In one of my favorite weekly sports columns, Tuesday Morning Quarterback Gregg Easterbrook mentions (invents?) a very interesting concept for Football: The Maroon Zone.

Everyone knows what the Red Zone is - the area between your opponents 20 and the end zone where you NEED to score, or you suck. The Maroon Zone is the are between your opponents 40 and 30 where drives go to die. If you do not get a first down and get out of that area, you're stuck. It's a little too far for a field goal; A turnover on downs gives your opponent good field position; A punt is pathetic.

Football statistics don't normally interest me much - with a 16 game season the sample sizes tend to be small, and teams don't all play each other so lots of the statistics seem skewed by who your competition was. Regardless this seems like a great concept, and something I'll be sure to look for next time I watch football. Greggs column in general has really improved my grasp of the game, and changed what I find interesting. Look for his sections like "stop me before I blitz again" or "High school play of the week", they're great, even though I don't always agree with his statistical analysis.



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