Skip to content

Losers walk: Only one end zone will be in use for the football game in Wrigley Field

Nov 19, 2010, 12:06 PM EDT

Wrigley Football 1

I said earlier this week that, based on the funky alignment of the gridiron and just how close the brick wall was to the end zone, Wrigley Field looked like an awful place to play tomorrow’s Northwestern-Illinois game.  I didn’t even know the half of it:

Only one end zone will be used at Wrigley Field on Saturday for the Illinois-Northwestern game because of safety concerns, Illinois sports information director Kent Brown said Friday.

The east end zone is feet away from the right-field wall, and although there is padding, there was still concerns that injuries could take place. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald had said he would have different game plans for the different end zones to avoid the possibility of injury.

The revised one-end zone rules are here.  If only they had, I dunno, a year to figure all of this out.  Or decades of experience with the Chicago Bears playing in that park to have some sort of reference on how to set up a football field there.  Or at least did a simple Google Image search like I did:

Instead of going out to right field, it went out to left.  It was still a tight squeeze in the end zone on the left, but only at one corner. And of course, back in those days there weren’t a ton of fade routes, what with all of that three yards and a cloud of dust stuff. The current alignment has the wall running along the entire back of the end zone and super fast dudes will be streaking all over the place.  My guess, though, is that under the old alignment they would have been just hunky dory.

Ultimately, using one end zone is the right call, because there’s just too much risk of injury having a brick wall in the back of the end zone.  But the fact that they’re just figuring this all out now, 24 hours before game time, is pretty pathetic.

  1. Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    It’s a damn shame they don’t have a football stadium in that could seat enough college fans in the entire city of Chicago or its immediate metropolitan area. Oh, wait…

    • yankeesfanlen - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:19 PM

      Are you really Jonny 5′s evil twin?

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:25 PM

        The first known case of multiple personalities being shared across state lines. Damn…hey Jonny, we need to get some money for this!!!!!!

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:53 PM

        I choked the life out of my evil twin two days after we were born. Well that’s what my mom told me anyway. Joey, is that you????

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM

        Nope…it’s Jimmy. Mom didn’t tell you about ME, did she?!?!? MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 19, 2010 at 1:02 PM

        No, I’m just glad I got to grow up on this side of the river…… Actually every weekend i did live in Philly, and i couldn’t stand it. Stupid horn, sirens, squeeling tires, etc… kept me up all night.

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 1:08 PM

        You didn’t hear my chains rattling in the attic?

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 19, 2010 at 1:14 PM

        That was you??? Damn, I thought ma was getting freaky up there too. Thank goodness I can mend that memory at least….

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 2:09 PM

        Yup. That was me getting freaky with that freaky chick from down the street. You remember her, don’t you? Ah…good times….

  2. wickethewok - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    So what about turnovers? Obviously the defense can’t return an interception/fumble for a touchdown now. Do they just rule the play dead when there’s a turnover?

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:22 PM

      Defense and special teams can just suck it.

    • wickethewok - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:22 PM

      Ok, so there ARE actually two end zones in use. It’s just the offensive always goes the same direction. I think the above article probably could have spelled this out more clearly.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    When the Cubs come back in the spring, maybe they can eliminate 3rd base and the Curse of the Goat will be over.
    Alternative use for Wrigley: Curling.

  4. wickethewok - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Ok, so there ARE actually two end zones in use. It’s just the offensive always goes the same direction. I think the above article probably could have spelled this out more clearly.

  5. BC - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    You’d figure that SOMEONE would have gone out there with a tape measure and figured this out a while ago…. This is pathetic. Though I guess it nullifies the possibility of a safety….

    • Lukehart80 - Nov 19, 2010 at 4:54 PM

      I agree that this is a sorry state of affairs, but I’m not sure how it nullifies the possibility of a safety…

  6. NickT - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    Wrigley has the same dimensions to both power alleys and RF is only 2′ shorter than LF. Also, I’m pretty sure all the interior walls of Wrigley have changed significantly since that B&W picture was taken. I don’t think the direction would matter all that much.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:43 PM

      That is correct. The walls behind home plate were moved forward a couple years ago as well as along the baselines up to third and first, respectively. The baseball field’s dimensions were unchanged but the foul territory shrunk. Hence, the shorter room for a football field.

  7. BC - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    Um… why didn’t they just play at Soldier Field?

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:55 PM

      I’ve been asking that all week. But, ya gotta admit, this clusterf*ck is getting a lot of publicity—especially on a baseball blog.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Nov 19, 2010 at 3:08 PM

      “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

      Its called ‘nostaligia’.

      Why do MLB teams wear throwback jerseys when they have brand new ones?

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 3:17 PM

        Those who fail to learn from history can always revise it to suit their own purposes.

        —Bud Selig

  8. Jonny 5 - Nov 19, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    I think this is an ok idea gone bad here folks.

    • BC - Nov 19, 2010 at 2:11 PM

      Sort of like the Chrysler K Car….

  9. Mark Armour - Nov 19, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Until a few years ago, there had been more NFL games played at Wrigley than any other stadium–it was passed by the Meadowlands.

    Back in the day, one end zone required a platform to go into one of the dugouts, and then a lot of padding at the back of the dugout. It definitely effected the kind of routes one would run on that side of the field. People were also less concerned about safety than they are now.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 19, 2010 at 3:09 PM

      Safety is for pussies.

  10. bigdicktater - Nov 19, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    I don’t think safety of the athletes is a concern. I think it’s safety from injury lawyers that’s the concern here.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

This was 'the perfect baseball game'
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Kazmir (5346)
  2. G. Springer (3863)
  3. K. Uehara (3507)
  4. M. Machado (3359)
  5. D. Pedroia (2951)
  1. J. Reyes (2941)
  2. J. Chavez (2824)
  3. H. Ramirez (2788)
  4. B. Harper (2725)
  5. T. Walker (2712)