Big Ten, Cubs turn college football into Three Stooges

If you own seats near the far end zone, you're out of luck. (AP photo).

If you own seats near the far end zone, you're out of luck. (AP photo).

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

The Cubs didn't want the field laid out like when the Bears played there.

The Cubs didn't want the field laid out like when the Bears played there.

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.

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100 comments Add your comment

DawginLex

November 19th, 2010
2:48 pm

I saw that only one end zone was going to be used.

What a joke.

And they did it at the last minute.

Hope it snows 2 feet also

Willy

November 19th, 2010
2:52 pm

Jeff Schultz is the 4th Stooge!!!!

jeff

November 19th, 2010
2:52 pm

what if there is a pick or scooped fumble? Which way to go???

Innocent Bystander

November 19th, 2010
2:54 pm

The old Bears configuration doesn’t exactly appear to have ‘ample’ room. But they probably didn’t want PATs to go onto Sheffield Ave either.

DawginLex

November 19th, 2010
2:59 pm

there is an end zone to run into.

they just don’t want it used for normal offensive plays heading that direction

cajdawg

November 19th, 2010
2:59 pm

The should have shortened the field to 90 yards.

You Ain't-Know Gaily Whacker

November 19th, 2010
3:00 pm

The Reporter: Mr. McGarity, it looks like college football is turning into a circus.

Greg: It sure does, one ring at Auburn, one at Chicago, I wonder where the third ring will appear. We might go back to leather head gear. I guess anything goes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-qPHG4i3u8

DIMP

November 19th, 2010
3:00 pm

To Jeff, I guess a pick or scooped fumble should be fine in the brickwall or eastern side because the person running will already have the ball and will see the end zone approaching and can stop in time. The danger is for an offense or defense where a guy is running for a long ball thrown in the air and has to take his eye off where he is running

GIVE ME A BREAK

November 19th, 2010
3:02 pm

You can’t make this stuff up.

Uga the Ocho

November 19th, 2010
3:02 pm

Of course this wouldn’t happen in the SEC. There aren’t any cool, historic baseball stadiums south of the Ohio River…

Paul H

November 19th, 2010
3:04 pm

Good question jeff (blogger jeff). Which way to go? This is like backyard football when I was a kid. When there was a turnover, you just took a knee. I wouldn’t be surprised if the had to make new rules up as the game went along. What a joke conference.

Labo

November 19th, 2010
3:04 pm

C’mon Jeff… you know the only reason this would never happen in the SEC is because the ADs and presidents are too corrupt and money hungry to ever hold a game at a neutral, non-football stadium. Not to mention, there’s not a single iconic non-football field anywhere in the south that would be worth hosting this kind of game.

The idea of having a game at Wrigley is incredibly cool, as is the idea of hosting Army-Notre Dame in Yankee Stadium (which doesn’t have any of these issues with space)… unfortunately, the execution was butchered by all parties involved

Hank

November 19th, 2010
3:06 pm

Is there a reason soldier field wasn’t available? What a bunch of bozos. They can’t play college football very well up there but, they make one helluva pizza. I’ll have a Ginos East Supreme to go.

P. Bull Terrier

November 19th, 2010
3:09 pm

The plan for the field must have been drawn out by a Ga Tech engineer whose only knowledge of football comes from posting insults on the UGA blog.

lefty fielder

November 19th, 2010
3:11 pm

They should park a few cars on each side . . . it’ll bring back a lot of memories. I heard from a solid source at Auburn that they were going to use a nerf football (more safety precautions).

Saint Simons

November 19th, 2010
3:14 pm

(((( 49 – 31 ))))

HAHAHAHAHAHA

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew Rosenberg and Clay Waterfill, Jeff Schultz. Jeff Schultz said: Big Ten and #Cubs just turned college football into a Three Stooges episode. #Wrigley http://bit.ly/ctwD81 [...]

Hankie Aron

November 19th, 2010
3:17 pm

Yeah I agree with some of the other guys, what happens on an interception or fumble return. I guess they would see the wall before you get there.

Hankie Aron

November 19th, 2010
3:18 pm

I can see a player now after an interception thinking in his head, which way do I go?

