Pro Football Hall of Fame Game

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Pro Football Hall of Fame Game
Fawcett Stadium before the start of the 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game
Fawcett Stadium before the start of the 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game

Recent and upcoming games
2014 season
August 3, 2014
New York Giants 17, Buffalo Bills 13
 
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Pro Football Hall of Fame Game
Fawcett Stadium before the start of the 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game
Fawcett Stadium before the start of the 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game

Recent and upcoming games
2014 season
August 3, 2014
New York Giants 17, Buffalo Bills 13

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game is an annual National Football League exhibition game that is held the weekend of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's induction ceremonies. The game is played at Fawcett Stadium, which is located next door to the Hall of Fame building in Canton, Ohio. It is traditionally the first game in the NFL's preseason, marking the end of the NFL's six-month offseason.

Team selection[edit]

The two teams that play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game are typically selected by the league in advance of the remainder of the preseason schedule. The participants are usually announced around the time that the new Hall of Fame members are announced, which coincides with Super Bowl week. Since 1971, the opponents for each game have traditionally included one AFC team and one NFC team. In 2009, as recognition of the 50th season of the charter members of the American Football League, the game paired two of the "original eight" franchises of that league, the Tennessee Titans (dressed as their previous incarnation, the Houston Oilers) and the Buffalo Bills, whose owner, Ralph Wilson, was inducted into the Hall that year. Intra-conferences matchups were scheduled for 2011 and 2012,[1] however, the 2011 game was cancelled due to the 2011 NFL lockout.

Because this game and the Hall of Fame's induction ceremonies are scheduled on the weekend before the league's regular four-week exhibition season begins, both teams end up playing five exhibition games instead of the normal four, and unlike the Canadian Football League, the league does not remove an exhibition game from another week.

Expansion clubs[edit]

In recent years, expansion teams have been selected to play in the Hall of Fame Game. In 1995, expansion clubs Jacksonville and Carolina played one another, and in 2002, Houston was one of the participants. Furthermore, in 1999 the rebooted Cleveland Browns franchise was featured in the Hall of Fame Game upon their return to the league. After the Cleveland Browns relocation controversy, the Baltimore Ravens, officially considered by the league an expansion team, have never played in the Hall of Fame Game.

Scheduling[edit]

Prior to the AFL-NFL merger, the Hall of Fame Game was played in August or September, in some cases at the end of the preseason. In 1970, it was moved to the beginning of the preseason. Prior to 2002, it was not uncommon for the game to be played in July. Since 2002, when the league permanently moved the start of the season to the weekend after Labor Day, the game has always been played in early August.

The 2011 game was originally scheduled as an intra-conference matchup (Rams vs. Bears), contrary to established tradition. The game was cancelled due to an ongoing labor dispute that had disrupted nearly all league activity during the 2011 offseason. The two clubs had set a deadline of July 22 to ratify a resolution in enough time to prepare for the game. The league and players did not ratify the agreement until July 25, forcing cancellation of the game.

Television and radio[edit]

For more details on this topic, see List of Pro Football Hall of Fame Game broadcasters.

From 1999-2005, the game was held on Monday night, televised as part of ABC's Monday Night Football package. It had previously been held typically on Saturday afternoons, except from 1963-65 on Sunday afternoons, televised as part of ABC's Wide World of Sports package (still using the MNF crew). In 1998, the game was put in the MNF package, and played on a Saturday night, which served as a test run for the move to Monday night. Starting in 2006, it was moved to Sunday night, coinciding with the new NBC Sunday Night Football television package. The 2007 game was telecast on NFL Network as NBC was intending to televise the China Bowl game in Beijing, China (a game which was postponed to 2009 and later canceled). The Hall of Fame Game has since bounced between both networks. The 2012 game aired on NFL Network due to NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympics. After a two-year absence, the game returned to NBC in 2013 and will remain on the network until 2015.

Dial Global owns national radio rights; it is the only exhibition game to air on a nationwide network. Each team's radio network is also allowed to broadcast the games (albeit usually with fewer affiliates since exhibition games are traditionally much lower priority to non-sports and non-flagship stations).

