Still, the cancellation came as a surprise to many. It’s not often that any NFL game, even one that doesn’t count, is called off.
Had no idea a cancellation was possible.. When it 1st got mentioned our entire locker room had the same reaction.. pic.twitter.com/920e2bXBOR
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) August 7, 2016
Realizing the bad look of the whole situation, the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame had both teams stay at the stadium and turned the event into a fan experience. Fans will be refunded their ticket costs. Still, it’s a major embarrassment for the game that annually kicks off the exhibition season.
The Hall of Fame Game was canceled in 2011 because of the ongoing lockout. The game also twice was cut short because of lightning concerns.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not expected to play anyway, and both teams’ starters likely wouldn’t have had much more than a series in the 2016 preseason debut. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and Colts head coach Chuck Pagano both expressed concerns about the state of the field, brought it up to game officials and monitored as the field crew tried to work on the surface before the game ultimately was canceled.
This was also scheduled to be the debut of “Monday Night Football play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough, who replaced Mike Tirico in the offseason, for ESPN. Now the game goes down as a major waste of money for the network, plus that for the travel expenses of thousands of fans who came to Canton — including scores from Wisconsin — yes, mostly to watch the induction speeches of Brett Favre and Tony Dungy and others, but also catch a little NFL football for the first time in seven months.
People might not love the preseason in general, but this still is a bad look for the NFL.
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The NFL fans in St. Louis have, for the first time in 21 years, no local team to root for. The Rams have gone to Los Angeles, leaving at least some area fans looking for another team to support.
The Kansas City Chiefs, on the other end of Missouri and about 250 miles from St. Louis, hope it’s them.
The Chiefs’ preseason games this summer, beginning Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks at Arrowhead Stadium, will be shown live on the CBS affiliate in St. Louis, beginning what could be a more aggressive marketing plan aimed at football fans in that city.
“We thought it’s important to have our games on there,’’ president Mark Donovan said during a visit to training camp at Missouri Western State University. “The NFL did, too. It’s a big market and we want to take advantage of that opportunity.’’
The Chiefs have intentionally moved slowly with regard to luring St. Louis area fans.
“It’s something we’re trying to be very respectful of,’’ chairman Clark Hunt said. “We know there are a lot of great Rams fans in St. Louis. They’re very disappointed to lose their team to Los Angeles. We’re not proactively courting them at this point. Probably the best thing we can do to build a fan base over there is to go out and have a great season on the field.’’
Donovan said, “I think our strategy has been the right strategy. Let’s seed our product and see how we do and let’s see what the reaction is, and then let’s go from there.’’