ANSWER GUY: WHY IS IT CALLED "THE SHOTGUN?"
Returning the bird of confusion to the bush of certainty at no extra charge!
Chad Millman, senior editor, NFL, ESPN The Magazine: Because you've gotta fire it out of there. Fire what out of where? The ball off the line of scrimmage. Who, the quarterback? No, the center. Then why isn't a punt or a field goal called the shotgun? You ask too many questions. You think? Saleem Choudhry, researcher, Pro Football Hall of Fame: On Nov. 27, 1960, 49ers coach Red Hickey used it for the first time to avoid the Colts pass rush. Bob Waters, the QB filling in for the injured John Brodie, took the snap seven yards deep instead of under center. Radical. The Niners won 30-22 and kept using the shotgun when Brodie came back, so he became known as the man who pulled the trigger on the shotgun. Catchy. So why is it called the shotgun? Mike Hickey, vice president, Morgan Stanley, son of Red Hickey: It developed out of necessity. The Colts had some nasty folks: Gino Marchetti, Big Daddy Lipscomb. They could make life miserable. You had to keep them huffing and puffing. To blow the defense down? Exactly. Shotgun fire sprays. The idea was to spray the offense all over. Dad initially called it the spread, but was told by reporters that spread wasn't dynamic. Reporters. Yeesh! So who came up with shotgun? Bob Ryan, vice president, NFL Films: Hickey did. We have it on tape. Hit me. I'm a bird hunter, Hickey said, and when you hunt birds, you take out your shotgun and start firing. Tweet! Danny White, Arizona Rattlers coach, former Dallas QB: The best thing about the shotgun was the crowd's reaction. I'd line up under center, then drop back when the linemen did that stand-up reset thing. The crowd would go, Ooh! That stand-up reset thing was pretty annoying. Sure it wasn't Boo? Gee, I hope not.
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