Metric Football Game

May 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm
  • Metric Football GameMetric Football Game 1977

  • Metric Football GameMetric Football Game 1977

  • Metric Football GameMetric Football Game 1977

  • Metric Football GameMetric Football Game 1977

  • Metric Football GameMetric Football Game 1977

  • Metric Football GameMetric Football Game 1977

  • Metric Football GameMetric Football Game 1977

  • Metric Football GameMetric Football Game 1977

In the fall of 1977, Carleton hosted the first and only NCAA-sanctioned metric football game. The game was the brainchild of chemistry professor Jerry Mohrig, who was teaching a course in the metric system and was intrigued by the idea of measuring a game like football, which is so conscious of distance, in meters.

Crosstown rival St. Olaf College, at that time in a different athletic conference, agreed to participate in the non-conference game. The field, extended to measure 100 meters long by 53 meters wide, was marked off in 10-meter lines. All statistics were kept metrically, and the players’ weight and height was listed in kilograms and centimeters in the game program. Even some female students took part as "cheerliters," wearing tee-shirts declaring "Drop back 10 meters and punt." Ten thousand fans (about 8,000 more than for a regular game) filled the stadium to see the Oles thrash the Knights, 42-0. The event garnered national media attention.

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