With the NFL and the players nearly at a full and complete agreement on a new labor deal, the question becomes whether the dominoes will fall in a manner that allows the Hall of Fame game to be played.
Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times reports, citing an unnamed league source, that the August 7 preseason opener between the Bears and Rams has been canceled. In the same story, however, Mulligan writes that several Bears sources weren’t aware of the move. Mulligan also has a quote from Hall of Fame official Joe Horrigan, who said he was told by the NFL that no games have been canceled.
The unnamed source explained that the current time line won’t allow the Bears and Rams to open training camp until July 27 or 28, giving them 11 or 10 days, respectively, to prepare for the game.
Even under that schedule, we believe the Hall of Fame game can and will be played. It’s a glorified scrimmage. The starters make a cameo appearance. Yes, some players may not be in “football shape,” but it’ll be for the teams to figure out who’s ready and who isn’t and to get them ready to play.
The league and the players have made it clear lately that the clock was regarded as approaching 12 in order to salvage the preseason revenue. Not some of it, all of it. So why would the league walk away from a prime-time game on NBC that will surely set television ratings records?
If it creates a hardship for the Bears and the Rams, so be it. The entire lockout has created a hardship for every team. Now, they all have to deal with it.