UMaine Faculty Member, Colleague Publish Guide to College Football

UMaine Faculty Member, Colleague Publish Guide to College Football

UMaine Faculty Member, Colleague Publish Guide to College Football
ORONO -- A casual project first talked about 25 years ago by two University of Maine students became a reality this year with the recent publication of a book on the rules and nuances of college football.

"Tackling Football: A Woman's Guide to Understanding the College Game" by Sandra Caron, a UMaine professor of family relations and human sexuality, and J. Michael Hodgson, a former UMaine tight end and placekicker who recently retired after a 30-year college coaching career, was written for women who are enthusiastic about the game and want to learn more.

Although women are the primary audience, the guide is useful for anyone who wants to know more about the basics of college football, the authors say.

The guide features accessible, easy-to-digest terms, definitions and common team strategies, along with a multitude of player rules and regulations — sort of a Monarch Notes about college football. It reflects Hodgson's technical knowledge of the game and Caron's fundamental questions about procedure, logic, points and penalties during the many games she attended as a college football fan.

"I was your classic, 'Oh the whistle blew. I wonder what that means,'" Caron says. "From my own experience, many women football fans - and some men football fans, for that matter - are not well-versed enough in the intricacies of football. Most are avid spectators, but not 'knowledgeable' avid football spectators. There are very few resources that are as user-friendly and colorfully appealing."

As college students, Caron and Hodgson agreed on the need for a casual guide for women on college football, and Caron went so far as to draft an outline for the book. But then the two graduated and went separate ways  — Caron to grad school at Syracuse and a professional career as an educator and researcher, Hodgson to a college coaching career at Princeton, Central Connecticut, Maine Maritime, Edinboro University and Dartmouth.

Coincidentally, the two met at a UMaine-UNH football game in Orono last year. In the midst of catching up, the subject of the long-dormant football guide came up. Caron and Hodgson went to work on it and, this summer, the book was published at Maine College Press, Inc. Illustrated by UMaine graphic designer Val Ireland, the book is now available as an ebook, a paperback and a spiral-bound book with laminated pages for use in inclement weather during games. All are available through

UMaine head football coach Jack Cosgrove calls the book "much-needed and long overdue."

Tackling Football "is an understandable guide to not only what goes into the game, but gameday itself," says Cosgrove. It'll undoubtedly educate those with questions about the game, but who have been afraid to ask, he says.

The website has more information.

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