Some say to punt is to give up.
I’m not so sure. In football, when you stop a team on third down (or second down in Canada, right Rory?), you force them to punt. Force them, they say. Well, it’s a choice to punt.
Sometimes, you go for it – you take a chance that you can pick up a first down, and risk turning the ball over.
In American football, it’s all strategery. You punt on fourth down (third in Canada, right Rory?) to avoid giving up possession of the ball too close to your goal line. We do this in life, too.
Sometimes, we go for it on fourth and short. There are risks worth taking. But don’t mistake punting for giving up.
Sometimes, punting gives us a chance to reassess and do what’s next.
To punt is to take another stab at it. It’s cashing in your Scrabble tiles for a new set. It’s a chance to reassess your position, play a little defense, and come out better in the long run. It’s a strategy for the long haul.
A punt, then, isn’t a failure.
It’s a chance at something better. I know, all philosophic … I had a chance this week to guest post for Lisa, at Notes from the Shallow End. She’s a fantastic writer who is a finalist in Blogger Idol.
She’s also a foodie, and invited me to write a little about food.
I didn’t exactly struggle in that assignment, friends. Be sure to check it out, and read a little by one of the hardest working and talented bloggers I know, too.
Since you were wondering … the kids did have a few questions this week.
1. What happens if a team catches its own punt?
In soccer, it’s a handball – and probably a self-inflicted forehead slap for your coach.
Oh, football. Your rules baffle the rest of the sports-playing universe. Or at least Europe, South America and most of Asia.
If you catch your own punt, you’re fast. Punts travel 40-50 yards , sometimes more. If your team catches your punt, the other team cannot advance the ball. It’s first-and-10 there. And you get to go back on defense.
With any luck, you’ll get the other guy to punt, too. And it’ll all start over.
2. Where does the guy who looks like angry Santa Claus coach now?
He went to the polar opposite, and coaches the South Pole Pole Cats now.
Angry Santa Claus, aka Rob Ryan, joined the New Orleans Saints after the Dallas Cowboys fired him last season. Bad move. I love stories like his. Rob Ryan transformed the Saints’ defense.
It was an NFL-record worst 7,042 yards allowed BAS (Before Angry Santa), and the fifth stingiest unit in the league this year.
He’s a mastermind, his schemes a meld of unpredictability, intuition and physical punishment. He’s mellowed out – that’s what getting out of Dallas and spending some time on Bourbon Street can do for a man.
3. How do TV meteorologists know where to point with a green screen?
They definitely take a cue from Angry Santa. Wouldn’t you?
Your favorite meteorologist is not groping Tennessee blindly. She’s groping Tennessee on purpose, thanks to off-set monitors that show her what the computer-imposed image behind her shows.
It’s part of a special effects/post-production technique to layer two video streams based on chroma range.
Ah, heck. Let my friend Val Smock from AccuWeater explain it.
4. What does a foot warmer do?
It cools your hands.
Kidding! That’s so sarcastic.
Back in the day, foot warmers – pottery, soapstone or tin, usually – were filled with charcoal or hot water, and stuffed under cold feet or in a blanket for a chilly carriage ride. In 2013, foot warmers are all over Etsy, eBay and Pinterest. They’re not as popular as pumpkin recipes, but still.
Back in the day, the type of foot warmer you got on a train told the world what you were worth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: First-class passengers got a foot warmer bottle and some carpet.
Third-classers got a fist full of straw. That’s enough to draw the ire – and series of F bombs – from Angry Santa.
5. What is etc.?
Etc. is a fancy way of saying, blah, blah, blah.
Etc. means etcetera, Latin for “so on” or “and other things.” Proper usage would look like this:
While researching this post, daddy encountered old-time football photos, video clips of Rob Ryan screaming bad words, Twitter profiles for all his favorite meteorologists, etc.
Coach Daddy seems to favor chicken wings, bacon burgers, pizza, etc.
And because et means “and” and cetera means “the rest,” we could probably just say “et chicken wings,” “et bacon burgers” or et “pizza.”
After all that … I might have to punt.