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CloakNNNdagger
07-05-2011, 09:37 AM
The title of this ESPN article is a little misleading. It is obvious that fans are not willing to make expensive travel plans when a cancellation or change of date is not unlikely. With inability to make definite plans, many fans are evidently not willing to take the chance. It is likely that if the game even goes off as planned, so will the attendance be off.


Hall of Fame Game still on track

By Sal Paolantonio
ESPN

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is still on track to hold the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 7 between the Chicago Bears and the St. Louis Rams, the first game on the NFL's preseason calendar, according to hall president Steve Perry.

"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," 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."

Perry said tickets for about half the 22,000-seat Fawcett Stadium have been sold. The game is traditionally a sellout. If the game is not sold out, it would be blacked out in the Ohio area around Canton, he said. The game is televised nationally by NBC.

Perry said the Bears and Rams have both told the Hall of Fame they plan to play in the game, but to do so both teams would have to begin training camp by the third week in July, which means the labor negotiators are cutting it extremely close.

Negotiators on both sides have said privately that a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement would have to be reached by July 15 at the latest for the Bears and Rams to go to camp on time. Negotiations resume Tuesday in New York.

Perry said that the game could be postponed and still be 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."

Perry said all other Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are scheduled to take place whether the game is played or not.

Dutchrudder
07-05-2011, 10:28 AM
A blackout in Canton Ohio? OH NO! WE CANNOT LET THEM DO THAT!!!!!!!!!!

eriadoc
07-05-2011, 06:27 PM
I absolutely LOVE the HoF game. Aside from the Texans' appearance, I don't think I've ever watched more than about 5 minutes of it, but I prep like it's a real game. I get the beer ready, the jersey on, and the grub is top notch. Because every year, I am so starved for football by the time the game comes back, I could almost watch the Arena League. Then I get bored with the game and start looking up fantasy football crap.

This year? None of that. Not that interested yet.

texanhead08
07-05-2011, 11:25 PM
I hate pre season games. They are the biggest ripoff in sports. If they didn't make us pay for them in our season ticket package I wouldn't even watch much less attend. The only reason I go is I am not going to spend the money I do on tickets and waste the money. They could eliminate the pre season and no one would notice.

GP
07-10-2011, 10:07 AM
This game will be cancelled.

Not enough time.

And I have to think that at least one, if not maybe more than one, preseason game is in jeopardy.

CloakNNNdagger
07-13-2011, 05:53 AM
Greedy sacks of s**t.........They're hell bent to give fans a poorly organized/played game........and place suboptimally conditioned players at risk for injuries........all in the name of ticket and TV revenues.

It will be a joke of a game.......not even on par with a regular preseason game. Hopefully few fans will show for the game, and few will watch the game on TV so that the ratings translate into $$$ loss to the networks and ultimately to the NFL. I know I won't be watching/contributing a single penny for this game in ANY way if it is played.



Yeah, I read Rosenthal’s blurb based on Jason Cole’s report regarding the reluctance of the Bears and the Rams’ coaching staffs to play the Hall of Fame game with fewer than two weeks of camp to prepare for it. Yeah, I realize that the two teams aren’t thrilled about the prospect of having to slap together preparations for the preseason opener.

But the NFL and the NFLPA* don’t care.

As an unnamed coach told Cole, “The decision is probably going to be made for us.” And the unnamed coach is right.

It’s a meaningless glorified practice, in which the starters make only a limited appearance. If the Bears and Rams have a week or less to get ready, they’ll have to get ready in that week or less. The AFC and NFC all-star teams do it every year, even though many of the players haven’t practiced or played in several weeks.

If there’s any way to save the box office receipts and, more importantly, the NBC money, the league will get the game played. And the Bears’ and Rams’ coaches can grumble all they want.

