Creating jokes using football’s vocabulary
material for joke writing
Richard Linde, 16 May 2005
American football has developed a culture of its own as
illustrated by its lexicon of strange phrases and terms. Many of the words,
phrases and terms from football – such as shotgun -- have other meanings
in the English language.
Why not borrow on this heritage of weird terms and double
meanings to create jokes that use puns. A joke is something said or done to
provoke laughter; the trick is to use a pun, a play on words, to provoke
laughter. Not all puns elicit laughter – maybe, a groan instead (say, a punch
below the belt: a groan injury, as in groin). So, let the pun fit the recipient.
Over the Internet, jokes are sent from person to person via
e-mail. But somewhere along the line somebody had to make up these jokes. Now
you can be punny, too, starting with the material below.
The point of all of this is to find a way to get back at
all those friends of yours who e-mail you jokes over the internet. What better
way to do that than by e-mailing them jokes with puns?
Here are some puns from football’s
vocabulary. Each pun can be used as a punch line in a joke.
Aside: You don't need to credit me with this
- “Under a red dog, Sam Schnauzer delivered a
pooch.” E-mail that to a veterinarian.
- “John Dillinger made a one-handed stab.” Send
that to a criminologist.
- “On a hook and ladder, Williams stopped the
bleeding.” E-mail that to either a fireman or a paramedic.
- Using the shotgun, Sonny Sixkiller rifled a
split end on a curl. E-mail that to a hairdresser with football
- “The final score rests in the trenches.” The
field has been dug up? E-mail that to a ditch-or-grave digger.
- “He boots a small squib” He puts a small
firecracker in a boot? Send that to a pyrotechnic.
- “After the jail break fizzled, the chain gang
came on.” Is the game being played in a prison yard? Send that to a guy who
has done a nickel to a dime (puns intended).
- “Mike and Sam spilled the Juice.”
Are Mike and Sam sloppy boys? E-mail that to a football nut. He’ll get the
- “Cody Spaghetti likes to throw to his go-to
guy.” Send that to a computer programmer. It’s a pun on spaghetti code with
too many goto statements.
- “Speaking through his bird cage, Robin Parrot
audiblized.” You know, face mask. E-mail that to Aunt Polly.
- “Thanks to his offense, Coach Carroll’s
defense rests.” Coach Carroll is on trial for what minor offense? Send
that to a mouthpiece (pun intended) from ‘SC, e.g., Rick Neuheisel, the
former Washington coach.
- “Running a bootleg, Jay Gatsby delivered a
fumblewhooskie.” Pun on fumblerooskie and Gatby’s alleged bootlegging.
E-mail that to a high school kid who likes football and has taken American
2. Using a pun as a punch line in a joke.
A pun can function as a punch line in a joke. Didn't know
that did you? Here’s an
example taken from the list in 1 above.
Coach Willingham: “Isaiah,
your hair is looking frowzy. You need to get a haircut.”
Isaiah: “Every time I try to
cut my hair I miss the mark.”
Coach Willingham: “What?”
Isaiah: “Every time I’m in
the shotgun, I overshoot a split end on a curl.”
3. Using a pun in personification
According to NY Times
columnist Bill Safire, walk has a history of successful suffixing. A
walk-on is a short non-speaking part for an actor; however, in college
sports a walk-on is a player invited to participate in practices sans the
university scholarship normally given a player.
Using personification, color commentator Chuck Nelson might
say, “The walk-on’s role was scripted by the third quarter.”
Headline writers on sports pages are punny when they
can get away with it. This site is infamous for the puns in its headlines.
Aside: I threw Safire in to sound heady. In fact,
I'm linking Safire to this article. He's always looking for new material. And
Nelson, too. He'll get a kick out of it-rrl.
4. Football terms and their definitions. Some examples.
Aside: You need to establish your credentials
as an expert -rrl.
-- Clutch is
something made or done in a crucial situation, as in a clutch catch.
-- A one-handed stab could be a clutch catch,
but it is made with one hand.
-- Pick is derived from picked-off -- the
quarterback’s throw being intercepted. He was picked off by the cornerback.
The corner had three picks on the game. A pick could be an
offensive maneuver in which two receivers cross and one bumps the defender of
-- Turnover refers to a fumble or interception that
loses possession of the ball, not “reorganization with a view to a shift in
personnel.” Turn over (two words) may refer to the flight dynamics of a
-- Trap is a play in which a defensive player is
allowed to cross the line of scrimmage and then is blocked from the side, say by
the tight end, while the ballcarrier advances through the spot vacated by the
-- Curl is a pass route
where the receiver runs downfield before turning back to run towards the line of
5. A list of football terms
with double meanings.
You get the idea. But as you can
see you have to know the meanings of the terms before you can pun them.
Here’s a partial list of football terms that can be used as
puns. Make up your own puns, convert them into punch lines and jokes and send
them to that annoying jokester on the Internet.
This list goes on and on: audible; bird cage; blindside;
blitz; bomb; bootleg; buttonhook; chain gang; clutch; counter; crack-back; curl;
cut; dime; flea flicker; flood; gap; groin; gunner; Hail Mary; hash; hitch; hook
and ladder; jail break; juice, key; lateral; Mike; motion; mousetrap;
mouthpiece; nickel; nose; option; penetration; pitch; pooch; post; punt; red dog; redshirt; red zone; sack; Sam; scheme, scramble; scrimmage, seam, skinny post;
slant; spike; snap; squib; split end; spread; stab; Statue of Liberty; stunt;
suicide; tight end; trap; trenches; turn in; turnover; veer; upright, wide
receiver; wounded duck, and zone.
You don’t know the meaning of these terms? Then go-to this
Aside: I'm out of here --rrl.
Richard Linde (a.k.a., Malamute) can be reached at