Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A hockey fan's guide to the NFL

Hey Peyton, on a scale of one to ten
how popular is the NHL down there?
With the NHL season is still three weeks away, sports fans got a boost this weekend with the return of the NFL. By the beginning of next month, both leagues will be in full swing and often competing head-to-head.

But while the two leagues share a spot on the fall calendar, the similarities often end there. Football and hockey offer up vastly different products, with significant differences in rules, strategy and even terminology. It can all be very confusing for a hockey fan trying to keep tabs on professional football.

In an attempt to simplify things, I've compiled a hockey fan's guide to the NFL. Clip and save this handy list in case you find yourself getting confused in the weeks ahead.

NHL: Delusional Jets fans actually think their team has a chance of returning to Winnipeg.
NFL: Delusional Jets fans actually think their team has a chance of returning to the Super Bowl.

NFL: "Safety" refers to a player who lines up deep in the secondary and is responsible for covering passing plays.
NHL: "Safety" refers the act of not doing anything that might make Zdeno Chara angry.

NFL: Although they realize that it's probably unrealistic given the rate of injury, every player starts the season with the goal of playing in 16 games.
NHL: Rick DiPietro

NHL: Every year, fans can look forward to a gruelling two-month marathon known as "the Stanley Cup playoffs".
NFL: Every year, fans can look forward to a gruelling two-month marathon known as "Brett Favre decides whether or not he wants to play this year".

NFL: A "dime back" refers to a sixth defensive back, who enters the game on likely passing downs.
NHL: A "dime back" refers to what you'd better be ready to give Patrick Kane once he's paid you for his cab ride.

NFL: There are several teams in the southern United States, who regularly play in front of sold out crowds filled with rabid fans with a deep appreciation for the sport.
NHL: There are several teams in the southern United States.

NHL: "Dump and chase" refers to the strategy of shooting the puck deep into the opponent's zone and then attempting to retrieve it.
NFL: "Dump and chase" refers to a typical night in college for Najeh Davenport.

NFL: Teams will occasionally score from up to 60 yards away as the result of a play called "the Hail Mary".
NHL: Teams will occasionally score from up to 60 yards away as the result of a play called "playing against a team that employs Vesa Toskala".

NFL: "First and ten" refers to the down and distance at the start of an offensive drive.
NHL: "First and ten" would be Brian Burke's answer to the question "What kind of draft picks did you give up for Phil Kessel, and how many scouts did you fire afterwards?"

NHL: For decades, opponents of the Montreal Canadiens have been haunted by the ghosts of legendary players of the past.
NFL: For decades, fans of the Oakland Raiders have been haunted by the ghost of owner Al Davis.

NFL: "Bump and run" is a defensive technique that focuses on slowing down the receiver at the line of scrimmage.
NHL: "Bump and run" is Daniel Carcillo's strategy against any player who is tougher than Marion Gaborik.

NHL: John Madden is occasionally photographed cavorting shirtless in the back of a limo.
NFL: Oh good lord let's hope not.

NFL: "The Music City Miracle" refers to a last-second kickoff return that allowed the Tennessee Titans to advance in the playoffs.
NHL: "The Music City Miracle" refers to an Ottawa Senators third-liner managing to marry Carrie Underwood.

NHL: The Toronto Maple Leafs are often called "the Dallas Cowboys of the NHL".
NFL: The Dallas Cowboys are often called "the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NFL" by people who are trying to get Jerry Jones to hang himself.


  1. Brilliant from start to finish. And your grammar and spelling are improving too! I guess writing for a national newspaper does have its upside.

    Still laughing at the teams in the Southern US one. Well done.

  2. Hilarious DGB/ Another slamdunk... errr touchdown?

  3. Well done - from start to finish! I particularly loved the "dime back" and should know better than to eat or drink while reading your posts.
    PS I love Peyton Manning... and Alex Ovechkin. Just needed to say that.

  4. Rick Dipietro!! LMFAO! Classic

  5. dont make fun of the toronto maple leafs punk...ill find uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

  6. the patrick kane bit was brilliant! love it as usual

  7. Absolutely made my morning here in California.

  8. Really? No 300lb players being employed/kyle wellwood jokes? common

  9. This was awesome...

    But y'all Leafs fans are STILL stuck on that Toskala goal? Why not go back to complaining about the Gretzky "high stick" on Gilmour?

    (btw, I'm a Kings fan =) )

  10. Aside from the mistake in the first line, good job.

  11. 'Where's the evidence?' LMAO - thanks for being distasteful enough to allow your regulars the opportunity to appreciate the hidden gem

  12. I too am disappointed by the lack of a Wellwood joke.

    I mean DGB, you never missed an opportunity before?

    Oh and the DiPietro one was a killer

  13. The First and Ten comment was comedy fucking gold. Gold I tells ya!

  14. Why wasn't the Chara joke in the NP?

  15. I love a good Patrick Kane joke

  16. Dime back, haha brilliant.

  17. Very funny stuff, DGB! I knew there would be a Vesa Toskala joke in there. From now on, quarterbacks will be throwing "Toskalas" in desperation! :P

  18. I was hoping for some comparison of a 300 pound lineman with Kyle Welwood...

  19. Loved the Kane joked, but also LOL'ed on the (NFL) Jets. While there are plenty of fans of Gang Green, I wouldn't be too torn if the NFL Jets wound up in Winnipeg.

  20. The Najeh Davenport line was probably the best thing I've ever read.

  21. Pretty well every bit of that was great. The Patrick Kane line was my favourite. Nice.

  22. Brilliant. First and Ten was awesome