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BERKELEY'S NEWS • DECEMBER 09, 2022

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I don’t get football

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SEPTEMBER 02, 2022

Football. What a concept. American football, gridiron football or just football. Whatever you call it, this single sport is so funky, so quirky. (Do we think it’s trying not to be like other girls?) I can compile a list of weird traits in minutes:

Americans are pretty much the only ones who play the sport. Footballs are a silly shape — they’re the only (sports) balls I can think of that aren’t spheres. The game is constantly stopping: The one time I watched 10 minutes of an NFL game while waiting for a show to start, eight of those minutes consisted of the commentators talking while the players stood around.

And yet sometimes it feels like football runs the country. The Super Bowl is pretty much a national holiday. College campuses come to life on game days, even when the football team isn’t very good. Football players at all levels get treated like gods — you’d think they’re curing COVID-19, not spreading it. (Don’t get your panties in a twist, everyone can spread the virus.)

So in an attempt to understand all this hype this college football season, I will attempt to learn the ins and outs of the sport. Because truly, I do not think I will have lived life to the fullest until I have experienced the pure, unadulterated joy of a middle-aged white man when his favorite team wins. 

Now I’ve attended the handful of football games you’re supposed to as a college student. I know to cheer when everyone else in the not-very-full student section cheers. I know touchdowns are 7 points (but apparently, sometimes they’re not). 

Beyond that, though? No clue what a wide receiver or linebacker does. Why did one team randomly get 3 points? Couldn’t tell you. So you could say I’m a bit ditzy when it comes to football.

That’s what this column is for. 2022 is the year I finally understand the nation’s most popular sport. Every couple of weeks, I’ll tell you what I’ve learned, what I think about what I’ve learned and my specific thoughts on Cal football — recent games, upcoming matchups and more.

If you have crazy football facts, helpful advice, a funny joke or photos of your pet (no discrimination here), please send an email. And if you’d rather get worked up over a mundane topic, that’s welcome too.

My goal? To be able to fight a Stanford fan at the Big Game on why Cal’s quarterback is better than theirs — with an argument beyond Jack Plummer having a cooler name.

And maybe, just maybe, by the time the Bears’ season ends Nov. 25 (because even I know this team’s chances of a postseason are not great), hopefully, Ditzy Darlene will not be so ditzy.

Ditzy Darlene is chronicling her journey to understanding the sport of football. Contact her at [email protected].
LAST UPDATED

SEPTEMBER 05, 2022


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