In 2007 and 2008, the game was broadcast live in both Ireland and the United Kingdom by Sky Sports. It was not shown in 2009 because of a dispute between Sky Sports and the NFL over TV rights. ESPN America (formerly North American Sports Network) broadcasts the game in the rest of Europe.

From 1998-2005, the Global Television Network aired the game in Canada, simulcasting ABC; upon the move to Sunday night in 2006, the CTV Television Network aired the game until 2010. With CTV airing the 2012 Summer Olympics, TSN broadcast the Hall of Fame Game in 2012. Azteca 7 aired Spanish-language coverage of the Hall of Fame Game in Mexico from 1998-2005; the Game moved to Canal 5 in 2006 and aired on that station until 2010. Due to the cancellation of the 2011 Hall of Fame Game and Televisa's Summer Olympics coverage, the Hall of Fame Game moved to Televisa Deportes in 2012 and then to Galavision in 2013.

Fawcett Stadium is within 75 miles of numerous television markets in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania (and is part of the Cleveland market); as such, the NBC affiliates (and before them, the ABC affiliates) have been required to black out the game in the rare event the game does not sell out. Because Fawcett Stadium only holds 22,375 fans (less than half the NFL's minimum requirements for its stadiums) and the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies bring large numbers of outside fans to Canton, the game has, to date, always sold out (several NFL teams, as well as the Super Bowl, have similarly enjoyed long sellout streaks).

Game history[edit]

DateAway teamAway scoreHome teamHome scoreRecap
August 11, 1962New York Giants21St. Louis Cardinals21Recap
September 8, 1963Cleveland Browns7Pittsburgh Steelers16Recap
September 6, 1964Baltimore Colts48Pittsburgh Steelers17Recap
September 12, 1965Detroit Lions3Washington Redskins20Recap
August 5, 1967Cleveland Browns13Philadelphia Eagles28Recap
August 3, 1968Dallas Cowboys24Chicago Bears30Recap
September 13, 1969Green Bay Packers38Atlanta Falcons24Recap
August 8, 1970New Orleans Saints14Minnesota Vikings13Recap
July 31, 1971Houston Oilers6Los Angeles Rams17Recap
July 29, 1972Kansas City Chiefs23New York Giants17Recap
July 28, 1973San Francisco 49ers20New England Patriots7Recap
July 27, 1974Buffalo Bills13St. Louis Cardinals21Recap
August 2, 1975Washington Redskins17Cincinnati Bengals9Recap
July 24, 1976Denver Broncos10Detroit Lions7Recap
July 30, 1977Chicago Bears20New York Jets6Recap
July 29, 1978Miami Dolphins3Philadelphia Eagles17Recap
July 28, 1979Dallas Cowboys13Oakland Raiders20Recap
August 2, 1980San Diego Chargers0Green Bay Packers0Recap[A]
August 1, 1981Atlanta Falcons10Cleveland Browns24Recap
August 7, 1982Baltimore Colts14Minnesota Vikings30Recap
July 30, 1983New Orleans Saints14Pittsburgh Steelers27Recap
July 28, 1984Seattle Seahawks38Tampa Bay Buccaneers0Recap
August 3, 1985New York Giants21Houston Oilers20Recap
August 2, 1986New England Patriots21St. Louis Cardinals16Recap
August 8, 1987San Francisco 49ers20Kansas City Chiefs7Recap
July 30, 1988Cincinnati Bengals14Los Angeles Rams7Recap
August 5, 1989Washington Redskins31Buffalo Bills6Recap
August 4, 1990Cleveland Browns0Chicago Bears13Recap
July 27, 1991Detroit Lions14Denver Broncos3Recap
August 1, 1992New York Jets41Philadelphia Eagles14Recap
July 31, 1993Green Bay Packers3Los Angeles Raiders19Recap
July 30, 1994San Diego Chargers17Atlanta Falcons21Recap
July 29, 1995Carolina Panthers20Jacksonville Jaguars14Recap
July 27, 1996Indianapolis Colts10New Orleans Saints3Recap
July 26, 1997Minnesota Vikings28Seattle Seahawks26Recap
August 1, 1998Pittsburgh Steelers6Tampa Bay Buccaneers30Recap
August 9, 1999Dallas Cowboys17Cleveland Browns20Recap
July 31, 2000New England Patriots20San Francisco 49ers0Recap
August 6, 2001St. Louis Rams17Miami Dolphins10Recap
August 5, 2002Houston Texans17New York Giants34Recap
August 4, 2003Kansas City Chiefs9Green Bay Packers0Recap[B]
August 9, 2004Denver Broncos17Washington Redskins20Recap
August 8, 2005Chicago Bears27Miami Dolphins24Recap
August 6, 2006Oakland Raiders16Philadelphia Eagles10Recap
August 5, 2007New Orleans Saints7Pittsburgh Steelers20Recap
August 3, 2008Indianapolis Colts16Washington Redskins30Recap
August 9, 2009Buffalo Bills18Tennessee Titans21Recap
August 8, 2010Dallas Cowboys16Cincinnati Bengals7Recap
August 7, 2011Chicago BearsSt. Louis Rams[C]
August 5, 2012Arizona Cardinals10New Orleans Saints17Recap
August 4, 2013Miami Dolphins20Dallas Cowboys24Recap
August 3, 2014New York Giants17Buffalo Bills13Recap
August 9, 2015TBATBA

