Chicago Bears dinged with crucial penalty after bringing towel on field to sop up rain water – USA TODAY

Of all the dumb rules the NFL has, and there are plenty, this might be the dumbest of all.
The Chicago Bears were pushed out of field-goal range just before halftime against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday when holder Trenton Gill was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for, get this, bringing a towel onto the field.
Used to do this on my pizza all the time
Yes, you read that right. A pregame storm that caused flooding throughout Chicago left the Soldier Field grass waterlogged, and Gill used the towel to try and sop up some of the excess water before Cairo Santos’ 47-yard attempt.
Gill put the towel down on one spot, then Santos moved it to another stop about a half footstep away and blotted that area.
But apparently that’s frowned upon in the NFL.
“You cannot bring what we consider a foreign object — this was not a towel that would go on a uniform — out to alter the playing surface,” referee Clay Martin told pool reporter Patrick Finley. “We felt that provided an unfair advantage, using the towel to wipe down the area where the ball was going to be placed.”
You can brush crystallized water — snow — out of the way, but not the liquid version? All righty then! 
Asked if this penalty had ever ben called before, Martin said he thought something similar had happened a few years back. Regardless, he said, a rule is a rule. 
“That’s the spirit of the rule,” he said. “We just felt with using (the towel) to create some dryness if you will, that it would create a competitive advantage.”
The 15-yard penalty moved the Bears out of field-goal range and they were forced to punt. 
While the odd penalty got plenty of attention on social media, it wound up being a sidenote after the Bears erased a 10-0, third-quarter deficit to beat the 49ers 19-10. 
But it was still so very, very NFL.


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