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Tag:Hall of Fame Game
Posted on: February 29, 2012 3:58 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 4:08 pm
 

Saints, Cardinals in Hall of Fame Game August 5th

Roaf will be honored before his old team plays in the 2012 Hall of Fame Game. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Saints and Cardinals will square off in the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio on Sunday, August 5, the NFL announced on Wednesday.

The game will kickoff at 8 p.m. EST and will be aired on NFL Network.

2012 will be the Saints fifth appearance in the Hall of Fame Game and their first since 2007, when they lost to the Steelers 20-7. The Cardinals last played in the Hall of Fame Game in 1986 and also played in the first-ever Hall of Fame Game, when they tied the New York Giants 21-21.

The Hall of Fame Game traditionally follows the induction of Canton's newest class; the game will take place the day after Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and former Saints tackle Willie Roaf are inducted. Roaf played for the Saints from 1993 to 2001, when he made seven Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams.

Last season, the NFL cancelled the Hall of Fame Game -- the Bears and Rams were scheduled to play -- because of the lockout, costing the city of Canton $30 million in revenue. Here's hoping the league does its best to make it up to the city this time around.

Tickets will go on sale March 13. Those tickets will go much faster if the Cardinals go from being a darkhorse to a serious suitor for likely-free-agent-to-be Peyton Manning.

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:21 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2011 1:14 pm
 

Don't forget Canton's getting hosed this weekend

Posted by Will Brinson

If anyone does a list of lockout winners and losers, the city of Canton, Ohio has to top the list.

That's because Canton will end up losing many millions of dollars and many wasted hours of volunteer work while the Hall of Fame induction takes place.

That's a direct result of the lockout and the fact that the Rams and Bears aren't playing the (now) traditional Hall of Fame Game, which, according to the NFL, brings in $30 million for Canton in terms of an economic impact.

"We are unfortunately going to have to cancel the Hall of Fame Game this year," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said recently. "The time is just too short and we feel that it’s important for all 32 teams to be operating with the same number of preseason games and also starting camp at the same date or near the same date."

There will still be money spent, but it won't be the same -- instead of thousands of Bears/Rams fans pouring into Canton, freely dropping coins and buying swag and pumping cash into the local economy, there will be some fans and a slew of family members for those people being inducted.

In fact, per Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the city's losting $3 million in revenue from the game alone. The NFL has apparently pledged to "compensate the committee" for its losses from that revenue.

That's nice and all but it's not going to fill up hotels, it's not going to send thousands of people to local restaurants and it's not going to fix the city's now-wrecked budget line.

Sorry for being pessimistic and pedantic and whatnot, but this is important, because we (myself included) have now been successfully trained to believe that with the lockout over and 10 years of labor peace on the books, no one was harmed by the NFL's labor strife.

That's obviously not true, and Canton's being nice about the whole process.

"The trickle-down effect is just the confusion," Joe Horrigan, VP of communications and exhibits at Canton, said recently. "If the world talks about the Hall of Fame Game being canceled, then if it's not played, a lot of people assume nothing else is happening. And that's not the case. It's the last day of a 10-day festival."

That's the nice way of handling things, and Horrigan's comments came before the game was actually canceled. You best believe that behind closed doors, the message is a lot less kind.

There's not a whole lot the league can do, though. Donate $30 million to Canton to make up for the lost money? Ha. How does "we'll let you keep the Pro Football Hall of Fame" sound?

About right, yes? That's the nature of this business and it's fine.

Well, not fine. A small city that depends on a part of the NFL is suffering financially this weekend.

And despite how much fluff is given to the ceremony because of the big names -- Deion Sanders and, ahem, NFL Network analyst Marshall Faulk -- they won't be making the same amount of money as they would if the ceremony were going full-steam and featuring the first preseason game of the year.

