By Julie Buehler
When people find out that I host a sports talk radio show, they often ask, “Did you grow up with a lot of brothers?” Well, I guess, but 2 of the 3 are younger, so I guided their blossoming more than they guided mine. My oldest brother was a baseball player, not really into football as much.
So when I fell in love with the San Francisco 49ers thanks to the rampaging play of Steve Young, I had to rely on myself to teach me the dynamic chess match between mammoth men known as football.
And so I did.
I read books, watched games, subscribed to and listened intently to coaching clinics to learn what I was watching and understand why it captivated my imagination.
I shouldn’t write in past tense, as I still read books, watch games, listen intently and subscribe to coaching newsletters, clinics and other forms of continuing education.
What’s amazing to me is how many people THINK they know the game of football. That’s like understanding Picasso: as soon as you think you’ve got a grasp on it, there’s another angle to tackle.
And usually, those who THINK they know a lot about the game are the ones spouting off misinformation and their opinions-veiled-as-fact for any and all to hear.
But reality is A LOT of people don’t know the game as well as they think they do and even more admittedly don’t know much about it at all. But it continues to be one of America’s favorite fascinations.
Those who don’t understand the game well, frequently women, and some men, young and old, tell me they wish someone would take the time to teach them the game as their boyfriend, husband, wife, family or friends are “huge fans” and it’s difficult to enjoy the weekly action if they don’t understand the basic premise of offense and defense, let alone conceptualize what a first down is or why a group of players suddenly bolt across the field after some guy kicks the ball. Problem is, they are shy about asking anyone with knowledge as patience quickly wears thin.
Even those who understand the basic concepts of the game from playing at some point in life often tell me they wish they had someone who explained the foundations of where certain rules came from, the evolution of the game from generation to generation.
Well, after more than a decade in sports journalism and hearing requests from all walks of life to author a “Football 101” class, I’ve decided to do that.
Every Friday morning at 6:40am on KMIR (channel 13 on Time Warner, 36 on Dish and Direct) I’ll be breaking down the game for those who need a little refresher for the season to start.
We’ll learn where rules came from, why changes have been made and the lingo and knowledge required to keep up with any football fan, and hopefully offer viewers a chance to develop an appreciation for the game and become a football fan.
This last Friday, I started with the basics, offense versus defense and what the “First Down” concept means and why it’s unique in football. If you missed it, please go to KMIR.com and search “Football 101,” you’ll find it.
In the mean time, don’t feel badly for not knowing what the loudmouth next to you claims to know. Chances are after my Football 101 classes, your REAL knowledge will far eclipse their opinions.
Just looking to help everyone learn to love the game as much as I do.
And get you ready for what’s sure to be an exciting local high school, college and NFL season!
Julie Buehler hosts the Coachella Valley’s most popular sports talk radio show, “Buehler’s Day Off” every day from 3-6 on 1010 KXPS, the valley’s all sports station. She can also be seen every morning between 6-7am on KMIR sharing the coolest stories in sports. She’s an avid gym rat, slightly sarcastic and more likely to recite Steve Young’s career passing stats than American Idol winners. Tune in M-F 3-6 pst at www.team1010.com or watch “Buehler’s Day Off” on Ustream and KMIR.com for her sports reports.