First Thing's First and Ten

Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game (AND the Player)

While sipping your Manhattan at a bar/club/restaurant (all of the above!), has a strange(r) man ever approached you to debate any of the following?

  • ESP and its possibility or impossibility
  • How he met a bear while hiking
  • The time he was in the hospital and how it changed the way food tastes or the way birds sound clearer to him now
  • The time he hacked into a bank but chickened out and put the money into a charity
  • The time he accompanied his friend to visit a girl and his buddy was almost beaten to death when the girl he visited had a boyfriend who came out and there was a twenty-minute car chase through lights and he was looking for the cops but lost the crazed boyfriend before he found any

If so, you are a victim of The Game! If you are of legal dating age in America, I’m sure you’ve heard guys around you whisper about ‘The Game’, which is essentially the male equivalent of ‘The Rules’… Tricks and schemes to capture the attention of (sleep with) attractive girls. These tricks are intended to knock a girl down, reward her, then push her away again until ‘mutual respect’ has been established. Some of the language used to describe this is ‘Bait – Hook – Reel – Release’.

I swore on my mother’s unborn grandchildren that I was WAYYYYYY too smart to fall for some set of rehearsed tricks in some bar… And then it happened to me. These games have an infuriating success rate, at least initially. However… a well-rehearsed, acting-gentleman does not a gentleman make! I know players of The Game argue that it’s not a malicious undertaking, but The Game employs scripts and tricks, and I don’t like being tricked. Neither does an NFL defense, but trick plays make for some of the most exciting viewing on the field. What follows is a few trick football plays and their counterparts in the real world. It’s called “playing the field” for a reason…

THE NEG: (from the book) verb, noun: a statement or action made to briefly and without insult disqualify oneself from being perceived as a potential suitor. Usage: to be negged, to throw negs, to master negging.

I call rotten neggs. This tactic is based on the theory that if you ‘neg’ a girl, you are asserting a ‘demonstrated higher value’. A neg is a compliment that engages and then flips to insult.

Examples (from the book):
-“That’s a nice hairstyle. Is that your real hair?”
-“I like that dress. I remember seeing you at a club before and you were wearing the same dress. It is nice, though.”
-“Wow. You really wrecked a moment. Your ex-boyfriends must have hated you for that.”
-“You have eye boogers.”

On the field, this is the Fake Punt. The play sets itself up like an offering of the ball to the other team, but flips at the last minute so the punter can make a last-ditch effort to save a team’s offensive drive. On fourth down, the team on offense is out of tries to get 10 yards and a fresh set of downs. If they are outside field goal distance, they will punt the ball down field in order to give the opposing team worse field position for starting their offensive drive. A team outside of field goal range is a team very close to the opposing team’s goal line. In a fake punt, the offense sets up to punt the ball but instead the punter will run with the ball, snap the ball to a running back for a rush, or pass to a receiver. When it works, it’s amazing, and keeps a team’s offensive drive alive and a man closer to closing the deal.

Best case scenario looks like this:

It’s usually deemed too risky, however, since a failed fake punt can give the opposing team incredible field position when they take over on the next play, as evidenced here:

Instead of kicking the ball away, the Jets take over at the Patriots 30-ish yard line, meaning the Jets now have only 30-ish yards to go before they score (and in that case – they did).

LOCK-IN PROPS: (from the book) “While you’re in the middle of actively ignoring your target by negging her, she could unexpectedly leave the group. To prevent this, you can lock her in using a prop. Put your scarf or hat on her or hand her your photos and ask her to hold them for a second. Now you have her locked in… By showing that you trust her with your prop – which she could steal – you also build her trust in you.”

This play is based on distraction and preoccupation, forcing the girl to deal with a ‘prop’ before she has a chance to deal with the ‘douchebag’, which buys said douchebag about 3 more minutes of attempt. In football, the Flea Flicker is also based on distraction and deception, but luckily for a defense, requires much more skill to be effective. It also requires a very strong offensive line, since the play takes longer to develop, which is why it’s one of the riskier plays to call. Similarly, I’d imagine any guy using lock-in props will fare far better if his wing man is a real catch in the looks/personality department to give the girl a reason to hang around while the player fiddles with his camera phone or steals his scarf.

A successful Flea Flicker works thusly; After the snap, the quarterback hands the ball to a running back, which will cause the defense to run their coverage as if the offense has chosen a running play. Before crossing the line of scrimmage, however, the running back tosses the ball back to the quarterback, who then throws it to a receiver. When it works, it looks like this (this is college football, yes, but this is also Andrew Luck at QB, the most heralded prospect in years and the namesake behind the NFL’s “Suck for Luck” campaign):

PAWN: This is the worst of all Game plays. As the book so charmingly states, the pawn game uses a “7” to get a “10” which, as far as dirty tricks go, is yesterday’s garbage. The theory posited in the book states “With women of a particular quality, it’s often necessary to demonstrate preselection when gaming them”. This play asks the gamer to ‘open’ (run game) on a 7, attract her and ‘put her on your arm’, because she is now the guy’s ‘good-natured pawn’.

Okay, so BEST CASE SCENARIO, this is an enormous detour that risks the guy getting his ass handed to him on a spoon by two women instead of just the one. In a way, the End-Around can be a similarly risky play for very little reward. In an End-Around, a receiver lines up on the end of the line of scrimmage and runs across the line right after the snap to receive a handoff from the quarterback. He then continues to run with the ball all the way around the line of scrimmage or will pass it off to another eligible receiver. It’s a trick play because it uses the receiver as a runner and employs misdirection to confuse the defense. The trouble is that it requires a lot of lateral movement on the part of the ball carrier before he can charge down field toward the goal line. Here’s what it looks like when it works:

TO WRAP THINGS UP… If a guy is able to successfully Game you, he will be pulling off the equivalent of a quarterback sneak… Before you know it, he’s kino-pinging (an expression of growing attraction between two people that starts with verbal jousting and escalates to light playful pushing) you into a bounce (you and the guy changing venues together) to a margarita bar, which culminates in the fulfillment of the seven-hour rule (the average length of cumulative comfort building it takes before a woman is ready for seduction) and you’re waking up next to this guy:

In football, the quarterback sneak has the quarterback holding the ball and rushing through the line of scrimmage himself. It works when it successfully surprises a defense, getting the ball moving before they can asses the play. It’s risky and dangerous for the safety of the quarterback, though, since it leaves him unprotected. To finish the column on an adorable note and rid your mind of fur-trimmed top hats, here’s the best quarterback sneak anyone has ever seen:

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