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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

NFL Releases Translation Guide for Theatre Fans Forced to Watch Football

Updated: Feb 13, 2022

by Erika Hakmiller. @ErikaFromMaine.

NEW YORK, NY - The National Football League released today a new, official translation guide for theatre lovers who are put in situations where they may have to watch football, sources have confirmed.

“We hope to make the sport more palatable for artists who got tricked into coming to a viewing party, or thought everyone was joking about watching the game,”  noted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at a press conference. “We hope that by equating the player’s jerseys to an actor’s costume, and each ‘down’ to the exposition scene between musical numbers, we can make the games a bit more enjoyable for everyone,” he added.

Some theatre fanatics were surprised by how easily the sport could be translated.

“I never realized how much a football team is like an ensemble, and how the quarterback is really just the show’s leading lady,” noted EMC candidate Brian Leslie. “I adore football performances, but watching the director react scream stage directions at his cast in real time is very disturbing. If my director ever yelled at me like that I would report them immediately,” he added.

Local actor Kate Stevenson, who allegedly got a callback for the Broadway production of Heathers, had a very different experience. 

“These translations literally make no goddamn sense,” noted the thespian. “In theatre we don’t just accept ‘blindsides’  - we have spike tape to prevent that. Comparing a referee to a stage manager who took an acting class? What does that even mean? B.A.’s aren’t allowed to take B.F.A. level classes,” she added.

At press time, other professional sports organizations were prepping their own translations. The NBA released a report comparing a slam dunk to a soprano’s high C, while the NHL reminded viewers that “our sport is literally ice skating”.

Find the NFL’s full list of translations below.

Team: Ensemble/Cast

National Anthem: The pre-show announcement. It’s a reminder that the show is starting soon so get ready! In the theatre this means turn off your cell phone and be quiet, but at a football game this actually means the opposite. You are encouraged to talk, yell, and be on your phone as much as you’d like

Locker Room: Green Room

Practice: Rehearsal

Halftime: Intermission

Halftime Show: There is no direct translation, but it is similar to when an elderly man who slept through the first half of the show trips on his way to the bathroom during intermission and everyone tries not to stare

NFL: Broadway

AFL: Regional Theatre that provides housing and a stipend

Blind Side: That section in the wings that (even though several requests have been made) still isn’t well lit and is a hazard for performers making their entrances and exits

Helmet: Headpiece

Touch Down: When everyone finishes their timestep simultaneously and the audience goes wild

Coach:  Director

Quarterback: The leading lady 

Referee: A stage manager who took an acting class

Backfield: Stage Crew

End Zone: Stage left or stage right

Fumble: A voice cracks. A dancer falls. A light cue is late. This is NOT GOOD

Huddle: When all of the performers come together to shower each other with compliments and love. To remind each other of the importance of theatre. To make a theatre family blood oath. 

MVP: Hamilton

Super Bowl: Tony Awards


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