Look, I'm all for big pigskin-meets-hardball marketing gimmicks of putting college football and NFL games (or even NHL hockey games) in baseball stadiums. But if you're going to do it, at least pick a stadium that's big enough to hold an actual football field without needing to implement some ridiculous player safety rules. Anyone who took one look at the proposed set-up of Wrigley Field for this weekend's Illinois vs. Northwestern game knew that this was a disaster waiting to happen. A large chunk of the eastern end zone abuts right up to the ivy-covered outfield wall (actually the ivy has been covered by a pad with an All-State-emblazoned ivy-looking cover). How good is that going to feel when a wide receiver and defender collide with it at top speed in pursuit of a touchdown?
So what are the new safety rules? They're worse than you think:
According to the Tribune, the Big Ten has decided that:
- All offensive plays will head toward the West end zone, including all extra points and all overtime possessions.
- All kickoffs will be kicked toward the East end zone.
- After every change of possession, the ball will be repositioned for the offense to head toward the West end zone.
- As a result of a coin toss held by the conference office Friday morning, Illinois will occupy the West team bench in the first half and Northwestern will occupy the West team bench in the second half and for all overtime periods.
I understand the need for player safety, but what is this, Zog Sports co-ed flag football played on the same sandlot where Benny hit the Babe's ball over the fence? Give me a f*cking break. No football game should have all offensive plays going in one direction. And how about the fans who plunked down serious change for outfield seats overlooking the East end zone? Enjoy the view, guys. What a joke. Why didn't they just move this thing to U.S. Cellular Field or Northwestern's regular stadium?
Am I overreacting here? Or do you guys agree that this is a football abomination. Sound Off with your thoughts in the Comments.