I remember doing a book report in elementary school on the Harlem Globetrotters. The story goes that when the Globetrotters first started out, they played some games in empty swimming pools — which required one team to run its offense up hill from the deep end.
It would’ve made for a great comedy skit. The Big Ten should try that. The conference has its own network now. What a perfect
time to venture into slapstick because it just turned a college football game into a Three Stooges episode. “Hey Moe! We were just in this end zone!”
The Northwestern-Illinois game, scheduled (still!) to be played Saturday at Wrigley Field, now has a funny and pathetic twist. Officials decided at this late venture that the way the football field has been laid out in the baseball stadium is too dangerous for players. In short, there’s a possibility that a receiver may run into a brick wall.
That’s funny when Curly does it. But not a Northwestern receiver.
Consequently, only one end zone will be utilized in the game. On each change of possession, the teams will simply be turned around, always attacking in the same direction. The east end will be a ghost town. And no, I am not making this up.
OK, I’ll be the first to say it: This would never happen in the SEC.
“Though it’s not ideal, it’s the right thing,” Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips said. “The field came out the way we thought, [but] it ended up maybe being a little closer with some of the [wall] padding.”
Oh, the problems we create in the name of marketing. It should be noted the Chicago Bears used to play football games at Wrigley Field. The field ran from left field to home plate. There was ample room. Bleachers were placed on the opposite side in what is normally right and center field.
The Cubs didn’t want bleachers on the field for this game. The field seems placed a little tighter to the stands and laid out in the other direction toward right field. It’s a squeeze.
The result: exploding clown feet.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said: “We’re going to do what was right. All the other things are irrelevant.”
Tell that to the guy who owns tickets near the east end zone.