Are you ready for some football!?! Me too, but due to a lack proper planning on part of the NFL, we’re going to have to wait just a little bit longer to get it. If you’re anything like me then you couldn’t wait for the Hall of Fame Game yesterday. It’s just preseason but it’s still full contact, full speed, football action. And after so many months without our beloved pigskin, the masses are desperate for it. Well, thanks to poor field conditions (and planning), we were all denied that for which we have yearned for so many months. With about an hour until kickoff, the league canceled the game and took the air out of what was to be the grand conclusion of a great Hall of Fame induction weekend.
The game was set for the Green Bay Packers to face off against the Indianapolis Colts but alas, it was not meant to be. Even though we weren’t going to see Aaron Rodgers play in the first place we were still going to get some action. Most of the other starters would see very, very limited playing time but that doesn’t really matter. I WANT FOOTBALL AND I WANT IT NOW!
To be totally serious, I’m low-key proud of the league, despite the logistical ineptitude, for the decision to cancel the game yesterday. It’s not something that happens often but the league actually put the players’ safety above all else. That’s right, the guys who still try to downplay the link between the game, concussions, and CTE, did what was best for the players. I’ll give you a second to digest that. Now that we are past that, it’s time to rag on them a little bit. Get your shit together, NFL. If you can’t get a field in Ohio to be safe, how can we trust you in London or Mexico City this season? We all know that you aren’t canceling a regular season game. Blame the Tim McGraw concert that was held on Friday all you want, but everyone knows this is on you.
The safety concerns at Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio stemmed from conditions of the playing surface on the field. This is the same stadium where Steelers kicker, Shaun Suisham tore his ACL last season while attempting to make a tackle. There were complaints about the conditions of the field for last year’s game and yet the NFL didn’t cancel the game. At least one player from that game takes issue with that fact.
Hey @NFL it was that terrible last year but u didn’t cancel the game we had our kicker tear his acl and a few mcl strains so thanks😏
— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) August 8, 2016
You have to think that he has a point. After last years’ debacle the league replaced the old turf with the artificial playing surface from the New Orleans Saints’ home, the SuperDome. Yet, the issues persisted. Maybe just get a new field installed instead of borrowing a used one? Word from players was that the paint for the logo at centerfield and the endzones had congealed to the point that it was like tar and a cleat wouldn’t penetrate it. Another player was quoted as saying that it would have been like “playing on concrete.”
How on Earth does the league bungle setting up and painting a playing field? Have they not been hosting football games since 1920? It’s kind of sad that a league that is estimated to have $13 billion in revenue this year can’t get the field figured out. It’s bad enough that they are forcing these two teams to play a fifth preseason game, but to potentially put the teams in further danger by fumbling when it comes to the turf? That’s bush league.
So this Case of the Mondays goes to the National Football League, and its attempt at the 2016 Hall of Fame Game. Aside from an estimated $4 million in lost revenue, the league lost a bit a little bit of respect from the fans in attendance and at home. While I applaud them for taking a stand on player safety, the respect gained from that move is surely lost when you consider that it never should have gone down like that. This is the most popular and powerful professional sports league in the country, and maybe even the world, yet they can’t figure out the playing field for the first game of the year.
Let’s all just be happy that they got their heads out of their own asses for long enough to cancel the game and stop some injuries before they happened. I’ll wait until Thursday for some football, but I damn sure ain’t happy about it!