What’s In A Name?
In the early days of football, crossing the goal line with the ball wasn’t enough. The ball had to be touched to the ground for the score to count. A touchdown remained a literal touch down until 1889, when the rule was changed to crossing the goal line was enough for a TD. (Think about it – pre-1889, spiking the ball would’ve been a fumble.)
Why “guard”? Before there was a neutral zone, defensive linemen, before the snap, would try to move the ball or harass the center (once known as the “snapperback”). A guard’s first job was to guard the center from such abuse.
Why “tackle” when an offensive tackle isn’t a tackler, he’s a blocker? Back when almost every play was an inside run, the most plays were run off-tackle (following the tackler’s block), so the most tackles took place there. Thus, “tackle.”
Why “Next to tackle”? Because that’s what they called them before someone came up with the ingenious term, “end.”
Why “rush”? Or, what do a fraternity rush and a football rush have in common? The first rushes (back in the mid-1800s) were Yale sophomores surrounding Yale freshmen, charging them, and beating the crap out of them in a hazing ritual called “Bloody Monday.” A ball was eventually introduced to Bloody Mondays, and the game of football began to evolve…all the way to Monday Night Football.