Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010
3:14 PM

By Joe Collins

Four Errors & 24 Years Ago: September 14, 1986 may not strike a chord with people that follow sports milestones, but if you're a fan of baseball (and in particular, someone who knows Bob Brenly), you will know that on this date, the former San Francisco Giant --and current Cubs broadcaster of course-- committed four errors in the same inning. He then made up for the errors in a most memorable way. Comcast SportsNet will take an in-depth look at one of the more ironic days in baseball history during tomorrows (Wednesdays) SportsNite at 10pm. Luke Stuckmeyer reports.

Number Of The Day (25,471): It might not seem like a big deal, but Northwestern's football home opener drew 25,471 fans against Illinois State. That's good! Thing is, that figure was actually UP more than 40 percent increase over last year's home opener. That's bad (for last years case, anyway). The 25,471 figure is without most of the general student population, as fall classes begin September 21st. That's good! But the 25,471 is still a fraction of attendance at most other Big 10 football games. That's bad.

(jumping up onto soapbox)

It's time to get out to Ryan Field, folks. Pat Fitzgerald has done an incredible job in getting his team to compete at a consistently high level. This team is consistently going to bowl games (try saying that 20 years ago). They are poised to strike again this year with QB Dan Persa at the controls. The defense is solid. Ryan Field is just off the CTA Purple Line. The ticket prices are far below the rest of the Big 10 average. Seriously...what is taking so long? Northwestern is Chicago's college football team, folks. Let's get out there and watch some quality football.
NFL Book Smarts: If you didn't know what NFL Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 of the NFL Rule Book was before this weekend's Bears game --or if you were forced to watch 40 hours of the Lifetime Channel from Sunday afternoon until now-- you should know it know. It states that...


if a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact with an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.

...just ask Calvin Johnson of the Lions. His fourth quarter catch-that-really-wasn't put the exclamation mark on a Bears 19-14 victory over on Sunday. This rule has been the subject of frequent water cooler debates ever since. How about we add some more rules? I have a few:

Rule 56, Section 11, Article 8: If a member of the Dallas Cowboys offensive line gathers more than two (2) holding penalties in the fourth quarter of a nationally televised game when fantasy football points are on the line, his contract shall be promptly and efficiently fed into an IntelliShred PC55 CrossCut 1000.

Rule 11, Section 15, Article 6, Item 4, Addendum 5b: If any "player" insists on dancingstrutting after a touchdown, a tackle for loss or pivotal block when down by more than 20 points, they have to dancestrut in the spirit of one of the gas station workers in Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" video.

Rule 9, Section 5, Article 1, Item 1, Paragraph 2: If a player of "defender" rips the head off a member of the offense or opposition, the "defender" must wait until the "Not Going Anywhere For A While?" voice over is heard throughout the stadium. "Defender" can then chew on Snickers bar immediately afterward.

OK...maybe scratch that last one. But still, the other three should fix a few minor annoyances.

Or something like that.