Halfback (American football)

A halfback is an offensive position in American football, whose duties involve lining up in the backfield and carrying the ball on most rushing plays, i.e. a running back. When the principal ball carrier lines up deep in the backfield, when that player is placed behind another player, as in the I formation, that player is instead referred to as a tailback; the halfback position is one of the more glamorous positions on the field, is viewed as a requirement for a team's success. Sometimes the halfback can catch the ball from the backfield on short passing plays as he is an eligible receiver, they line up as additional wide receivers. When not running or catching the ball, the primary responsibility of a halfback is to aid the offensive linemen in blocking, either to protect the quarterback or another player carrying the football. Before the emergence of the T-formation in the 1940s, all members of the offensive backfield were legitimate threats to run or pass the ball. Most teams used four offensive backs on every play: a quarterback, two halfbacks, a fullback.

The quarterback began each play a quarter of the way back, the halfbacks began each play side by side and halfway back, the fullback began each play the farthest back. From the 1870s through the 1950s, the halfback position was both an offensive and defensive position. Now that most offensive formations have only one or two running backs, the original designations do not mean as much, as the fullback is now a lead blocker, while the halfback or tailback lines up behind the fullback. There has been a shift in most offense's dependence on halfbacks, as the quarterback is now considered the most essential part of a team. However, the average output of the halfback has not changed. In the related sport of Canadian football, halfback is a defensive rather than offensive position since the 1980s, though used to refer to an offensive position similar to a slotback that could line up off the tight end or behind the quarterback. Older systems require the halfback be proficient at throwing the ball downfield as well.

Many of the "scat backs" in the modern era produce more total yards and touchdowns than their ancestor "power backs" by breaking off big plays on outside runs and receptions. The spread offense and the hurry-up offense change the halfback's role but create more opportunity for these plays; the spread, the hurry-up, the pro-style offenses dominate American football but the "smash-mouth" style of play is far from extinct. A power-running scheme is utilized to counter an effective Spread attack, as it allows a team to control the clock and keep the ball out of the opposing offense's control; this strategy is utilized in NFL, all other forms of American football. The need for "power backs" is prevalent, alongside the need for "scat backs", anything in between. In the past few decades the role of the halfback has gone through a great shift as most offensive game plans are now fueled by creativity and finesse instead of raw force. Stamina and durability is more important than in the hurry-up offense.

On the other hand, speed is valued over strength, pass-catching ability is sometimes valued over blocking proficiency. Power was once the most desired trait in a halfback, but has been over taken by the need for a diverse skill set. In the last few decades the running back's individual share of offensive output has declined as quarterbacks are treated as the cornerstone of the offense; the demands of an up-tempo offense favor a multiple running back system. While the timeline differs for individual each player, running backs hit their peak between the ages of 22 and 28. A study conducted by Apex Fantasy Leagues concluded that about 84 percent of peak seasons fall within that range. From the dawn of American football through the 1880s most offensive schemes focused on the running game. In a running based game plan the halfback was the cornerstone of the offense; this system focused on a physical run attack concentrated in the inside of the field, therefore depended on a skilled "power back." There were no forward passes, pure speed took a backseat to tackle-breaking and bucking ability.

There was a focus on physicality over finesse, as this type of playing style earned the moniker of "smash mouth" football. Back Willie Heston of Fielding Yost's "point-a-minute" Michigan team has been acknowledged as the first to play at what was designated as the tailback position on offense. Prior to Heston, left halfbacks ran plays in one direction, right halfbacks ran plays in the other direction; because of Heston's speed and agility, Yost placed Heston in the tailback position so that he could carry the ball on plays to either side of the line. Heston's charging ability and open-field running have been credited with leading to the origin of the "seven man line and a diamond on defense." Minnesota's College Football Hall of Fame coaching staff of Henry L. Williams and Pudge Heffelfinger devised the strategy in 1903 to stop Heston. Minnesota had used the then-traditional nine-man line with the fullback backing up the line and a safety man down the field. Heffelfinger suggested that the halfbacks be pulled out of the line and stationed behind the tackles, thus requiring Heston to break through an initial seven-man line and a secondary line consisting of the fullback and two halfbacks.

Known as the Minnesota shift, the formation became a standard practice. In 1936, Arch Ward credited Heston with leading to one of the "noteworthy transitions" in football history; the sport's first triple threat, Bradbury Robinson o

The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power

The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power is a 2008 book by British-Pakistani writer, political activist and historian Tariq Ali. Ali examines Pakistan-United States relations, is critical of Pakistani subservience to imperialistic American foreign policy and military ambitions, he examines US aid to Pakistan, the hostile approach of American politicians to Pakistan. He discusses the failure and corruption of President Pervez Musharraf and the situation in Waziristan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In The Independent Salil Tripathi wrote "In The Duel, Ali provides a gossip-filled and polemical history, with perspicacity and verve, the flight into the abyss" and "Ali recounts, with anguish and anger, how the generals who ruled Pakistan for 34 of its 60 years boosted defence budgets, starving development of resources". In a Peace News review, Milan Rai described the book as "a timely, well-informed, sometimes-not-very-chronological study of Pakistan’s political evolution"


Ussama Soleman, better known as "U-cee", is a German funk-, soul music singer. Since 2009, he has been the lead singer of The Royal Family. U-cee was born as son of a Tunisian mother and an Egyptian father, His funk & soul crew UST Virgin Records got the first record contract at Virgin Records for a single production in 1998. In 2000, he published together with his hip hop band Rundfunk 2 from Nürnberg the album "Ruhestörung". Afterwards he joined the drum and bass group Bassline Paranoia in Regensburg, founded the event agency IPF Entertainment. Since 2001, he has toured with the hip hop & soul band Flowkiste from Regensburg, they published the album Image in 2003. In 2002, he supported at taping the "Team Eimsbush" sampler. Since 2003, he has toured as MC and singjay of the reggae & dancehall band Mortal Kombat Sound. In 2004, he became a member of King Banana, reformed in the middle of 2009. U-cee became lead singer of the new formation, henceforward with The Royal Family. U-cee has toured with his band colleague DJ Rufflow as duo, sometimes with him and Bettina, Tine Parge known as "Miss Soulstice" as trio since 2005..

U-cee contributed to Moodorama's track "Mind Traffic", to other tracks of further bands. U-cee & The Royal Family