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#1
Old 12-04-2009, 12:35 AM
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Football terminology

I spent several years away from watching football, both college and NFL, and now find terms I never heard before and do not understand. Can someone help me?

What does "run the table" mean, as in "Buffalo will have to run the table to get in the playoffs."?

Also the term "hat on hat'; does that mean man-to-man coverage? Or does it refer to the apparently new rule against helmet to helmet blocking and tackling?

Other terms I understand but never heard until recently are "pick six" and "three and out".
#2
Old 12-04-2009, 01:40 AM
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Run the table: to win all of your remaining games.
Hat on hat: helmet to helmet contact.
Pick six: an interception returned for a touchdown.
Three and out: to not gain a first down after the first 3 downs of a series, and being forced to punt.
#3
Old 12-04-2009, 01:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movingfinger View Post
What does "run the table" mean, as in "Buffalo will have to run the table to get in the playoffs."?
To win all of the rest of the games on your regular-season schedule.

Quote:
Originally Posted by movingfinger View Post
Also the term "hat on hat'; does that mean man-to-man coverage? Or does it refer to the apparently new rule against helmet to helmet blocking and tackling?
The latter is correct; it's a helmet-to-helmet hit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by movingfinger View Post
Other terms I understand but never heard until recently are "pick six" and "three and out".
"Pick six" is a pretty recent term; it refers to an interception ("pick") that's returned for a touchdown.

"Three and out" has been around for quite a while, though you may not have noticed it before. It refers to the offense starting a drive, running three plays, failing to get a first down, and punting.
#4
Old 12-04-2009, 02:55 AM
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Thanks, guys! Ignorance is forced to punt from deep in its own territory!
#5
Old 12-04-2009, 04:46 AM
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Hat on hat is usually used in the context of everyone manning up (in a testosterone sense, not a coverage sense) and just beating the guy across from you. As in, the Xs and Os will only take you so far; at some point it comes down to hat on hat. I've never heard the expression "hat on hat" in reference to a big helmet to helmet collision.

Pick Six became a common term in the early 2000s, maybe around 02-03. Three and Out has been around forever. Running the table is not a football term, but rather a generic sports term.
#6
Old 12-04-2009, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis Dee View Post
Hat on hat is usually used in the context of everyone manning up (in a testosterone sense, not a coverage sense) and just beating the guy across from you. As in, the Xs and Os will only take you so far; at some point it comes down to hat on hat. I've never heard the expression "hat on hat" in reference to a big helmet to helmet collision.
I agree with Ellis Dee. Putting a hat on a hat usually just means getting everybody blocked and typically connotes winning the individual battles.
Quote:
Pick Six became a common term in the early 2000s, maybe around 02-03. Three and Out has been around forever. Running the table is not a football term, but rather a generic sports term.
I agree with this as well, although I just wanted to add a note of loathing for the "pick six" term. It just seems like such a forced and effortfully cute term. I hope it goes away soon.
#7
Old 12-04-2009, 10:39 AM
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Huh...looks like we've got a double-meaning here -- I've always understood it to mean "helmet-to-helmet contact".
#8
Old 12-04-2009, 10:47 AM
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I have to go with Ellis Dee I usually hear the term Hat on Hat in regards to blocking schemes.
#9
Old 12-04-2009, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Briston View Post
Huh...looks like we've got a double-meaning here -- I've always understood it to mean "helmet-to-helmet contact".
I don't recall ever hearing it in that context, and I watch a crapload of football. I hear it mostly in reference to run blocking and kick coverage.

"Nothing complicated on this play; they just put a hat on a hat and ran it down their throat."

"They put a hat on a hat and the returner just needed to make a single move to score a touchdown."

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 12-04-2009 at 11:09 AM.
#10
Old 12-04-2009, 01:03 PM
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Yeah, I always thought it was just getting everyone blocked by their guy. I wonder what the definitive source for some of these sayings would be; it's not like sportscasters are always right...I HATE when a team runs an end-around and the announcers call it a "reverse."
#11
Old 12-04-2009, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ReticulatingSplines View Post
Yeah, I always thought it was just getting everyone blocked by their guy. I wonder what the definitive source for some of these sayings would be; it's not like sportscasters are always right...I HATE when a team runs an end-around and the announcers call it a "reverse."
Then the end around makes a toss and it's a double reverse!


