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Football for Academically Challenged British Plonkers, Ed. 5: The Fullback



So, since my player position explanation piece a few weeks ago, I received some comments regarding a certain position: The Fullback. I feel like I need to somehow defend my stance whilst also educating you Plonkers. Let’s get chaotic.

Fullback? What the F is that!?

This is really my number one point. Do any of you even know what a Fullback is? Of course you don’t, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. In fact, I bet most of you don’t even care because, seriously, what the F is this??

Remember when we discussed the Quarterback? The guy everyone loves so much so that they make up fake stats about him? He stands just behind the line of heavy-set guys. Way behind him is the Halfback, more commonly known as the Running Back. This is the dude who is like the energiser bunny on crack and runs around the field without a care in the world.

And, occasionally, you have a guy who stands in-between them. You don’t even really notice him. I’m sure plenty of you have gone up to your TV screen and rubbed at it hoping to get rid of the blemish. And then, with a heavy heart, realize that that blur is a person. Well Plonkers, THIS is the Fullback.

So, does he *do* anything?

Honestly, yes and no. He doesn’t have a “specific” role; sometimes he carries the ball, other times he catches passes, and he can be seen blocking too. Honestly, it’s hard to tell exactly what he does in-between all of the nothingness he normally experiences. (Like, if it wasn’t for the occasional pass that he throws, you’d forget Carson Wentz was even a QB, let alone an actual football player.)

You’re probably thinking “Trish, that seems like a lot of hate for a simple position.”

It’s not hate for the position. It’s hate for what it has become.

A quick history lesson…

Let’s take a trip back to the 1950s. Way back when phones didn’t exist and people used carrier pigeons to communicate over long distances. It’s 1957. Jim Brown enters the scene. A lot of you must have heard this name. (If not, get off your computer or phone, go stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done.)

Jim Brown was the King of Fullbacks. A real stud. He played nine seasons for the Cleveland Browns (from 1957-65), back when they were a decent team both on and off the field. For eight of his nine seasons there, he led the league in rushing yards. A fullback… Leading the league in rushing yards. Oh, the humanity. Can you imagine something like that happening in the NFL these days? No, right? Because the FB position is not what it used to be.

They’ve basically become a glorified gadget receiver. And it’s a damn shame. This, is what I hate.


Obviously, everything I just described is not at all what a FB is these days. Seriously, outside of Gilliam, can you even name an active FB? Yeah, I didn’t think so. You know why? They’ve become irrelevant on the field. Simply put, a placeholder. It’s not to say their contribution isn’t appreciated (it is). But there’s always someone else.

Want to run the ball? That’s why teams spend so much on a RB, just ask the Panthers and their $64 million-dollar man Christian McCaffrey. Pass catching? That’s what Tight Ends and Wide Receivers are for. Pass/Run blocking? Dudes beef up and work out to be on that offensive line. They protect the QB and RB. (Except Bobby “The Turnstile” Hart. Seriously, it’s like he hates his job or something. JUST PROTECT ALLEN BOBBY, YOU LITERALLY ONLY HAVE ONE JOB!!!)

These days, a fullback just takes up a roster spot. Bring back the days of over the top, aggressive FBs. In terms of yesteryear, Derrick Henry would be one hell of a FB. He’s built exactly like them, runs aggressive and fast. Just like Cookie Gilchrist. If you don’t know who this is, then forget standing in the corner. Go immediately to church and beg for forgiveness for your stupidity.

Atone ye Plonkers!

FBs need to be given the same touches, like back in the day. If this happens, I can change my mind on the position. But, for now? Give. Me. More. I will not concede defeat. (I do love you though Gilliam 😘.)

Here is a list of things more useful than a fullback

Fullbacks are so irrelevant these days that I would much rather have any of the following:

  1. White crayons
  2. That instruction manual in your kitchen drawer that you keep "just in case"
  3. A single sock
  4. Health insurance (hahahaha you poor Eagle lovers and your non-free healthcare)
  5. The warm side of a pillow
  6. Stress Balls from *insert any event here*
  7. Space heater in the middle of summer
  8. Blue Cheese Sauce
  9. Carson Wentz as a QB

You get the idea...

Next Week

I hope this was helpful for all you Plonkers! What football topic do you want explained next week? Let me know in the comments or send a Tweet, Carrier Pigeon, DM, Telepathic Energy, FB Message, Letter, Postcard, etc. But, for the love of God, DO NOT send me an email. Because I live in the stone ages and don’t use email. (Pfft. Idiots.)

Featured Image: Sports Illustrated

Much like Marty McFly, Trish Patel (aka Tyler Bass Enthusiast) is a time traveller who stole a sports almanac so as to fool you mortals into believing that she can predict the stats of a game. If you come at her on social media, there is an excellent chance you'll get burnt. They don't call her @savage_trish for nothing.