If the NFL and/or the Hall of Fame (i.e., the NFL) decide to truly make it right with customers who either came to Canton or stayed an extra night for a game that wasn’t played, they’ll have some extra money to fund those efforts.
As noted by Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star, the powers-that-be failed to announce to the crowd that the game had been canceled. Which kept the cash registers ringing as fans who didn’t realize that they could (and should) just leave stuck around to buy food, drinks, and other stuff while waiting for a game that the NFL/HOF knew by that point wasn’t going to be played.
“It was intentional,” Doyel wrote. “It was deceitful. It was the Pro Football Hall of Fame keeping alive the façade, using its scoreboard to show a countdown to an 8 p.m. kickoff that would never happen, because there was money to be made.”
“I’ve spent $50 since I got into the stadium,” Ben Coleman of Terre Haute, Indiana told Doyel roughly 30 minutes before a kickoff that never happen. “You’re damn right I’m mad. I’m [expletive].”
A Packers fan then chimed in with this: “I spent $65 on this food. How [expletive] do you think I am?”
Fans/customers are indeed [expletive], but don’t expect the NFL to do jack [expletive] about it, beyond refunding ticket prices. That’s not how the NFL operates.
Maybe, on this 10th anniversary of Roger Goodell’s elevation from COO to Commissioner, he’ll have an epiphany. Maybe he’ll conduct a press conference during which he takes full responsibility for the situation. Maybe he’ll promise to do everything the league can to make it right. Maybe he’ll vow to reimburse fans for all expenses incurred unnecessarily for a game that wasn’t played — both before and after the NFL knew it wouldn’t be played.
Maybe you made it through that paragraph without laughing out loud.
A decade in to the Goodell tenure, it’s clear that his overriding goal is to Protect The Shield. That’s typically accomplished by circling the wagons, not by opening the coffers. Don’t expect that approach to suddenly change now.