Jeff Schultz's Protégé

November 19th, 2010
3:18 pm

Just play the game at Turner Field

donny ballgame

November 19th, 2010
3:18 pm

The Cubs didn’t want bleachers on the field for this game…
But they prefer putting sod over the infield & the pitchers mound?
Ok….
And if they used blechers way it mess up the outfield & they only have 4+ months to grow grass?

Jeff Schultz's Protégé

November 19th, 2010
3:19 pm

@Honkie Aron

Nice one, loser

Hankie Aron

November 19th, 2010
3:20 pm

Only you Saint Simons, only you could provide the Auburn UGA score in a completely unrelated blog

AU PRIDE

November 19th, 2010
3:20 pm

you are right – never would happen in the sec.

Bulldogs – over that total beat down yet???
Never heard so much whining in my life.
Murray will be fine – he is a tough kid. you need to be if you play QB at UGA

Real issue is not Auburns physcial play. By the way, UGA never whined when they totally beat down and physically beat up Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl – that was a more physical beat down than the one Auburn laid on UGA.

The real issue is that UGA’s defense is not up to par….totally sucks.
And the offense – well good to see UGA open it up – but still – outscored 42-10 after the first quarter????

The real issue is the talent level and the coaching.
Richt made it BIG at UGA – then got complacent – went CEO – and other programs have now passed UGA.

Arrogance, complacency, sense of entitlement – and then comes URBAN, SABAN, PETRINO, CHIZIK and now MULLINS.
Heck, even SC beat UGA this year! Good thing KIFFIN left for USC – as TN would have beaten UGA AGAIN.

Hope Richt stays at UGA – I am thinking UGA will not be an issue for AUBURN for the next several seasons. mark that game down as a W for Auburn. Thanks Richt – we now love you in the plains!!

WDE!

Hankie Aron

November 19th, 2010
3:22 pm

Protege you are not, must really be saint simons, head case

Hankie Aron

November 19th, 2010
3:24 pm

AU PRIDE- This relates to this story how? I’m just asking

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dennis Pillion and Andrew Sherwin, Jeff Schultz. Jeff Schultz said: Big Ten, Cubs turn college football into Three Stooges http://bit.ly/cvKZPO [...]

Jeff Schultz's Protégé

November 19th, 2010
3:26 pm

@Honkie Aron

No I’m not saint simons, but I thought you was the head case of the blog

Nobody

November 19th, 2010
3:28 pm

Hey Aubie….chill out. You have the best team money can buy. WAR SCAM EAGLE!!!!!!!!!

Hankie Aron

November 19th, 2010
3:29 pm

That’s great Protege- Go get some foot cream you jackwagon, your toes have got to be hurting with all that typing theyv’e been doing

Wayne

November 19th, 2010
3:34 pm

I don’t see why this is such a big deal to anyone other than the people who bought tickets on the East end of the field. If a major college game or a high school playoff game were going to be played there, then I could understand the hoopla.

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

November 19th, 2010
3:35 pm

Weird that the game was ever considered to be played at Soldier Field.

Iron Bowl is going to be special this year!!
The Barners are stuck with having to play sCAM Newton as they are all in ….. and hoping nothing sticks.

However, I do think Coach Chiz is honorable – and any payola to the Newtons …. if any – did not go through him.

The SEC does not need this nonsense.

Better bring your A game War Eagle – as BAMA will be ready to play!

Roll Tide!!!

Jeff Schultz's Protégé

November 19th, 2010
3:36 pm

Hey Honkie, do you need some gold bond cream for your problems

Ted Striker

November 19th, 2010
3:36 pm

Using the Stoodges was the perfect analogy, Jeff. That said, it’s probably the right thing to do at this point — for safety’s sake — even though it should’ve never gotten this far.

"Chef" Tim Dix

November 19th, 2010
3:37 pm

What about the clubhouses they’ll use? MLB players say they’re the worst!.

Scott

November 19th, 2010
3:37 pm

yeah the Big 10 is a joke… unlike the SEC, which has cheating scandal after cheating scandal and has turned the sport into a complete mockery.

