“The Quarterback Position”
Posted by disappointmentzone on 20 November 2007
Quick question: When did it become popular to say “the quarterback position”?
More important question: Is there ever a justifiable excuse for saying “the quarterback position”?
Answer Q1: Beats me.
Answer Q2: No.
I find this the most absolutely unnecessary and frustrating feature of all NFL talk today. Did coaches and announcers and analysts huddle up and decide that since they’re now referring to injuries by the body part — he’s out with a knee — that they’d take the extra information they’re saving there and add it to talking about quarterbacks?
Here is one example. During Monday’s press conference Ravens coach Brian Billick was talking about preparing his team for adversity during the season, including “a change at the quarterback position.”
Why not say a change at quarterback? What is the utility of the word position here? It’s completely redundant! Is there ever a time when the meaning of quarterback is not at least implicitly tied to the concept of a position?
A quarterback is above all else a position. The American Heritage Dictionary defines quarterback as “a player positioned behind the center who directs a team’s offensive play.” The word position is right there in the definition! That’s the A1 definition of position (i.e., location). But the 3rd definition of position is also implicit whenever we discuss quarterbacks (i.e., situation or circumstance that affects one’s power to act). Hell, why else does the NFL restrict which uniform numbers a quarterback can wear?
I’m going to start collecting unnecessary uses of the phrase ‘quarterback position’ and keep a running tally on a page here at the DZ. My prediction is that Shannon Sharp uses this phrase the most, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Steve Young is right there with him. Any help with this effort will be much appreciated.