home Depot, and a shot of courage from Sam - I finally did - myself!   And, it turned out beautiful ~ I'll post a picture soon! 
So, when Sam mentioned a self-help section, I was all for it! I couldn't think of a better way to help more people like me.    Unlike me, Sam can do anything... and if she has never done it... then stand back and watch her learn how... and 20 minutes later she'll be teaching you!

What do you need to learn?  Do you want to learn how to paint?  How to fix a leaky toilet?  How to change a light fixture?  Change a head light on your car?  Use a table saw?  Re-finish furniture?  Make a hair bow?  Braid your daughter's hair?  Hang curtain rods? ...  Whatever you need, we will hopefully have you covered in time!  (And if we haven't addressed your "issue" yet, let us know and we'll see what we can do to help.)

And, if you it's not a "how-to" you need, maybe you need help planning an awesome New Year’s party... or kids birthday party... a Halloween party... whatever!   I can assist you in that area.  One of my favorite things to do is plan theme parties!  I'll be posting various party ideas - which will include the food, drinks, decoration, games, favors, etc!

If none of the above suits you, then you can click on our website link and head over to our store and buy one of everything we have!  ~ Either is good for us!

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, September 19, 2011

About Us

Sam & Cathy   

If you ask Sammy (aka "SamIAm") to describe herself, she would tell you that she is an actress trapped in the body of a lawyer. She would rather be "on location" somewhere in Hollywood versus sitting in a courtroom in Georgia.

If you ask Cathy (aka “LittleQ”) to describe herself, she would tell you that she an Olympic gold medalist (sprinter, to be exact) in the body of an old, fat, broken-down, injured, office manager.

We met in high school in East Moline, Illinois.  At first meeting, we did not like each other.  At all.  Sam thought Cathy was too prissy, and Cathy thought Sam was a tomboy.  However, the opposite was actually true -- Sam was the prissy drama queen, and Cathy was the tomboy jock!  We cannot recall how, or why, but we somehow became friends.  The best of friends.

When we get together, something fun and magical happens.  The best parts of our personalities come out, and we become one big ball of crazy insane fun. What's better than having fun with your best-friend, making awesome product, doling out (sometimes) good advice, making how-to videos, and having great memories to look back on?!

We hope you enjoy our site!