Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Nov 2005

Pro Football Snob's Dictionary, Vol. 2

This is probably the first time we've ever linked to anything in Vanity Fair, but the definitions given here are not just accurate but amusing. Explains everything from the passing tree to the tuck rule to Len Pasquarelli. But where's the definition for Football Outsiders? I guess we'll show up in Volume 3. Thanks to reader Deep Blue for the link.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 25 Nov 2005

12 comments, Last at 27 Nov 2005, 5:00pm by zlionsfan


by Smeghead (not verified) :: Fri, 11/25/2005 - 2:49pm

As long as you're not linking to Hitchens.

How'd coffin corner make the cut? If anything, there's a snob thread about how nobody actually uses the coffin corner any more.

by TomG (not verified) :: Fri, 11/25/2005 - 3:10pm

Is it me or does it seem utterly pretentious to put the periods after the letters in NFL? I don’t even think the NFL itself does it.

There’s got to be some kind of grammatical ruling as to when to and when not to use them. Any help?

by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Fri, 11/25/2005 - 3:11pm

The entry on Pasquerelli is priceless. Come to think of it, that's exactly why I read him.

by joel in providence (not verified) :: Fri, 11/25/2005 - 4:13pm

regarding the periods between N.F.L.....

there's no proper grammatical rule. it's generally up to each publication's in-house "style" to decide on that. the new yorker, for example, are uber-traditinalists and almost always uses the periods in acronyms. for newspapers, it's all about conserving typespace, so they rarely use the periods.

by Ferg (not verified) :: Fri, 11/25/2005 - 4:20pm

A pretty fun article. But I always thought "four-down territory" referred to anyplace on the field were it made sense to go for it on fourth down, depending on the situation. Like if you're down two scores in the fourth quarter, most of the field would be "four-down territory."

by hipster trap (not verified) :: Fri, 11/25/2005 - 4:52pm

Pasquarelli is revered by football snobs? Good thing a higher plane of snobbery exists.

by TomC (not verified) :: Fri, 11/25/2005 - 5:08pm

re: 6 - Indeed. And on that higher plane of snobbery, it is known that: 1) The West Coast Offense involves Dan Fouts throwing deep downfield, not Virgil Carter dumping off to backs in the flat; and 2) The zone blitz is not supposed to be any more effective than traditional blitzes at preventing long completions (rather, the desired effect is confused QBs' throwing interceptions to defensive ends).

by Paul (not verified) :: Fri, 11/25/2005 - 5:47pm

Raider Nation: Grandiloquent moniker for the excitable legions of Oakland Raider fans who wear pirate outfits and thorny S&M shoulder pads, apply silver and black face paint, and grow Hell's Angels–style facial hair to pay homage to their favorite team, usually while drunk, shirtless, and on the lam. Though the N.F.L.'s Park Avenue–based executives wouldn't let their daughters near these goons, they love when the networks' cameras linger on Raider Nation members in order to capture the "NASCAR audience."

Any sensible person wouldn't let their daughter near a Raider fan anyways, let alone the ones who dress up. But Vanity Fair did a very good job with the article, though it does have a few outright errors.

by FastEddy (not verified) :: Fri, 11/25/2005 - 7:13pm

Absolutely priceless. Hollywood Henderson won $28 mil in a lottery after his life had fallen apart? Awesome.

Where's Vol. 1?

by James, London (not verified) :: Fri, 11/25/2005 - 8:14pm

My favourite:

"Flanker. Wide receiver who lines up off the line of scrimmage, about as far back as the quarterback but off to his side (his "flank"). The flanker is usually a tall, physical receiver who overpowers his defenders on the field and alienates his teammates off it (e.g., Randy Moss and Terrell Owens), while his complementary receiver, the split end, is more liable to be the speedy-mite type with a cocaine problem."

Priceless. The Jack Lambert 'I don't brake for Liberals' sticker is pretty good too.

by Meat Lockyard (not verified) :: Sun, 11/27/2005 - 4:48am

*This, true to the title, was written by a football snob. Did not claim "intelligent," or even "correct," mind you.

*FO is not mentioned, because no regular "Football Snob" is likely to find this site. Being intrigued by insight generally comes with humility. A snob is perfectly happy arguing with commentators and respecting Shannon Sharpe and Mike Irvin.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Sun, 11/27/2005 - 5:00pm

Here's one of the glaring errors:

With Charles Rogers healthy and the youngsters Mike and Roy Williams in the mix, the Lions could potentially have the most effective vertical passing game in football.

Only in Madden 06.

But overall, it was pretty good - as advertised, both accurate and funny.