IN ORDER to make the subject more realistic, the author will now describe a hypothetical game between two teams of about equal strength, which have been trained along similar lines of offensive and defensive strategy. It is impossible for any one individual to see all that happens during a football game. It is, however, entirely possible for him to understand every-thing that occurs, and through this knowledge, by anticipating what will probably occur, see a great deal more than otherwise. It is in this frame of mind that the reader should follow this description which illustrates many events which usually happen during a football game, and having thus familiarized himself with them it is the author's sincere hope that he will derive more enjoyment from the actual contests which he witnesses.

First period. The opening play is called the "kick-off," and among the rules relating to it is one which states that the side winning the toss of the coin has the choice of either defending one goal or of kicking off themselves: On the day of this game a strong wind is blowing directly down the field, so that our team, having won the toss, naturally elects to defend, during the first period, the windward goal. The enemy kick off from their forty yard line to our twenty yard line. Our team immediately lines up in kick formation, which has a tendency to spread the opponents' line because they fear an end run by the player standing in the kicker's position. Having thus threatened a sweep and a kick, our team tries what is called a fake kick which in this case consists of a plunge straight ahead through the widened gap between the opposing guards. It does not make an appreciable gain. We line up again in the same formation and this time execute a beautiful punt of forty-five yards, which carries to our opponents' thirty-five yard line, where the receiver is downed in his tracks. The enemy try three rushes, which gain eight yards, so that it is fourth down and two yards to go to establish a first down. Fearful of not gaining the required distance in the one remaining rush, they wisely kick to our twenty-seven yard line where the catcher is thrown near the side lines. We now run a play toward the middle of the field, which is called a position play, for it is unwise to punt when the ball is too near the side lines, and although this play gains a good six yards yet because of the favoring wind we punt on our second down to our opponents' twenty-five yard line where again the runner is tackled without gain.

The enemy are now in a difficult position, in that they realize that they will be outpunted, yet they dare not try any forward passes or trick plays. After futile attempts to gain by rushing, they punt, this time to our forty yard line, where the ball rolls out of bounds.

Our team, after running two plays from a close formation, changes to an open formation, and because we have been kicking, our opponents' line again widens, this time in order to have a better chance at blocking our punt. Whereupon our quarterback, taking the ball himself, slips through between left guard and tackle for first down at midfield.

We now have a wider choice of plays, because even if a fumble does occur it will not be as disastrous as if the ball were deeper in our own territory. After two plays our quarterback orders what is called a criss-cross run (Plate IX), a play which starts in one direction and which, by the passage of the ball from one player to another, develops in the opposite direction. In this case, our opponents' right end is completely fooled and we outflank him for twenty yards, making a first down on the opponents' thirty yard line. On third down with six yards to go, we try a forward pass, which is incomplete, i. e., the ball strikes the ground before any player can catch it. The penalty for this is another down, making fourth down and six yards to go. There is little chance to gain this distance by a rush, so we attempt a drop kick which just misses its mark. Except for this mistake each move has so far been according to Hoyle and may be likened to the opening plays of a chess match.

A touchback has resulted from our try at goal, and the ball is now, according to the rules, put in play, with the enemy in possession of the ball, on their twenty yard line. As the ball is snapped for their fourth play one of our team is declared offside, which penalizes us five yards and gives a first down to our opponents. This was a bad mistake on our part because it allows our opponents to start their rushing game again from a first down. Encouraged to continue their Wishing tactics, the enemy make material distance, but on second down, with six yards to go, are finally checked for a two-yard loss. In spite of this they try another rush, fumble the ball, and one of our players promptly drops on it.

Here is a point where the opponents' quarterback should be justly criticised, for with third down and eight yards to go he had little chance of gaining the required distance in the next two tries. Had he kicked on this down, say a punt of thirty yards, the ball would have carried to our thirty yard line. However, the damage is done. This kind of a mistake, when the usual scheme of play is marred by an error of commission or omission of one of the players, is called a "break."

The ball is now ours on our opponents' thirty-five yard line with materially strengthened morale as the result of our good fortune. Consequently, as often happens under similar circumstances, our offense get going, and in two rushes we make first down on their twenty-five yard line. Three more rushes carry the ball to the fifteen yard line, but it take four tries to make the next first down on the opponents' five yard line. "It certainly looks bad" for the defense, except that as a team is driven toward its own goal line it automatically strengthens like a spiral steel spring, with the goal line for its base. On our first try a fumble occurs, as the ball is passed from center to our quarterback, who luckily recovers it with a half-yard loss. The next play, a slant over our opponents' right tackle, is splendidly executed, and results in a three-yard gain. Third down. The following play carries the ball within two yards of the goal line. Fourth down.