Lindsey Tries American Football Blue Peter Bite


Lindsey Tries American Football

Lindsey tries her hand at American football with a girls' team in Leeds and discovers why the sport is growing around the world.


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LINDSEY: This is Blue Peter, but mini.

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Expect epic adventures, mates, bakes, badges,

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pets, presenters and your post.

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We've only got five minutes, so get ready for your Blue Peter adventure.

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Bright, brash and bold.

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American football is a modern sporting spectacle.

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Huge in America, it's thought more than 150 million people

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around the world watched last year's league final, the Super Bowl.

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So I want to find out why so many people love it.

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And who better to tell me, than former pros, Osi and Jason

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from the BBC's NFL Show?

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Touchdown!

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So, guys, talk to me. Why is football so great?

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Why should we all love it?

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It's a beautiful event. I mean, it's for everyone.

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Yeah, and it's a sport anybody can play, whether you're tall,

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short, big, small, you know, skinny, whatever,

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there's a position for you out there on that field.

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NFL is getting big out here, American football is getting

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big out here and we're just continuing to urge people to play.

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Feel tiny stood next to you both, but that's not an excuse, right,

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I can still play football?

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-No.

-Absolutely, you are good to go.

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That's lucky because top amateur women's team, the

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Leeds Carnegie Chargers are letting me join their ranks for the day.

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Right, team, bring it in, let's take a knee!

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First things first, I think we need to know the rules of the game.

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Take it away, Coach Connor.

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An American football pitch is 100 yards long.

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And the aim of the game is to take the ball to the opposite endzone

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in order to score a touchdown.

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Each team has 11 players on the field,

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known as offence and defence.

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The offence can move down the field by running the ball

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or throwing the ball.

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It's the defence's job to stop the other team moving down the field.

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And they stop them by tackling.

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Which I am totally not ready for,

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but there is a gentler version I can play first.

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This is flag football.

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'No tackling here.

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'By simply grabbing a player's flag, you stop them.

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'And for youth teams like Carnegies,

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'it's a great way to first play the sport.'

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It's different to other sports and it's really fun.

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Keeps me healthy.

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It's about teamwork.

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'This is great fun.'

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Boo!

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'But if I'm going to get a real taste of American football,

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'I probably need to play with some guys my own size.

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'Although they are quite a lot bigger than me.'

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-Coach, I've got my kit. I'm ready to go.

-Cool.

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-What things are you bringing to the team?

-I'm small, nifty...

-OK.

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-..fairly agile...

-Fast?

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-Yeah!

-Yeah?

-I can run quite fast.

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Well, not quite as fast as this guy.

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But carrying the ball while running is tricky.

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So Gaby here shows me how to hold it.

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Cover it, fingers either side of the nose of the ball. Tuck it in.

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Double-cuffing it, make sure your fingers go over again.

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-Oh, I see.

-So nice and tight.

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-No-one's getting it.

-No.

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'The key is not to drop the ball when tackled

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'so my grip needs to be tight.'

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Oh, my goodness, this is so intense!

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LINDSEY LAUGHS

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Ah... I think... I think the laughing made me let go.

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'Next, how to receive the ball from another player.'

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And you want your hands open like a gate.

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It's going to get slammed into your chest.

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-You cover it the same way we've just done...

-Yeah.

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..and run forward ready to take the hit.

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And hut!

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Oh, missed it.

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And hut!

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-Oh.

-That's good.

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And hut!

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-Yeah.

-Whoo.

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'I'm picking up loads, but let's be honest,

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'I'm not wearing all these pads for nothing.

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'American football is full contact and if I'm going to play,

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'I need to learn how to be tackled.'

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-We just want to have a little look at Gaby and see how it's done?

-OK.

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And hut!

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Oh!

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OK... Are you sure?

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Yeah, don't worry, you'll be fine.

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Let's do this!

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-I'm so scared. This is it, first contact.

-Ready?

-Let's do it.

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And hut!

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Ugh!

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'Oh, my days.

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'But, hey, I'm still standing.'

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Whoo-ah!

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Whoa!

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Oh, my goodness. It's like the most aggressive hug ever.

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And it's really loud on your helmet.

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You know what, I've had three tackles now,

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I think I'm ready to play.

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'Now I need to put all my new skills into practice.

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'I've been set a classic American football challenge.

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'I'll have three attempts to receive the ball at the back of the field,

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'and keeping hold of it,

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'beat the defence down the right,

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'then run the length of the field

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'and score a touchdown.

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'Easy.'

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And hut!

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Ah!

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'Oh, maybe not that easy.

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'I dropped it. I totally took my eyes off the ball.'

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-And hut!

-'Take two.

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'I catch the ball, beat the defender...'

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Oh! 'Where did she come from?!

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'What a tackle.'

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LAUGHTER

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-I'm so sorry.

-I flew.

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-Are you all right?

-Yeah, I'm fine.

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'Last chance.'

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Hut!

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'I catch it...'

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'beat one. Spot an opening.

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'She's out the way, I'm going for it now.

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'I'm still going.

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'Touchdown!

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'I'll be honest, I think they were going a little bit easy on me,

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'but I've had a great day.

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'American football. Give it a go.'

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Join in every Thursday on CBBC.

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Lindsey tries her hand at American football with a girls' team in Leeds and discovers why the sport is growing around the world.