We've gotten quite a few inquiries today about Thursday's post on our site, Notre Dame and Nortwestern turn back the clock and it's not a good thing, wanting to know if we had anything to do with the decision the Big Ten made to only play into only one end zone of the field in Saturday's Illinois vs. Northwestern game at Wrigley field.
For the record, I'd like to clarify the facts.
We have absolutely no idea if anyone from the Big Ten read our article or not and we have had no correspondence with anyone from the Big Ten, Illinois, Northwestern or anyone else for that matter about this topic. In fact, the only place this concern was discussed was in this forum on the site.
I find it hard to believe that I was the only one who thought that it was unsafe to play football with a brick wall at one end of the field and my guess is simply that someone finally came to their senses. Why did it take until 24 hours before kickoff to decide it was unsafe? I have no idea, but I seriously doubt that my jumping up and down about the issue had anything to do with it. You know what they say, "better late then never." I'm going to give someone else the credit here. I'm not sure who, but it's really not important. The important thing is that the safety of the athletes was ultimately put first (even if it was done secondarily.)
I still don't know why they find it necessary to play this game at this venue. It doesn't work. What happens if there's a fumble recovery or an interception and the players start galloping towards the "bad end zone"? Are they going to blow the play dead? Are they going to leave the "non functional" goal posts attached to the wall even though it has no use? If so, why? What if someone has to punt from their own one yard line; is the punter going to stand with his back up against the wall? Are they going to move the ball up a few yards? And what if the punt is blocked and there is a mad scramble for the ball in the end zone; do they just blow the play dead?
What about the fans? All the people who bought tickets in the right field bleachers that thought they were going to get some great close-up action coming their way are now going to have to endure paying a kings ransom to look at the backs and asses of both offenses the entire day, and sometimes from very far away.
The other weird thing is that both teams' side line is going to be on the same side of the field. Then at half time they are going to switch. This entire thing is reminiscent of when I was a kid playing football on Franklin Street, the dead end street I grew up on. There was one set of telephone wires hanging across the street at one telephone poll that we used to for an end zone and when we wanted to kick a field goal, we had to go to that end of the street and mark the yardage back from that telephone pole. A few times we hit the telephone wire with the ball and Mrs. Mund would lose telephone service until the phone company came to repair it.
A football game isn't meant to be played like a half court basketball game. It just isn't. - Mike Cardano
Mike Cardano is the founder of Around the Horn Baseball & Xtra Point Football.
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