Don’t know football? Have no idea where Baker is? Don’t worry, Bwog’s got you covered.

In preparation for tomorrow’s Homecoming game, new Sports Editor Eunice Bae has compiled a guide to football for Lions fans who may have more than a few questions regarding this weekend’s events. From football basics to directions to Baker and a bonus list of Homecoming activities happening today, this article is your one-stop-shop for everything Homecoming.

Let’s get started.

Basic football vocab everyone should know:

Tackle: yeet the person with the ball onto the ground

Kick-off: kick to start the game

Punt: kick the ball

Touchdown: cross the second line from the end of the field with the ball

Hike the ball: snap the ball to the quarterback

Field goal: kick the ball through one of the giant tuning forks at the ends of the field

Yardline: line on the field with a # (the field is 100 yards long)

End zone: big strip on either end of the field, typically has the home team name written on it

Down: period of time between the start of a play and when the ball is declared dead

Line of scrimmage: line at which both teams line up to start the play


Why are they called 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th downs? What’s the difference?

The offensive team gets 4 downs to try and advance 10 yards. If they advance 10 yards, they automatically revert back to the 1st down. If a team can’t advance 10 yards within 4 downs, the defensive team gets the ball and becomes the new offensive team, while the team that was just on offense now goes on defense. When describing a down, you say the down number and the number of yards left to go before reaching the next first down (10 minus the number of yards they’ve advanced since first down). For example, if you hear someone says “third and four,” that means it’s the third down and the offensive team has 4 yards to go before reaching next first down.

Referees signal first down by pointing their right arm towards the defensive team’s goal and fourth down by putting an arm above their head with their hand in a fist.



Touchdown (6 points): Occurs when the offensive team manages to get the ball into the opponent’s end zone, whether it’s by a player running the ball in or catching it while standing in the end zone.

Extra point (1 point): After a touchdown, the offensive team can choose to try to kick the ball through its opponent’s tuning fork to score an additional point.

Field goal (3 points): The offensive team can opt to try to kick the ball from wherever they are in the field through the tuning fork.

Two-point conversion (2 points, obviously): After scoring a touchdown, the offensive team can choose to try and run a play from the defense’s two-yard line to score an additional two points. The points are scored the same way as a touchdown (run or catch).

Safety (2 points): The defensive team can score a safety by tackling the offensive player with the football behind the offensive goal line or make him run or fumble the ball out of bounds behind that same line. If offense is in the offensive penalty zone and commits a penalty, the defensive team scores a safety.


Offensive Players (11)

When a team is on offense, it’s trying to get the ball into the opponent’s end zone.


Leader of offense, decides the plays, guy who grunts (grunt = “give me the ball”), gets the ball and runs, hands off, or passes it to try and move it towards the end zone.


In the middle of offensive, snaps the ball through legs to the QB (snappy boi), tells other offensive linemen which defensive players they should block.


Usually main ball holder and speedier boi of two running backs, can run with the ball or catch a forward pass.


Usually the bigger boi of two running backs, extra blocker for halfback on running plays, can run or catch a forward pass.

Wide Receivers

Fast bois, no butterfingers allowed (they need to be good at catching), play close to the sidelines.

Tight End

On end of the offensive line, extra blocker on running plays, receiver in passing situations.

Offensive Tackles

Outer ends of offensive line, protect the QB on passing plays, block on passing plays and open lanes for running backs to go through on rushing plays.

Offensive Guards

Either side of center, block on passing plays and open lanes for running backs to go through on rushing plays.


Defensive Players (11)

When a team is on defense, it’s trying to prevent the offensive team from reaching its end zone.


Set up towards the back part of defense, defend against offensive team’s pass, support on rushing plays.


Set up towards the back part of defense, stand across from wide receivers.


Support linemen in stopping the offensive team’s runner on rushing plays, fall further back on passing plays to cover passes, can rush the QB.

Defensive Ends

Outer ends of defensive line, try to get through to offensive backfield, sack the QB, or stop running back.

Defensive Tackles

Set up across the offensive guards, push into offensive line to interrupt a play in the offensive backfield.


Kicker who kicks punts, can kick long and high to allow for tacklers to get downfield.

Field Goal Kicker

Kicks field goals and extra points, accurate kicker, kicks kick-off.


Holds the ball for the field goal kicker.


Here’s a slightly blurry graphic for reference:


Game Details

Kickoff is scheduled to be around 1:30 pm. Don’t forget to purchase tickets either on the athletics website or over the phone at (888)-LIONS11.


Columbia Lions 2019 Season Stats

2019 season record: 1-3

Ivy League record: 0-1

Streak: L3 (3 losses)

Home record: 0-2

Coach: Al Bagnoli (who was head coach at Penn football from 1992-2014)

Homecoming record: 2-1 the last three years


Timing, because you’re a busy Columbia student:

The average football game should be 75-80 minutes, including halftime. 4 quarters, each 15 minutes long, plus 15-20 minutes of halftime. However, games tend to actually last around 2.5-3 hours. There might be more minutes of overtime if the game is tied at the end of the fourth quarter. Kickoff is @ 1:30 pm, so plan your pre-games accordingly.


Baker is far, but not THAT far:

On Saturday, the first bus to Baker will leave from 116th and Bway at 10:30 am. Buses will continuously fill up and depart for Baker until 3pm. You can also take a Lyft to the game and use promo code LYFTLIONNYC to receive 20% off your ride.

The first bus back from Baker will leave the complex at the end of the game and buses will continuously fill up and depart for campus until 7:30 pm. Again, if you haven’t used the promo code you can take a Lyft back to campus.

An alternative to the bus or Lyft is the 1 train– Baker is on 218th Street, which is a couple minutes’ walk from the 215th Street stop on the 1. Assuming that there are no repairs to be made and trains don’t skip the stop this weekend, this method shouldn’t take longer than half an hour one way. 


Homecoming Activities Today

Dinner w/Roar-ee: South Lawn, Butler Lawn, 5-8 pm, Tickets $25

John Jay Dining food, casual outdoor dinner.

Penn vs. Columbia Field Hockey Game: Columbia Field Hockey Stadium @ Baker, 6 pm, FREE ADMISSION

Spend your Friday evening cheering on the Lions’ field hockey team as they take on the Quakers.

Notes and Keys Concert: Lerner 555, 8-8:45 pm

Attend Notes and Keys’ mid-semester concert, featuring singers in themed costumes. Registration is encouraged.


Go Lions!!

Lions Football via Columbia Athletics

Blurry Football Diagram via Wikipedia

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