TheLocalYokel

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Jan 14, 2009
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This season I've become aware of reporters and commentators speaking of someone playing a quarter-back role in football matches here.

I don't follow American football. I've tried watching it on the telly but it seems too static for my liking with time-outs (is that the correct term?) and brief spells of action followed by more talking before the next move.

I digress. I know that a quarter-back is a position in American football (where kicking seems very much a minority activity) but I have no idea what a player in that position is expected to do. It follows that as I remain in ignorance as to the American role I cannot therefore understand how it would relate to football (or soccer as the Americans insist on calling it).

Any explanation would be appreciated.
 
This season I've become aware of reporters and commentators speaking of someone playing a quarter-back role in football matches here.

I don't follow American football. I've tried watching it on the telly but it seems too static for my liking with time-outs (is that the correct term?) and brief spells of action followed by more talking before the next move.

I digress. I know that a quarter-back is a position in American football (where kicking seems very much a minority activity) but I have no idea what a player in that position is expected to do. It follows that as I remain in ignorance as to the American role I cannot therefore understand how it would relate to football (or soccer as the Americans insist on calling it).

Any explanation would be appreciated.
He's generally the main passer of the ball, decides a lot of the plays and directs the attack of the team and the defence as there is also a defensive quarter back i believe. Similar to the no 10 in rugby. He's the general of the side.
I'd imagine in football he'd be a midfielder.
 
I suspect it's an 'Americanism' that's crossed the pond. Americans familiar with their sports will use familiar terms to describe play and positions in less familiar sports (just look up 'Americans describing cricket' on youtube (they use baseball terms all over the place). This has probably been picked up by a few UK football fans and confused the rest of us.
I do find it sad that many English words or terms are being overtaken by American versions. The one I hate the most, is 'airplane' instead of 'aeroplane'. This is now being heard in many UK produced documentaries.

Kevin
 
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He's generally the main passer of the ball, decides a lot of the plays and directs the attack of the team and the defence as there is also a defensive quarter back i believe. Similar to the no 10 in rugby. He's the general of the side.
I'd imagine in football he'd be a midfielder.

Many thanks, Jerry. Sounds very similar to what in football (association code) is called the playmaker.


I suspect it's an 'Americanism' that's crossed the pond. Americans familiar with their sports will use familiar terms to describe play and positions in less familiar sports (just look up 'Americans describing cricket' on youtube (they use baseball terms all over the place). This has probably been picked up by a few UK football fans and confused the rest of us.
I do find it sad that many English words or terms are being overtaken by American versions. The one I hate the most, is 'airplane' instead of 'aeroplane'. This is now being heard in many UK produced documentaries.
Kevin

Don't get me going on Americanisms. I'd be typing for a week.

As I mentioned to Jerry it sounds as though it's the playmaker in round-ball football. Why some British people (a lot it seems) have to slavishly follow Americanisms in so many instances, I just can't fathom.

Many sports commentators seem to drop down to the lowest level when speaking to the public - I don't know if they are told to do so by their directors or whoever. One that always makes me squirm is the comment about 'back-to-back' victories or defeats. There is a perfectly adequate word in English - consecutive.

Then we often hear managers and players when talking about a match say they are confident of 'getting a result'. Short of the game being abandoned part-way through or cancelled or postponed of course they will. They will either win, lose or draw.

I'm probably a curmudgeon but English can be such a beautiful language in the pen or voice of those with the ability that I think it's such a shame that it is regularly being strangled, even by some who are supposedly professional writers or broadcasters.
 
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For those of a certain age who can remember the term half back (midfielder in todays terms ) it's obvious that a quarter back is half of a half back easy really.
I remember Michael Parkinson reminiscing in the 1980s about football in the 1950s and he asked where all the bald-headed half-backs had gone. Since the 80s of course many players are bald-headed but most from choice as they seem to favour the all-over razor around the head.

Centre-half is now centre-back, the wing halves and inside forwards are various types of midfielder, the full-backs and wingers (when there are any) now seem to vary; sometimes defenders, sometimes wing-backs and even auxiliary strikers at times. The centre-forward is now often the lone striker.

As for goalkeepers, they now all seem to have changed career and become chefs if the oven gloves they wear are anything to go by. In the 'old days' goalkeepers only wore gloves when the ball was wet and then only knitted ones that their gran had probably produced.

I'm not saying that the standard of football was better then because it clearly wasn't, but I'd love to see Ronaldo et al playing with an old leather T-ball (at a higher pressure than footballs are nowadays) on a mudheap wearing the rigid almost worker-type boots that were once standard equipment. Make that ball swerve and dip Mr R, and goalkeepers see how far you can punt it. You'd be doing well to clear the halfway line.
 
I thought a comparable position might be the "sweeper", the ball-playing defender who mops up behind the centre-backs and steps forward to pick out through-balls and start counter-attacks, although that role now seems to have disappeared altogether, with the top teams favouring the so-called "sweeper-keeper".

I suspect the relevance of a keeper with good ball skills has been heightened by the developments in equipment as mentioned above although the abolition of the back-pass is probably a much greater factor.
 
The devlopment of the modern football has resulted in something that hardly resembles the old leather one which would greatly increase in weight on wet days, also today's pitches are immaculate I recently attended a function at Walsall Football Club and my wife said it looked like a billiard table and thats at what used to be called a third division ground. It certainly did not look like the old Baseball ground at Derby. Today's player would have a wobbly if they had to play on some of the old pitches.

Along with the fitness of todays players the game is much changed clubs ahave much more intelligence of oppositions abilities and tactics these days and generally more subtle when it comes to committing fouls, at times in the past it seemed to be a choice of which leg do I try to break or more likely simply just flatten him.

I still enjoy the game though and some of modern camera work is superb.
 
Goalkeepers these days all appear to be from the land of the giants. 6' 4" seems a moderately-sized keeper at top level. Many are 6' 6" or even taller although getting down to low shots from such a height must be more difficult.

My football education began in the 1950s when a 6' goalkeeper was considered tall even at professional level. Indeed, in the 50s and early 60s England had a succession of keepers who were 5' 8" or 5' 9": Bert Williams, Alan Hodgkinson, Eddie Hopkinson and Ron Springett for starters with the latter very appropriately named.

In those days keepers in Britain had little protection and were regularly shoulder charged by opposing players so long as they were in possession of the ball and had both feet on the ground which the laws of the game allowed. Some of the charges would not only see a red card these days but probably a lengthy ban as well. Two shocking examples occurred in the 1957 and 1958 FA Cup finals.

There was no protection at all if the keeper dropped the ball in a crowded goal area following a corner. Today refs almost always seem to see an infringement when a keeper drops the ball in such circumstances, sometimes when a replay shows he has collided with one of his own defenders. Keepers of yesteryear had to quickly decide whether to punch or catch a centre knowing if they plumped for the latter they stood a good chance of being flattened if they were not quick on their feet with the ref seeing nothing wrong.

As a young man I had dreams of a pro career. I was a goalkeeper at 5' 10", a reasonable height in those days. Like many youngsters my early promise failed to develop sufficiently and I finished up playing for a while in a rather mediocre semi-professional league before work and other responsibilities led me to cease playing by my mid 20s.

I used to study keepers whenever I could get to a league match so always stood behind a goal to watch the game.

Although people are far bigger these days, especially keepers, the dimensions of the goal remain unchanged.
 

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