Friday, July 16, 2021

"A Quarter Back" - a Visual Football Pun (1893)


Life Magazine, Volume 21, Number 543, May 25, 1893, page 341.


See my other football related posts:

Jim Thorpe Punts, Catches and Scores Touchdown on the Same Play – Myth or Legend?

Spoiler alert – it’s likely true, but not in the way you may think. 


Skyrockets, the Transatlantic Cable and Pre-Civil War Militia – the Explosive History of Sis! Boom! Bah!

The cheer is onomatopoeia for the sound of the burning fuse, launch and explosion of fireworks.  It was likely invented at Princeton, during celebrations for the completion of the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable in 1858.

President Grover Cleveland


Soccer – America’s Future – and Past.

Soccer football has been threatening (and failing) to replace “real” football as America’s favorite football for more than a century.



Grantland Rice, Josh Billings and Arthur Schopenhauer – the Win-or-Lose History of “How You Play the Game.”

The expression, “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game,” was popularized in Grantland Rice’s poem, “Alumnus Football.”  But the sentiment of the expression can be traced back to card-game similes by the American humorist, Josh Billings, and the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer.



“American Football” came from . . . . Canada?

Association football may have become the dominant form of football in the United States, if not for a visiting McGill University team that introduce the Rugby rules to Harvard in 1874.

Harvard vs. McGill - 1874


Grandstands, Armchairs and Drugstores – Second-Guessing the Origin of “Monday Morning Quarterback”.

The idiom “Monday Morning Quarterback” was preceded by several other similar expressions. 

TV Quarterback


From Stuhldreher to Castner and Crowley to Staubach – a Last-Second History of the “Hail Mary Pass.”

The history of the expression, “Hail Mary,” in football, begins with one Knut Rockne’s Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, who later played for the Packers and coached Vince Lombardi during his playing days at Fordham.

The first "Hail Mary?"


An American Football Idiom – from Canada?!? – a History and Etymology of “Moving the Goalposts.”

The idiom, “to move the goalposts,” first caught on in Canada, where they play their own version of “American” football.

Moving the goalposts - literally.


A History of the “First Rose Bowl” – 1890, 1902, 1916 or 1923?

The answer to the question, “When was the ‘first’ ‘Rose Bowl’ played,” depends on what is meant by “Rose Bowl.”  But the first football game ever played during a Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California, was played during the first-ever Tournament of Roses in 1890, which might arguably be considered the first “Rose Bowl.”

Michigan 49 - Stanford 0; 1902.


Why the University of Florida are “Gators.”

 Sportswriters in Columbia, South Carolina first called the University of Florida football team “Alligators” following a 6-6 tie in 1911.  The UF student body adopted the name as their own the following spring, and the team were referred to as “Gators,” as well as “Alligators,” the following season. 


Tigers and Bulldogs and Gators, Oh My! – a History of the University of Florida’s “Gator Bait” Cheer.

The University of Florida banned its “Gator Bait” cheer because of an association with an archaic, racist idiom, but cheers involving the “eating” of opponents has older precedents, including cheers for the Yale Bulldogs and Princeton Tigers.






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