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  1. #1

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    Football Questions

    I've been a football fan for 20+ years and have pretty good knowledge of the game. However, there are some terms used that I'd like to know about the origins of.

    1. "In the flat". OK, I know what area of the field "the flat" is, no problem there. I'd like to know how that area came to be called "the flat"? I mean, technically, the entire field is flat, so why is that area called "the flat"?

    2. He's a "possession receiver". I've heard this term used a million times by announcers and still don't understand what it means. Is this a receiver who can catch, but can't run very well? One who doesn't exorcise enough?

    3. The "shotgun formation". Again, I know what the formation is and why it's used. What I'd like to know is when was the term "shotgun" first used and why?

    4. The names of some of the positions. I can understand receiver, tight end, offensive lineman, linebacker etc. The ones that are confusing to me are quarterback, halfback and fullback. I have to imagine those go waaay back to the early days of football when those players lined up a quarter, half and all of the way back from something. But what?
    Also, why are O-linemen divided into two types: tackle and guard? They aren't really allowed to tackle anyone per se; that would be holding, right? So, how did the term "offensive tackle" come to be used to describe the interior linemen on the O-line?

    Some of the other weird terms, like "touchdown", go waaaaay back to the earliest of football where the rules said the ball had to touch the ground of the opponents end zone. What about the other ones above? Any ideas?

  2. #2

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    Re: Football Questions

    No guesses even? Oh well. Time to do some Googling...

  3. #3

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    Re: Football Questions

    ok, lets see if I can answer a couple of these..

    In the flat.. the term describes a play that is designed to move along the line of scrimmage, for example, a receiver stopping at the line of scrimmage and catching a ball. Called "flat" because on the grid of the field it's flat compared if the receiver went "up/down" the field making progress of moving the ball closer to the goalline.

    possesion receiver, you basically have it, he's a player that is good at catching the ball, but not neccesarily going to be a threat to run away from too many people (Cris Carter of the Vikings is perfect example when compared to Randy Moss when they were on the same team)

    shotgun formation, I"m just guessing on this, but a shotgun house is a long straight house that if you shot a gun through it'd go right through (or something like that) so since the formation is longer and still straight between the center and quarterback the name just stuck, I'm sure it was called that by a media member somewhere originally.


    offensive tackle, more of an off-shoot of Defensive Tackle, which are also the interior linemen on the defensive side. as well, Guards "guard" the edge of the line from the defenders. as for quarterback, half back and fullback, I don't have a good answer on those names

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  4. #4

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    Re: Football Questions

    Thanks, Anders! Good guesses and I'm willing to bet you're right on those!

  5. #5

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    Re: Football Questions

    dude Anders, your very well schooled in the game of warrriors,

    And you are correct sir the shotgun formation was a media term but i just cant seem to recall when first used
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  6. #6

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    Re: Football Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.DooDah
    dude Anders, your very well schooled in the game of warrriors,

    And you are correct sir the shotgun formation was a media term but i just cant seem to recall when first used
    I don't work in a field known as sports information for nothing It's amazing how much influence the media had in the early days of sports, from coming up with team nicknames to labeling postions and formations.

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