NEW YORK – Citing safety concerns, the Cornell and Columbia football teams agreed to play Saturday’s Empire State Bowl using two-hand touch rules in lieu of the standard tackling.
The match-up had all the makings of an afternoon schoolyard pickup game, and players from both teams discussed and settled on two-hand touch in order to avoid scraped knees on the New York City pavement.
“I just want my little boy to not get hurt,” said Angela Molina, mother of Columbia running back Cameron Molina, “He can have fun playing football sometimes, but he needs to be getting the most out of his college education.”
Additional rules included one blitz per set of downs, stopping play whenever a car drove through, and counting 5 “Mississippi’s” before rushing the quarterback.
After enjoying orange slices and juice boxes at halftime, conflict arose when Cornell linebacker Taylor Betros was accused of intentionally pushing Columbia receiver Ryan Flannery. However, Head Referee Wilfred Pister was able to pacify the rowdy post-teens, insisting, “No more pushing from now on.”
When pressed for comment after the game, Cornell head coach David Archer said, “There’s no need for these friendly games to get so physical like that, I’d hate to see one of the kids break their glasses.”
With darkness setting in, both teams agreed to conclude the game with Cornell winning 30-27, but everyone was a winner because the teams all got ice-cream together after the game.