Also, the shovel/shuffle pass dichotomy. And using wildcat to refer to every time a nontraditional player takes the snap.
#12
Old 12-04-2009, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Sensitive View Post
Also, the shovel/shuffle pass dichotomy.
I hate that one. Shuffle? What would "shuffle" have to do with that play?
#13
Old 12-04-2009, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis Dee View Post
Running the table is not a football term, but rather a generic sports term.
Well, it clearly originates with pool, where it means to sink all the balls on the table - or at least all those required to win - thus denying your opponent another chance to play.
#14
Old 12-04-2009, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Briston View Post
Huh...looks like we've got a double-meaning here -- I've always understood it to mean "helmet-to-helmet contact".
Concurring with Ellis Dee's description here. I don't think there's any double meaning, but that's not to say that some braindead announcer hasn't used it that way in order to make themselves sound like an insider.
#15
Old 12-04-2009, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Xema View Post
Well, it clearly originates with pool, where it means to sink all the balls on the table - or at least all those required to win - thus denying your opponent another chance to play.
Yep. Definitely does. It's only used, though, when you have a significant amount of balls remaining. Or, if said in hindsight, a significant amount of balls were sunk consecutively. Sinking your last ball, then the 8-ball, doesn't count.

But does "run" mean "to go on a streak" or does it allude to the fact that a shooter will have walked all around the table after taking so many shots?

Last edited by Chessic Sense; 12-04-2009 at 09:45 PM.
#16
Old 12-04-2009, 10:16 PM
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I'm with Ellis.

That should be a bumper sticker.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 12-04-2009 at 10:16 PM.
#17
Old 12-05-2009, 09:11 AM
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I'm with the blocking on Hat-On Hat. Old school three yards and a cloud of dust type running game, No stunts, no pulling guards, no zone blocking. Just look up, see who is across from you and put his ass on the ground.
#18
Old 12-06-2009, 01:49 PM
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Mark Schlereth gave the classic example of hat on hat usage on Friday's NFL Live while discussing the Jets/Bills game.

Trey Wingo introduced it with "Thomas Jones, Shaun Greene, or even Tony Richardson..."
Mark Schlereth: "...it didn't matter. Hat on hat, look at that blocking, running with purpose"

Or something to that effect. For a day or so I thought that maybe some announcers do say hat on hat when talking about helmet to helmet contact, but then I realized that "helmet to helmet" is about as "official" a phrase as there is. They always say exactly that: "helmet to helmet contact." I vote for total distinction between the two phrases.
#19
Old 12-07-2009, 05:24 AM
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I'm just chiming in to say that, while I've watched college football for years, I don't remember hearing the term "pick six" prior to this year. Now it seems I hear it all the time.
#20
Old 12-07-2009, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucksinator View Post
I'm just chiming in to say that, while I've watched college football for years, I don't remember hearing the term "pick six" prior to this year. Now it seems I hear it all the time.
I started hearing it a few years back. I got the impression that it had been in the lexicon of defensive backs for a few years before that.

Yesterday an NFL announcer strung together something like seven football terms ranging from simple to obscure, and I understood the whole thing. I'm not sure that's good or bad.
#21
Old 12-07-2009, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Rucksinator View Post
I'm just chiming in to say that, while I've watched college football for years, I don't remember hearing the term "pick six" prior to this year. Now it seems I hear it all the time.
It's also a type of wager.
#22
Old 12-07-2009, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Hentor the Barbarian View Post
I hate that one. Shuffle? What would "shuffle" have to do with that play?
There are actually three choices: shovel, shuffle, and shuttle. I saw a whole segment on one of ESPN's Sunday Countdown shows, though it could have been a Rich Eisen satire spots. I don't think it satire, though, because everyone came up with reasonable justifications for their position and how they'd always called it that since forever.

Shovel is obvious and almost certainly the "real" term, what with the throwing motion itself resembling a shoveling motion. But they gave halfway decent justfications for both shuffle and shuttle, neither of which I remember.

If I had to make them up, shuffle pass as in the ball gets shuffled forward in an awkward manner. You have to squint on that one, though, since shuffling means to drag your feet, not move awkwardly. Still, sorta maybe defensible.

Shuttle pass is tough. Maybe they mean the ball gets safely and reliably moved forward like on a shuttle? Because it is definitely rare to see an incomplete shovel pass. I don't know.
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