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Vaughans Vocabulary Defining football...

September 21, 2010

My wife, our son and I were at the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for the game between the University of Mississippi and Vanderbilt University. While there I decided to devote a column to terms from the game of football.
See how well you do in this week’s Vaughan’s Vocabulary:

1. An imaginary line that extends from the forward tip of the ball to both sidelines is the
A. game line.
B. line of scrimmage.
C. first down.
D. ipse dixit (IP-see DIK-sit).

2. touchback (TOUCH-back)
A. an angle at which the ball is kicked
B. a signal given to the center by the quarterback
C. when the ball is put in play on the receiving team’s 20 yard line
D. when an offensive player blocks a defensive player from behind

A touchback is called if the ball is kicked beyond the end zone or if the kick returner catches it in the end zone and touches the field with a knee.
3. Kicking the ball over the crossbar and between the goal posts:
A. A Hail Mary
B. kickoff
C. first down
D. field goal

4. Which one of the following can’t take place on fourth down?
A. A field goal can be attempted.
B. The ball can be punted.
C. The offense can try for the first down.
D. A kickoff return

Let’s see how you are progressing across the field, as it were, in this little fun quiz. No. 1 is B. No. 2 is C. No. 3 is D. No. 4 is D.

5. rushing (RUSH-ing)
A. yardage gained by running plays
B. a foul committed against a kicker or passer
C. hustling
D. moving on the field faster than the opponent

Aside from B, rushing is advancing the football by running plays.

6. A referee placing his left hand atop his head means ___________, but stretching his arms straight out horizontally means
A. watch out for the falling ball – time out.
B. ineligible receiver – unsportsmanlike conduct.
C. offside – first down.
D. delay of game – incomplete pass or missed extra point

When the referee has his body in the shape of the letter T, it is unsportsmanlike conduct; having his hand on his head means ineligible receiver.
Last week’s mystery word clue was that I write this on the outlines of students who make assertions without backing them up. The first two letters are the same two letters of a title of an opera by Gluck. The word is ipse dixit.
This week’s mystery word can describe a football. The second letter is the letter that begins each word in the name of this column.

Contact Don Vaughan at

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