Where does the term “Grid Iron” come from and what does it mean?
A gridiron is a football field. When the forward pass was legalized in 1906, the quarterback was required to be 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage and could move no more than 5 yards laterally in either direction before the pass was thrown. To facilitate this and help the officials watch for infractions, lines were marked the length of the field at 5-yard intervals between and parallel to the sidelines. These, combined with the yard lines at 5-yard intervals, gave the football field the appearance of a “grid” or gridiron.
A gridiron out of the football context is a metal grate with iron bars used to grilling meat. The football field with these new lines looked much like the gridiron that was used for cooking, hence the nickname.