Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Preseason
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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
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.
Latest on Labor

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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 30, 2010 2:57 pm
 

Phil Simms' interesting point about preseason

Posted by Andy Benoit

Phil Simms made an excellent point during the Texans-Cowboys game Saturday night. For fans, the general tP. Simms (US Presswire)hinking is that players don’t play hard during the preseason. Simms said players actually play harder during the preseason – and he wasn’t just referring to guys who are trying to make the team. Simms argues that because players are their freshest and fittest in the preseason, the game is naturally faster and more violent.

In Simms’ mind, the preseason is not only about working the tactical kinks out – it’s about gradually preparing your body for the punishment of live action come September. That’s why the former Super Bowl MVP thinks an 18-game schedule (which would mean a two-game preseason) is a poor idea.

“I think it’s a game where you slowly indoctrinate yourself in to the hitting and all the punishment that comes with it,” Simms said. “So it’s a little bit the first (preseason) game; a little more and a little more. You don’t go into boxing, Hey my first professional fight I’m taking on Mike Tyson. I’m ready for the real thing. You don’t do that. You slowly work your way into it. I think it’s going to hurt the players if they change it drastically.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Posted on: August 21, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Preseason games tonight: why to watch

Posted by Andy Benoit

There is a hefty slate of preseason games for Saturday night. It’s only the second exhibition contest for most of these teams, so don’t expect the starters to play past the first half. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to watch. We’ll take a stab at selling each game on tonight’s schedule. Here we go…

Ravens @ Redskins
Redskins rookie left tackle Trent Williams flashed remarkable athleticism early on against the Bills last week. He’s going up against considerably tougher competition in the blitzing, physical Ravens front seven. How will he perform?

Steelers @ Giants
Ben Roethlisberger makes his preseason debut. It’s surprising that Mike Tomlin chose to debut his controversial star quarterback on the road. After all, this only maximizes the Big Ben distraction. Then again, it’s just preseason, so perhaps Tomlin views the distraction as a valuable learning opportunity for his club. That’s something the young Super Bowl-winning head coach would think about.

Chiefs @ Bucs
Um…hmm…this would be a tough game to sell even during the regular season.

How about this: Chiefs second-round rookie wideout/running back Dexter McCluster has turned some heads in camp. So has Bucs fourth-round rookie wideout Mike Williams. Both should see plenty of action in this game.

Dolphins @ Jaguars
The Jags insist there isn’t a quarterback controversy. But if David Garrard goes out tonight and stinks up the joint, and Luke McCown comes in and has another three-touchdown performance, that tune will be harder to sing.

Rams @ Browns
Everybody loved watching Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy square off in college. Well, here’s your chance to see it on the pro level.

Texans @ Saints
If a photographer can get a good shot of Mario Williams tackling Reggie Bush, we’ll have an excellent excuse for a look-back story on the 2006 NFL Draft. We can even call CBS analyst Charley Casserly and listen to the former Texans G.M. pass up another chance to gloat about proving millions of armchair G.M.’s wrong.

If the Williams-Bush angle doesn’t do it for you, this game features two of the most explosive offenses in football. (New Orleans ranked first in total yards and fourth in passing last season; Houston ranked fourth in total yards and first in passing.) The unofficial over/under for total first half points is 50.

Jets @ Panthers
Watch the game and try to predict which plays will make it on Hard Knocks. (Really clever fans could probably turn this into some form of a drinking or gambling game – or both.)

Raiders @ Bears
Jay Cutler is still getting acquainted with Mike Martz’s offense. If Cutler throws too many picks in this contest, Al Davis might try to sign him to a record-breaking contract.

More seriously, the Bears receivers will have a good opportunity to showcase their progress in the new system. The Raiders run a traditional man-to-man scheme, which helps reveal a receiver’s true raw talent. The Raiders are planning on moving Nnamdi Asomugha around this year; it will be interesting to see which wideout he lines up across from most often, Devin Hester or Johnny Knox.

Cowboys @ Chargers
Is there anything more annoying than a preseason matchup being touted as a possible “Super Bowl preview”?
If the Chargers struggle to move the ball through the air, will that impact the Vincent Jackson trade developments? (Probably not, but the idea is worth floating.)

Lions @ Broncos
Tony Scheffler makes his epic return to Denver…?

Okay, how about Tim Tebow possibly making his first appearance at home? You know if Tebow plays after missing some practice time this week (sore ribs), at least one idiot columnist or radio host will take the opportunity to praise the Florida star’s legendary toughness.


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS feed.

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