Standings[edit]

TeamWLTPCTLast appearance
Washington Redskins5001.0002008
Chicago Bears4001.0002005
Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders3001.0002006
Carolina Panthers1001.0001995
Minnesota Vikings210.6671997
New England Patriots210.6672000
San Francisco 49ers210.6672000
Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams210.6672001
Kansas City Chiefs210.6672003
New York Giants311.6252014
Pittsburgh Steelers320.6002007
Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts220.5002008
Philadelphia Eagles220.5002006
New York Jets110.5001992
Seattle Seahawks110.5001997
Tampa Bay Buccaneers110.5001998
Cleveland Browns230.4001999
New Orleans Saints230.4002012
Dallas Cowboys230.4002013
St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals121.3752012
Green Bay Packers121.3752003
Cincinnati Bengals120.3332010
Atlanta Falcons120.3331994
Denver Broncos120.3332004
Detroit Lions120.3331991
Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans120.3332009
San Diego Chargers011.2501994
Baltimore Ravens000N/A
Houston Texans010.0002002
Jacksonville Jaguars010.0001995
Buffalo Bills040.0002014
Miami Dolphins040.0002013

Most appearances- 5: Cleveland Browns (1963, 1967, 1981, 1990, and 1999), Pittsburgh Steelers (1963, 1964, 1983, 1998, and 2007), Washington Redskins (1965, 1975, 1989, 2004, and 2008), Dallas Cowboys (1968, 1979, 1999, 2010, and 2013), and New Orleans Saints (1970, 1983, 1996, 2007, and 2012). Had the 2011 game been played, the Chicago Bears would have joined this list.

Most wins- 5: Washington Redskins (1965, 1975, 1989, 2004, and 2008)

Longest active drought without Hall of Fame Game appearance- 21 seasons: Detroit Lions (last appearance - 1991); 20 seasons: New York Jets (last appearance - 1992); 17 seasons: Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars (last appearance - 1995)

Active teams to have never made a Hall of Fame Game appearance- Baltimore Ravens

The Lions are the NFC team with the longest current absence from the game. The New York Jets, who last appeared in 1992, are the AFC team with the longest current absence.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Game ended with 5:29 remaining in the fourth quarter due to severe lightning.
  2. ^ Game ended with 5:49 remaining in the third quarter due to severe lightning.
  3. ^ Canceled due to 2011 NFL lockout.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Individual Tickets & Festival Fan Packages". Profootballhof.com. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 

External links[edit]