Bears called for ‘illegal towel’ penalty because Soldier Field was so sloppy

The Chicago Bears were driving into San Francisco 49ers’ territory just before halftime when Chicago lined up for a 47-yard field goal. The Niners’ special teams wasn’t the only thing going against the Bears as they lined up for the kick: Chicago also had to battle rainy conditions at Soldier Field that helped create a sloppy, borderline unplayable playing surface.

As the Bears prepared to kick the field goal, holder and rookie punter Trenton Gill brought out a towel to wipe away a spot on the field for the kick. When the ball was snapped, the officials blew the play dead and called a 15-yard penalty on the Bears for illegal towel use.

The Bears were forced to punt, and the 49ers took a 7-0 lead into halftime. Here’s a look at the play.

Only a franchise as inept as the Bears could get called for such an obscured penalty.

Here’s a look at the refs calling the penalty:

No one at the stadium could believe what they were watching:

Hopefully there isn’t a serious injury on such a poor playing field. The grass at Soldier Field has been unacceptable for far too long.

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