This is a football. A football is made of leather. The laces (the white strings) help provide a better grip for throwing it.
Good football players are honored and celebrated in American culture.
Football players wear a lot of gear: helmets, shoulder pads, and kneepads help to protect the body.
Football player are allowed to run with the ball.
They may also throw the ball. The quarterback is usually the person who throws it.
Players can tackle or block each other when the ball is in play.
grip: the manner in which something is held by the hand.
injury: the body is hurt; physical harm
half-time break: the time between the second and third quarters of the game when the two teams rest. The half-time break includes entertainment for the fans in the form of music and dancing.
out of bounds: outside the allowed area for playing the game. Going out of bounds results in stopping the clock.
pastime: a sport or other form of recreation.
American football is very popular in the United States. By some accounts, it beats out baseball as the national pastime. It's usually played in the fall after the baseball season is over. Two teams play four 15-minute quarters for a total of one hour; however, the clock is often stopped for many different reasons including timeouts, running out of bounds, penalties, breaks between quarters, and a half-time break. Televised games often last about three hours.
Football is played on a field that is 100 yards in length--just a little smaller than a soccer field. There's a goalpost located at each end of the field in an area called "the end zone." The object of the game is to score a touchdown by getting the ball into the end zone. A touchdown is worth six points. An extra point can be scored by kicking the ball through the goalposts after a touchdown. Teams may also attempt a field goal if a touchdown seems to difficult to achieve. Field goals are made by kicking the ball through the goalposts from a long distance. Field goals are worth three points.
Football is a tough game with a lot of injuries, so teams play only one game per week during the regular season between August and January. Players on offense and defense are allowed to knock each other down to the ground in order to prevent the other side from gaining any sort of advantage on the field. This is called "tackling." Although tackling makes football a rough sport, rules for tackling an opponent must be followed; otherwise, penalties are called against teams that don't follow the rules.
The end of the professional football season is marked by the Superbowl, a game that features the two best football teams in the country. The Superbowl is one of the most popular sporting events of the year. Many Americans have Superbowl parties in their homes and watch the game with family and friends. There is a lot of food served at these parties. There are also many different beverages including beer, wine, and pop.
In addition to watching the game on the field, many people pay attention to the television commercials during the Superbowl. In fact, some people pay more attention to the commercials and the half-time break than they do to the football game. On the Monday following the Superbowl, everyone talks about who won and who lost, and they talk about the TV commercials that they liked the most. Some commercials are produced only to be broadcast during the Superbowl game and are never seen on television again.