Roll TIde

November 19th, 2010
3:37 pm

Are you Aubbies really bragging about your now 3 and 7 record versus CMR. That is just pathetic but what do you expect from the Barn? Congrats on your fine team but just like the Florida Gayturds you have no idea how to act. Roll Tide Roll. Get ready for the whoppin you deserve in T Town Friday. Oh yea, and enjoy your next three years of probation.

joe

November 19th, 2010
3:40 pm

What happens on a pick 6? Do they have to stop at the 50 and change directions? What if the game goes into overtime? Can one team decide to play in the east end zone?? Who’s on first???

Roll TIde

November 19th, 2010
3:44 pm

The players in the Big Ten are so slow there is no danger of them running out of the end zone. The officials are only concerned that a pass pattern (though extremely slow developing) will end up in the Ivy Wall. The rest will take care of itself, you know “white men can’t jump or run fast”

Jeff Schultz Fan

November 19th, 2010
3:47 pm

This story is too much. My guess is that this game
will have some issues that no one will realize could
happen before it is too late. Just hope that he game
is won by the team that actually plays the best and deserves the victory….not by some fluke caused by
the playing field.

ChuyDawg

November 19th, 2010
3:49 pm

AU Pride,

Where do we start.

AU has been the best team in the country this year, no doubt about it. Cam has proven to be a ballplayer. Its that dirty punk Fairley that really bothers me to be honest with you. In the end the best team won, AU is that team this year.

Trust me, UGA is the least of your problems right now. Football in general should be the least of your worries right now. Your full attention should be placed on the NCAA investigators and the FBI. We don’t have to get into details, its been well documented.

Enough with the arrogance already though. You lose 7 starters on Offense next year including SCam. You lose about 5-6 starters on D next year including Fairley. Guz might even bail on you guys at the end of the year, depending on how hot the investigations get. Not to mention the recruits that might get scared away. It should be very entertaining to see what happens to AU in the next months ahead.

I know, I know that we’re all just haters hating on AU.

War Eagle, LOL!

Roll TIde

November 19th, 2010
3:51 pm

By the way, the oldest and most beautiful baseball field still in use is in Birmingham Alabama. Designed by Connie Mack and opened in 1910, Rickwood Field is the epitome of classis baseball fields in America. Eat your heart out Chicago!!!!!!!!! The reason it would never be used by SEC is because it does not hold 90K plus which is your standard attendance number in the SEC.

Bravesfan79

November 19th, 2010
3:52 pm

You cant get any bigger of a joke than leaving 2 very good undefeated teams out of the Championship game! College Football is a joke… period! So naturally, the Cubs field situation fits right in.

OkefenokeeDawg

November 19th, 2010
3:57 pm

Nothing like an Auburn idiot crowing about their “program.” A one-man team, which may not get that one man for the next game. His very own dad has admitted that he asked Miss State for signing money for Cam. If Cam knew this, he is ineligible.

Probation #8 for Auburn is right around the corner . . .

Congrats.

Bham Dawg

November 19th, 2010
4:00 pm

@Uga the Ocho: You might not realize that the oldest baseball stadium still in use in the U.S. is Rickwood Field in Birmingham…a cool, old baseball field no doubt. Not suitable for college football but historic nonetheless.

JSS

November 19th, 2010
4:03 pm

Serious question, how much of this a fall out from the NHL’s Winter Classic that was held at Wrigley? Have any of you sportwriters put in a call to MLB and Bud Selig to see he wouldn’t moderate a solution with the Cubs and the Big 10.

As far for those who asked why not Soldier Field? Evanston is closer to Wrigley and the larger the venue, the more it becomes a home game for the Illini. If it was matter of playing in Baseball park, they could have gone down to the Southside to US Celllular.. See, not the same allure as playing where Wade, Sayers, Ditka, Butkus, Atkins, and Grange once roamed…

da bears

November 19th, 2010
4:05 pm

the bears only played with an 8 yard endzone back in the day at wrigley field. that’s why it was configured the old way.

da bears

November 19th, 2010
4:05 pm

the bears only played with an 8 yard endzone back in the day at wrigley field. that’s why it was configured the old way.

Jeff Schultz's Protégé

November 19th, 2010
4:07 pm

@JSS

How many points do you have Tech losing by tomorrow??

UGA89

November 19th, 2010
4:08 pm

Yes, if there is an interception or fumble recovery then every player has to run to the 50 yard line and touch it with his hand and then turn and run back the other direction towards the west end zone