Friday, November 19, 2010

Half-Court Big-10 Football At Wrigley Field

In perhaps the most stupid decision ever made in collegiate football, the NCAA ruled yesterday that the much vaunted Northwestern-Illinois Big-10 football game at Wrigley Field tomorrow, must take place on only 1/2 of the field.

This game has been in the planning for 8 months. Wrigley's proprietors made alterations to the field so that its spacial limitations would once again accommodate football.

They installed special protective padding to protect players from the wall.

Still, this was not good enough for the liability conscious weasels -- ever fearful of lawsuits -- who run the NCAA.

They ruled just today that all offenses must operate on only one half of the field.

They are afraid that the young college boys might run into the wall, on the small configuration, and hurt themselves.

They are also afraid that some ambulance-chasing, Chicago slickster, liability lawyers might sue them, should that happen.

Funny, the Chicago Bears, who played on that very same configuration from the 1920s until 1970, were not so namby-pampy.

Gale Sayers played there. Dick Butkus played there. "Da Coach," Mike Ditka, himself played there.

They are all football immortals. They are all in the Football Hall of Fame.

I guess the NCAA seems to be saying that Sayers, Butkus and "Da Coach," Mike Ditka were real men playing serious football -- whereas, today, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois have teams comprised of "girly men," who need the NCAA's nanny protection.

I'm just wondering. What happens with "half-court" football?

If a defender intercepts a pass, what does he do?

Catch it and make a U-turn?

This is nuts!!!

NU is apparently bowl eligible as of this writing. (For the "Weed Wacker Bowl," perhaps?) Should they win this ersatz, glorified tag-football game, it should be considered by bowl selection committees that this was a game with an asterisk. Kind of like Roger Maris' 61 homers in a 160 game season.

And should Illinois become bowl-eligible, by virtue of this game, they should be disqualified. It would be unfair to teams behind them, who had to play real football under the established rules of the past 100+ years.

In either event, it won't be of too great avail to Northwestern.

They will have to play the (#6 in the nation)University of Wisconsin Badgers juggernaut next weekend.

The Badgers won't be playing half-court football then.


  1. Well, I don't follow NCAA football, or anything for that matter, but the half-court thing reminds me of arena football.

    This whole thing sounds kind of lame to me. Why couldn't they play it at Soldier Field?

  2. Customarily they would have played at either one of their own venues -- either Ryan Field at Northwestern or down in Champaign at the U of I. But this was someone's idea of a great historic game -- bringing back football to Wrigley Field. It was entirely lame the way they pulled it off.


Comments invited, however anonymous commentors had better deal directly with the issues raised and avoid ad hominem drivel. As for Teachers' Union seminar writers -- forget about it.