The Northwestern Wildcats and Illinois are set to play each other in a Big 10 battle on Saturday. While the two schools are located relatively near each other, school officials decided to spice this rivalry game up by bringing it back to the heart of The Windy City at Wrigley Field. Most readers of this blog know Wrigley as home to the Chicago Cubs, but before Solider Field was built it was also home to the Chicago Bears.
On Saturday football will make its return to Wrigley after a near 40 year absence. Upon it's return we realizing there was a good reason why football is not played at Wrigley. It's not safe. The storied Ivy of Wrigley field and the outfield wall make for incredibly shallow endzones, and tight sidelines. The east end zone is only a few feet away from the right-field wall, and while Wrigley officials installed padding, there still were concerns that players could be injured there. There was enough concern that both team's coaching staffs came together to find away to make things safer for their players.
The final decision became both teams would only attack the West Endzone because it offers more space. Confused on how this will work? Here are some guidelines for you.
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.
Sound weird? It should, this game has the possibility to resemble more of a backyard pick up game than an actual NCAA football game.