As it turns out, Wrigley Field isn’t much of a football facility.
For those that missed it, the historic ballpark is actually hosting a college football game tomorrow against Northwestern and Illinois. But since the field doesn’t seem to be big enough for a regulation field, a ruling was handed down from the Big Ten dictating that…well, losers walk.
After seeing the tight configuration required to fit a football field in the home of the Chicago Cubs, James E. Delany, the commissioner of the Big Ten, announced that the teams would run all of their offensive plays in one direction, toward the western end zone. Every time the ball changes hands, the players will be turned around so the action heads west — toward the third-base dugout and away from the right-field wall.
The move followed a number of news reports that questioned whether the tight east-west configuration of the football field at Wrigley might cause an injury. For instance, a corner of the eastern end zone is less than two feet from the wall in the right-field corner, which has been padded for the game. The back of the center of the eastern end zone is six inches from the right-field wall, and the uprights are attached right to the wall. (The other goal post stands in front of the third-base dugout.)
Switching after every change of possession? That seems a little ridiculous. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just take 5 yards out of the middle of the field. Sure, that leaves you with a 95-yard field, but then at least you’d avoid the situation of players picking their teeth out of the ivy.
Of course, the internet has been loving this development.
The Twitter hashtag #WrigleyPickupRules exploded after news of these new ground rules broke, and even though some people are recycling the same five jokes, the entire stream is worth a read. My humble contributions:
Game shall not begin until both Northwestern and Illinois have finished their chores.
Two completions for a first down. And laterals don’t count!
No grabbing Jeremy Ebert’s shirt. His mom just bought him that shirt!
Northwestern “shirts.” Illinois shall be “skins.”
If score is tied after regulation, you can finish your game after supper!
At start of 2nd half, Pat Fitzgerald and Ron Zook will re-pick teams.
At first sign of dusk, next touchdown wins.
Nathan Scheelhaase full-time QB #wrigleypickuprules
Any unsportsmanlike conduct shall be dealt with after telling Mom. #wrigleypickuprules
No balls in the Captain Morgan Club #wrigleypickuprules
Leave your own in the comments. Come on, you guys can do better than this.