Like the unnamed coach said, the decision will be made for them. And if the lockout officially ends by August 1, the decision undoubtedly will be to play the game.link (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/07/12/dont-count-out-the-hall-of-fame-game-just-yet/)

CloakNNNdagger
07-18-2011, 10:55 PM
From the Chicago Tribune..........a voice of reason:

What price the Hall of Fame game? (http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-0719-haugh--20110718,0,451882,print.column)
With player safety at issue, Bears-Rams matchup in Canton should be canceled

7:59 PM CDT, July 18, 2011


Outside of Richard Dent, I don't know anybody in Chicago who, a year from now, will remember what happened the first weekend of August 2011 in Canton, Ohio.

Unless something bad happens to a Bears player in a game that should be canceled immediately, that is.

If the Bears play the scheduled exhibition game against the Rams at Fawcett Stadium on Aug. 7 the day after Dent and six others are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame that possibility poses a bigger concern than ever.

The only people who possibly could get valuable experience out of this game would be the trainers. This threatens to be the NFL preseason opener brought to you by the American Red Cross.

Call it off now, Commissioner Goodell.

Roger Goodell has championed player safety too consistently to allow it to be threatened by playing so quickly after NFL teams reassemble following the lockout. The reward of preserving a full NFL exhibition schedule to make a nationally televised, business-as-usual PR statement on NBC isn't worth the risk of injury for players who need every possible practice to get back into football shape.

The potential for embarrassment for the NFL brand also increases in a game between teams full of new players who just met. If the league insists on playing, the Bears might consider putting the names on the front of the jerseys to avoid confusion in the huddle.

We have waited this long for the slightest hint of football. Waiting another week for the first exhibition game will bother nobody but the Canton Chamber of Commerce, which should understand.

What the Bears originally considered an opportunity to get a jump on the rest of the league has turned into a looming logistical and health hazard. I realize players can get hurt crossing the street. But playing against live competition so soon after a long layoff is like asking them to cross the Dan Ryan Expressway at 5:30 p.m.

Oh, we want football back, but we aren't in that big of a hurry to see Bears rookie quarterback Nathan Enderle throw to former CFL star receiver Andy Fantuz against a Rams defense full of guys bound for the Arena Football League. Five exhibition games are too many anyway. Heck, four are too many, but this is the wrong year to make that argument.

Never has the first of 65 NFL exhibition games received so much attention. But I guess debating whether the Bears should play the Rams beats wondering if Jay Cutler is going to spend August lounging in Los Angeles or Nashville. At least we are close enough to real football to smell the pigskin, and that's the point that shouldn't be lost.

The Bears continue to say they are scheduled to report to Bourbonnais on Friday, but that is unlikely even if the new collective bargaining agreement becomes official as early as Thursday as encouraging reports indicate. Barring snags in the CBA, sources say the earliest Bears reporting date for veterans and signed rookies will more likely be Monday, with the first practice possibly the following afternoon.

True, the Bears reported to training camp on July 27, 2004, for Lovie Smith's first training camp and played the Rams in a glorified scrimmage on the campus of Western Illinois University just 11 days later. I remember the Bears scoring only a touchdown on a pass from Jonathan Quinn to Gabe Reid. I also recall ex-Rams coach Mike Martz holding out stars Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce and Marc Bulger because it was too soon to risk unnecessary injury. A genius, that Martz.

Everybody with Aug. 7 circled on his Bears calendar can do the math and email or tweet me that a potential July 25 reporting date still leaves 13 days before kickoff, within the range teams normally require to prepare for the first exhibition game. Consider, though, there will be nothing normal about this training camp.

The Bears haven't convened as a team since January. The projected starting left tackle, J'Marcus Webb, hadn't met the projected starting right tackle, rookie Gabe Carimi, as of two weeks ago. They currently have no true center under contract. They have more than 35 players to sign before the roster approaches its projected limit of 90.

What about the players who will play significant roles who haven't joined the team yet? What if a Bears player refuses to report until he receives his roster bonus?

Teams have four months of NFL offseason business to compress into a few weeks. The Bears and Rams have one fewer week than the rest.

To preserve the health of every franchise and player in the league, every day matters.

The Hall of Fame game just doesn't.