Football on TV

CVH and mama love watching football on TV. Although I don’t know much about American football, I’ll often join them. TV coverage of football has improved tremendously in the last fifteen years or so. It used to be excruciating to watch. I couldn’t figure out why it was so bad. It was as if the people in charge of the transmission had never watched TV before. I wondered if the networks sent their lowest achievers, the people they were about to lay off, to direct TV football coverage. But now it is much better.

Not being an football aficionado, though, my eye tends to wander around the screen while the game is playing. I end up seeing little details that regular fans don’t notice. And I wonder what some of these things are.

One of the first things I noticed was the C on some players’ jerseys. They come with a varying number of stars.

Not everybody has a C, and some teams have more than others. Thanks to Google, I was able to figure out that it stands for “Captain”, and indeed, some teams use them more than others.

The helmets are also interesting. They’re not all the same. Many have this five-sided flap cutout on the front:

But not all.

I don’t know why.

And some helmets have these little ovals on the front.

A lot of quarterbacks have them, but not all. Some the other players, both offensive and defensive, have them, but I haven’t been able to come up with a 100% correlation to specific positions.

Occasionally you’ll catch a glimpse of the guy on the sideline who carries the extra balls.

What’s the career path for this person? What job did he get promoted from? What do his kids tell the other kids that their father does for a living?

How about that plastic thing that holds the ball for the kickoff? Does somebody run out and pick it up right after the kick? Or do they leave it out there and hope nobody steps on it?

The color commentators never discuss these fascinating questions.

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