Where Did The Name Quarterback Come From?

Men everywhere have been counting down the days to the start of the NFL season. The wait is nearly over.

Tomorrow night the defending champion New England Patriots take on the Pittsburgh Steelers to kick off the new season. Gone are the days of talking about the draft, the preseason and Deflate-gate. We can finally turn our attention to the games that matter.

But that is tomorrow.

Today, I want to talk about something else that really doesn’t matter. I have a question about the quarterback. No, I am not wondering who the best fantasy football quarterback is. I don’t even care who the greatest quarterback of all time is.

I am wondering where the name “quarterback” came from. Why quarter? Why not penny, dime or nickel? Imagine how many more people would admit to liking Nickelback if the name referred to the most important position in football.

Where Did The Name Quarterback Come From?

The name “quarterback” predates American football. The term was born with 19th century rugby football, which featured players at different depths behind the bulk of players. The positions were half back, three quarters back, and full back, according to English and Scottish nomenclature, or quarter back, half back, and full back in the Irish nomenclature.

The Irish nomenclature of quarter back, half back, and full back came to North America for use in what was to become the dominant native form of football. The terms became hyphenated and eventually unhyphenated single words, “quarterback” (QB), “halfback” (HB), and “fullback” (FB).

Fun Quarterback Facts:

– Originally, the quarterback was not allowed to run forward of the line of scrimmage.

– The exchange between the person snapping the ball (typically the center) and the quarterback was initially an awkward one because it involved a kick. At first, centers gave the ball a small boot, and then picked it up and handed it to the quarterback.

– The forward pass was not legalized in American football until 1906


Sources: Wikipedia & Wikipedia

Photo credit: Wikipedia