Who’s Who and What the Fuck’s Going On in
QUARTERBACK: The most important member of the team, and one of only two players who ever get to touch the ball. It is his job to catch the ball and hop backwards while nervously trying to decide when to throw it to the Wide Receiver. WIDE RECEIVER: It is this player’s job to run up to the end and catch the ball while everyone else is fighting. Then he has to hurl it to the ground in celebration and perform a series of well-rehearsed dance moves that can last up to fifteen minutes. During this time, both teams go off and two completely new teams come on. REFEREES: With 22 aggressive, testosteronefuelled giants on the field at any one time, it is important to keep order. For this reason, an American Football match has not just one, but more than a dozen referees. Easily spotted thanks to their humbug-striped tops, black caps and Bertie Wooster-style white plus-fours, it is their job to throw a yellow flag in the air and halt the game every fifteen seconds to allow the TV to show 5 minutes of adverts while a brass band made up of people dressed like nutcrackers marches up and down the pitch playing the theme from Monty Python. COACH: A 60-year-old man with sky-high blood pressure and an astronaut’s buzzcut. It is his job to draw arrows on a whiteboard and scream at his players every time they come off the field while trying not to burst the bulging wiggly vein in his temple. CHEERLEADERS: It is the job of these attractive, nubile and flexible women to whip the crowd up into a frenzy by doing the splits and waving pompoms while explaining to the crowd how to spell the team’s name. After their cheerleading days are over, many of them actually go on to marry the players. Those who don’t, often pursue successful careers in the adult entertainment business. SCRIMMAGE: A huddle of players who are discussing the next play. After shouting a series of tactical, coded numbers and the words “Hut! Hut!” at each other and nutting each other’s helmets, the quarterback will catch the ball, run backwards a bit, and then lob it to the wide receiver, just like every other fucking time. MASCOT: A professional actor who has spent five years at drama school, and the last ten years inside a foam suit at 150˚F, dressed as a cross between a bald eagle and a hippopotamus, and who is still dreaming of the day when that longawaited call from Hollywood will come.