The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

Breaking: American Twentysomething Watches First Football Game

Leo Kerz
A creative interpretation of journalist Sophia Lindstrom watching her first football game.

Introduction: Journey to the Superbowl

A common refrain among Scarlet staff members is that our paper is sponsored by the sports gambling platform FanDuel. This is egregiously false, but it is indicative of our dedication to high quality sports reporting. In past issues our talented sports writers have covered Clark University sports events, local teams like the Worcester Railers, and venues including Polar Park. What The Scarlet has yet to accomplish is a full review of an entire month’s worth of National Football League (NFL) games by someone who has never watched professional football. Today, then, we make history.

I began watching football about three weeks ago to bond with my cousin, who is a walking football encyclopedia, and wrote this article to hold myself accountable–and to satisfy The Scarlet’s many loyal fans. Enclosed are my thoughts regarding three games: Kansas City versus Miami, Green Bay versus San Francisco, and Kansas City versus Buffalo. 

Step one was learning how the football postseason works. Fourteen teams in the NFL qualify for the postseason. The team with the highest win-to-loss ratio in each division, bar tiebreakers, qualifies for the postseason automatically, and the three remaining spots in each conference are Wild Card teams. In conclusion, it’s anyone’s game–I just had to see what these games looked like. 

Game The First: Kansas City Chiefs Versus Miami Dolphins

Although the Dolphins lost to the Chiefs 26-7, Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill stood out. He and Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa worked together to secure the Dolphins’s only touchdown, and he was a core member in most of the team’s major plays. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, meanwhile, dropped multiple passes. These, according to my cousin, are not fumbles but “incompletes” – whatever that means.

Still, the Chiefs were the stronger team. Running back Isaiah Pacheko’s contribution to the Chief’s first touchdown of the game was a highlight–you thought he was down, and then he wasn’t, and suddenly he’d made it past multiple defenders to the ten yard line. Rookie Rashee Rice’s touchdown and Mike Edwards’s interception of a pass by Tagovailoa were also notable. In fact, Rice, who is a Chiefs wide receiver, was highlighted multiple times for his catches from quarterback Patrick Mahomes. 

All of this was complicated by the fact that it was -7 degrees when the game was being played with a windchill that made it feel like -27 degrees, making it the fourth-coldest game in NFL history. Look, I understand that football is adored in this country, but do people truly care enough to sit outside in this sort of weather? Perhaps my cousin does.

Taylor Swift appeared on screen three times. 4/5 stars. 

Game The Second: Green Bay Packers Versus San Francisco 49ers

As someone who has spent time in both Minnesota and (shudder) Wisconsin, I’m allowed to say that Wisconsin and the Packers are a scourge upon this earth. Does this make me a 49ers fan? 

A highlight from the first quarter came from cornerback Charvarius Ward of the 49ers, who blocked a touchdown attempt from the endzone by interfering with a pass thrown from twenty yards away. Wide receiver Jauan Jennings of the 49ers also converted a first down with a reception in the second quarter – turning what looked like a defensive slugfest for the 49ers into an offensive one as they encroached on Green Bay’s territory. This led to a touchdown by tight end George Kittle from San Francisco with eight minutes left in the half. 

As the Packers began to regain ground, Quarterback Jordan Love threw a ball to wide receiver Romeo Doubs from the 30 yard line that was caught at the 10 yard line – setting up a Packers field goal. A last-minute field goal attempt by the 49ers missed, making the score 6-7 for San Francisco at the end of the half. 

There were three touchdowns in the third quarter, one from San Francisco and two from Green Bay. This made for a fast-paced third quarter, culminating in rookie 49er Jake Moody’s 52-yard field goal. 

I spent the fourth quarter hoping the 49ers would pull ahead, as the Packers led 21-17. There was hope when the Packers missed a field goal, and the final touchdown for the 49ers with just over one minute left clinched the deal. 

Not only did Wisconsin lose, but this was a really exciting game that got me excited about football–even with no appearances from Taylor Swift. 5/5 stars. 

Game The Third: Kansas City Chiefs Versus Buffalo Bills

Hallelujah! Another opportunity to see Taylor Swift! Angels sing from on high. 

I tuned in during the second quarter, at which point the Chiefs had just scored their second field goal, making the score 6-10 in favor of the Bills. Soon after, Clyde Edwards-Helaire from Kansas City made a big play when he rushed from the 50 to the 22 yard line – allowing Travis Kelce to cap off the drive with a touchdown.

The Bills put together a strong string of plays just before halftime; Josh Allen, number 17, faked throwing the ball before rushing from the 40 yard line to the 10 yard line in a play that surprised the Chief’s defense. Bills player Khalil Shakir made a legal but highly-disputed catch at the 1 ½ half yard line, guaranteeing a touchdown by the Bills at the very end of the first half. 

Travis Kelce’s second touchdown came in the third quarter as he was being pursued to the very corner of the field by three defenders–what a comeback from all those “incompletes”! What made this game especially exciting, though, was the many lead changes. The team that was in the lead changed three times in just over six minutes, making it a high-scoring game of 27-24 in favor of the Chiefs.

Taylor Swift appeared on screen for both of Kelce’s touchdowns. 5/5 stars. 

So what’s next for the NFL? I was wondering the same thing. The Kansas City Chiefs will be playing the Baltimore Ravens on 1/28 at 3:00 p.m. in the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game and the Detroit Lions will face the San Francisco 49ers on the same day at 6:30 p.m. in the National Football Conference Championship Game. 

Of course, my quest toward understanding football is not complete. This year I plan to actually watch the Super Bowl, not just the halftime show. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope that the Chiefs win!

I give American football four out of five stars.

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  • Sam ~ Jan 27, 2024 at 4:39 pm


  • Sam ~ Jan 27, 2024 at 4:39 pm


  • Nan Hughes ~ Jan 27, 2024 at 4:31 pm

    Great article love touches of humor and well written facts.

    • Sophia Lindstrom ~ Jan 28, 2024 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks grandma <3