It's great that we have football back, of course. And it's great that we're going to avoid a lockout for 10 years. But that shouldn't make us forget that everything's not sunshine and rainbows in Canton, where a community that's the perfect representative of the average NFL fan is going to be a lot less financially enthralled this year.

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Posted on: July 16, 2011 8:37 am
Edited on: July 17, 2011 12:20 am
 

NFL denies report Hall of Fame Game is canceled

Posted by Will Brinson

Many folks -- ourselves included -- believe the Hall of Fame Game featuring the Rams and Bears will be the first victim of the lockout, which we think is near death. (In fact, CBSSports.com's Clark Judge recently urged the NFL to cancel the game, just to make things easier.)

So a report Friday from Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times that "word is out among key figures" of the Bears organization that the Hall of Fame Game is canceled doesn't seem too far-fetched.

“The dream is over,’’ one source said. “They had to throw one away, and everybody knew it."

The NFL, however, is denying said report.

"There has been no change in the status of any games,'' NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Friday.
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Now, even if the game was already essentially canceled, you wouldn't hear the NFL admitting as much, particularly when the thing that matters right now isn't scheduling a single preseason game, but making sure there's actually a season in 2011. Besides, if you ask Bears coach Lovie Smith, the teams don't need a full set of practices to get ready for the event anyway.

"If an agreement gets done and the NFL says we're going to play the game, we'll be ready," Smith said Friday, per Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. "Right now, we haven't been told that anything has been canceled."

Yeah, it's pretty unlikely that the NFL's issued a memo to the Bears or Rams about canceling the game. If that were the case, a) it'd be tough to deny it had been canceled.

More likely? There's a pervading sense of pessimism about playing the preseason content, and everyone in the Bears organization is picking up on that.

That's a reasonable vibe at this point, but as we've seen, the NFL and the players can move surprisingly fast with games on the line. And if the Rams and Bears are willing to take the field on short notice, it's still reasonable to see them line up on Aug. 7.

Unlikely, but reasonable.

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 10:01 am
Edited on: July 12, 2011 10:15 am
 

Lockout could put Hall of Fame game in jeopardy

Posted by Ryan Wilson

There isn't currently a 2011 NFL season, but July has been a busy month nonetheless. Most of it has been speculation driven -- the lockout will end on this date, free agency will start on that date -- but there's also legitimate hope that a new collective bargaining agreement will be ratified by July 21, no games will be missed, and there will be actual football this fall.

But it's not all rainbows and unicorns. We wrote earlier that the Cowboys might have to cancel their training camp in San Antonio because it's barely a week after the rumored July 21 CBA ratification date.

And while the regular season schedule is safe, as well as the final four weeks of the preseason (and the $800 million in revenues that go with it), the August 7 Hall of Fame game, typically the NFL's first preseason game played during Hall of Fame weekend in Canton, Ohio, could be in jeopardy.

"We have not identified a date by which we have to have an agreement to save the Hall of Fame Game," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Chicago Tribune. "Time is admittedly running short, however."

The Tribune notes that the July 21 ratification date would make it virtually impossible for the two teams playing in the Hall of Fame game, the Bears and Rams, to report to camp on July 22 and begin practicing on July 23.

There are also the "Transition Rules" to consider which, according to an ESPN report, spell out an actual timeline for roster transactions under the July 21 deal scenario, including the start of the new league year during which free agents would become eligible for the open market on July 28.

"This would create a wild period in which business would be done around the clock as teams settle rosters and go to camp at the same time," the Tribune's Brad Biggs and Vaughn McClure report. "Considering the Bears have only 54 players on their roster right now, a figure that includes draft picks, how quickly can Jerry Angelo and Cliff Stein find and sign 36 players?"

With all the deadlines in the 17 days between July 21 and August 7, it's hard to imagine that either team will be ready to play in Canton. The logistics are just too unwieldy.

Earlier this month, Hall of Fame president Steve Perry told ESPN that, depending on when the lockout ended, the Hall of Fame game could be postponed or played on another date.

