The roster is typically made up of a humungous 53 players in the USA, the home of American Football. Among such a large collection of elite athletes, the magnified role of a quarterback is often a mystifying puzzle for many uninitiated fans.
There is no doubting the fact that Football is a hard boiled team sport that runs on the legs of gladiatorial athletes with remarkable physical strength, agility and stamina.
While the defensive and offensive lines play a crucial role in facilitating play, there is no doubt that the QB has the greatest opportunity to drive the game and hence influence the course of a contest.
Just imagine this for a moment – with over a dozen warriors locked in beefy battle at the line of scrimmage, a quarterback has less than four seconds to determine the best course of action.
Under normal circumstances, that should be no real challenge. But the scrimmage is no ordinary play. As soon as the centre snaps the ball back, the QB starts living in an explosive pocket of space that is moments from being attacked.
The QB needs to determine whether it is best to step in and deliver to the outlying receivers or step up and run with the ball. As he is making up his mind though, inside those precious seconds, at least a couple of nearly 200 pound bodies come blazing at him with fearsome momentum.
It takes a special kind of skill to be able to exercise cerebral cells, when it is nearly certain that a couple of beefy players will come crashing into him with demonic force.
The ability to understand whether there is room to run or if there is wisdom in making the pass under such extreme duress makes the quarterback a very unique athlete in the team. In many ways, it is only fair that the QB has a status that is first among equals.
The ability to construct play when it is nearly certain that he is about to be pounded into the soil by beastly force calls for enormous calm, reflexes, strong vision and a steady arm. Most importantly, the QB is expected to deliver a meaningful ball in the face of certain pounding, a far from easy task.
Naturally, such exhibition of courage, leadership, understanding and strength comes in for special praise from those that love and follow the game of American football.