Tips for Watching Football on TV

Here you are, watching football on TV with your dearly beloved. You studied the rules. You looked at the diagram on football positions.
You know the backfield from the line, and how points are scored.


Yet you still feel left out.

watching football on tv Well, it's no wonder! Unlike the information on this website, those football players do not stand still! It's like you're back to that Filene's basement half-price sale.

Not to worry. We've got some tips to slow down the action. But first, a word about motivation. Being able to enjoy and share a football game is well worth the effort, a subject we talk more about in our section on football for lovers.

But since you can't enjoy OR share the game if you can't follow what's going on, try some of these tips the next time you watch a football game on television, which, by the way, is a whole lot easier than watching football live.

Television provides you with all kinds of helpful guides:

  • Lines are superimposed on the television screen to indicate the line of scrimmage (usually bright blue) and the point to which the ball must be carried for the team to complete their ten-yard requirement and begin another series of downs. (As you will recall, line of scrimmage and downs are explained in the football rules for playing a game section of our Football Rules page.)
  • Get close enough to the TV so that you can listen! Again, if you have familiarized yourself with football basics, football rules, and football positions, you'll be able to match what you see to what you hear. The announcers give you an incredible amount of information if you really zero in on what they're saying.
  • Again, listen. Listen also to the referees, who are usually miced for a game, and give you even more information about what's going on.
  • When it comes to slowing down the action, nothing beats Instant Replay. If you missed it the first time, pay attention, and you'll get to see it again. Sometimes even in slow motion. With explanations by the announcers and/or the referees thrown in for good measure.


  • So. Prepare for watching football by first understanding the basics. Then look and listen. After a game or three, the wild bargain sale will begin to slow down as you connect what you know with what you see, and an actual football game will appear in its place!

    Then you can go from

    watching football to enjoying football. And from enjoying football to sharing football.

    And that's a good thing!



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