"That's not our desire," he said. "It would not have the same impact as having it on Hall of Fame Weekend."

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 8:43 am
Edited on: July 11, 2011 9:53 am
 

Report: New CBA could be ratified by July 21

Posted by Ryan Wilson

A new collective bargaining agreement could be in place and ratified during the July 21 league meetings, ESPN reported Monday morning. This comes on the heels of another report Sunday that the two sides are "in really good shape" and that they're down to "one main issue … the rookie wage scale."

One NFL owner told ESPN over the weekend that there's "no reason to believe [the deal] won't get done." The thinking is that a handshake agreement will be put in place in the next seven to 10 days allowing each side to ratify it and start the 2011 season.

UPDATE (9:45 a.m. ET): ESPN has added the following paragraph to its original report: "However, one member of the players' negotiating team who has been a constant presence at the table said that players feel they have made significant concessions and overtures "that have not been reciprocated."

One issue with the July 21 ratification date: for weeks we've heard that if an agreement wasn't in place by July 15, free agency and training camps could be delayed, and preseason games could be lost, which would cost the owners and players anywhere from $200-$800 million.

The workaround to that, via the ESPN report:
While a rookie wage system has been identified as the most complex issue still to be resolved between the owners and players as they return to the negotiating table this week in New York, the level of overall confidence in reaching an agreement also is evident in a document known as "The Transition Rules" that NFL teams would follow if and when both players and owners ratify a new labor agreement.

The Transition Rules spell out an actual timeline for roster transactions under the July 21 deal scenario, including the start of the new league year during which free agents would become eligible for the open market on July 28.

With the tight timeline, teams will be scrambling to fill rosters that must be set at 90 players on roughly Aug. 3 -- but all training camps would be able to open on time.

If the deal were to be ratified July 21, it would assure that almost all preseason games would be played, according to sources
The only game that might be affected is the August 7 Hall of Fame game, which as of last week was still slated to be played.

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Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:52 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 11:06 am
 

Hall of Fame Game still scheduled for Aug. 7

Posted by Ryan Wilson

After taking the weekend off to celebrate our country's independence, the lawyers for the owners and players resumed talks today, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith aren't expected to be present for the negotiations until Thursday, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

The hope is that a new collective bargaining agreement can be reached by mid-July; if the lockout lasts beyond that, preseason games could be cancelled and owners and players could stand to lose up to $800 million.

While we wouldn't say optimism is high, there are signs that the two sides will resolve their differences and the 2011 season will begin on time.

Over the weekend, it was announced that the Cowboys set a July 29 training camp date at the Alamodome in San Antonio. And Tuesday, ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reports that the Pro Football Hall of Fame game between the Bears and Rams is still scheduled for August 7. The game is part of the Hall of Fame induction weekend in Canton, Ohio, and is the first game of the NFL preseason.

"We're making all plans to have the game on time. We've heard from both parties -- the owners and the players -- and they've expressed their desire to have the game. So, that's our plan," hall president Steve Perry told ESPN.

"Ticket sales are lagging behind where they were compared to this time last year," Perry acknowledged. "That's understandable. There is some uncertainty out there. But we're planning to have the game. Nobody has told us otherwise. In fact, both sides have told us they want to play the game."

Traditionally, the game is a sellout, but Perry said that only half the tickets for the 22,000-seat Fawcett Stadium have been sold. Just like the regular season, if the game isn't sold out it would be blacked out in Canton and the surrounding areas.

Both the Bears and the Rams have told Perry they plan to play in the game, but because of the lockout neither team knows exactly when they will be able to start training camp. If a new CBA isn't reached in the next 10 days or so and preseason games are ultimately delayed or cancelled, Perry told ESPN that the Hall of Fame game could be postponed or played on another date.

"That's not our desire," he said. "It would not have the same impact as having it on Hall of Fame Weekend."

The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, however, are unaffected by the lockout and will go on as planned.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com