The Pro-Football Hall of Fame game is scheduled for this Thursday, meaning the ‘new year’ of football is here! It will be played in the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium located in Canton, Ohio. The official home, and where it has been played every year dating back to 1962.
If you’re unfamiliar, it is an exhibition game which helps to hype up the Pro-Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The teams selected to play in this game are usually chosen prior to the preseason schedule. When it comes to choosing which teams play, the NFL will base the choice off who is being inducted. For example in 2019 when Tony Gonzalez and Champ Bailey were inducted. Gonzales had played for both the Chiefs and Falcons as Tight End. Bailey had played Cornerback in Washington and also for the Broncos. So the NFL chose to put the Atlanta Falcons against the Denver Broncos.
What’s the history behind the Pro-Football Hall of Fame game?
The first ever match-up was in 1962 between the New York Giants, and the St. Louis Cardinals. It was a game that ended in a tie.
The game I mentioned earlier between the Broncos and Falcons. was the most recent game played. This was because the 2020 game was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A game has only ever been cancelled twice before this – in 2011 due to the NFL lockout and in 2016 due to poor field conditions.
What can you expect to see from the game?
This year, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys were chosen to face off. It is the sixth time in history that the NFL has chosen these teams to represent their Hall of Famers.
Whilst it isn’t a game the teams will have their biggest names play in. It is a great opportunity for coaching staff to determine where their roster stands in week one. For me, it’s an exciting to get a first look at a couple of rookies too. Najee Harris and Micah Parsons are two names that should get some playing time in the opening quarter.
Whilst the big-name players won’t be on the field this will still be a great game to watch. The majority of those on the field will be fighting for their spot on the roster. This is a game not to be missed.