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'Football addicts' help women understand the game's basics in a snap

  • Written by Kelly White

Blitz, touchdown, snap, holding and overtime.

If these words don’t mean anything to you, it may be time to visit self-professed football addicts Donna Terrell and Robin Beavers for a lesson on the game of football.

The two women presented at the Oak Lawn Public Library, 9427 Raymond Ave., on Jan. 20 to prove football is far from being just a man’s sport.

“I have been a football fan since I was about 10 years old,” said Robin Beavers, a librarian at Grande Prairie Public Library in Hazel Crest.

Beavers met Terrell, a patron at Grande Prairie Public Library, and the two quickly learned they both shared a passion for football. After a few discussions, they decided to venture out and inform other women about the sport. In the past four years, they have visited numerous local area libraries teaching their one-day class, “Football in a Snap!”

“It’s called Football in a Snap because snap is a football term and it also means quick,” Terrell said. “We can teach all the key points of football in just one evening, and it’s the perfect time because it’s right before the Super Bowl.”

Casual local area football fans and beginners, made up of all women, listened as the two taught the concepts of the game, terminology, rules, player positions and more.

Oak Lawn Public Library Director of Adult Services, Mary Williams, introduced Terrell and Beavers and admitted her own football faults.

“If I was not working tonight, I would be sitting right in the audience to learn more about the game,” she said.

Terrell and Beavers taught their basics pro football class reminding women whether it’s the beginning of the season or the championship game, the object of football remains the same. There are 11 men on offense trying to throw, run and kick their way into their opponent’s end zone as often as possible, while 11 men on defense are trying to stop them.

The two also gave a football history lesson to the group. The first Super Bowl ever was played between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs in 1967. The Super Bowl winning team earns the Lombardi Trophy, named for the famed Green Bay Packer’s coach, Vince Lombardi. And, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys have been to the Super Bowl more than any other teams.

Team loyalties vary between the two, as Terrell remains a Chicago Bears fan. Beavers has a different background story.

“I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, making me a Cleveland Browns fan, when I came to Chicago 27 years ago. I do watch the Chicago Bears. However, I am a Green Bay Packers fan, which I know is frowned upon here,” Beavers said.

Beavers’ interest in football stemmed from watching it with her father as a child and continued to grow over the years.

Like Beavers, Terrell’s interest also sparked watching football games at a young age with her father.

“I would ask him questions while watching Sunday games together, and then in high school, I used what I knew about football as a way to talk to boys,” Terrell said. “It is a great conversation starter.”

Terrell read books and continued to learn more about the game, permitting her to have more complicated conversations about the game with her father as she grew up.

“It wasn’t just about this team or that team anymore,” she said. “I was asking questions about pass interferences, false starts and incomplete passes. The more I learned, the more my love for football grew and it still continues to grow.”

Super Bowl 50, which will feature the AFC’s Denver Broncos against the NFC’s Carolina Panthers, is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 7 at Levi’ Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.