Bill had blocked on the line for Jack the quarterback

Man_from_India

Senior Member
Indian English
Source: One Summer
Author: David Baldacci

Context:
Jack was on his death bed, fighting some terminal disease, he has very little time left with him. One morning his entire family went outside, except her mother-in-law who stayed with him. From his death bed he waited anxiously for them to return. And so he kept staring through the window. At last his wife pulled off the car. His focus was on his wife. He watched her close the car door. He came to see another person approach her wife. It was Bill Miller.

Subsequent Lines:
"They'd all gone to school together. Bill had blocked on the line for Jack the quarterback. He had attended Jack and Lizzie's wedding. Bill was single, in the plumbing business, and doing well."

I can't understand the meaning of the bold part. Please help.

What I thought:
"Quarterback" means "a football player"
So "Jack the quarterback" means "Jack as football player"
"Bill had blocked on the line for Jack the quarterback" = "Bill had saved Jack risking himself in football match"
That is what I thought. But why out of context this football match came in here?

Please help.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The paragraph lists different things that Bill and Jack had done together during their lives. Bill and Jack played football together. They went to school together. Bill had attended Jack's wedding.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    In US football, some players - "guards" and "tackles" - block other players after the ball is snapped to the quarterback. Jack was a quarterback and Bill was on the offensive line - he was probably either a guard or a tackle. Offensive players block the players from the defensive team so that they can't tackle the quarterback.
     
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