People who know me well realize that I love NFL football. This is a passion that my wife and I share, although to a greater extent with me. Although I have a lot of activities to keep me busy during the spring and summer, invariably I begin missing being able to watch football starting around mid February. I know that I’ll just have to wait until August for pre-season football to begin.
Typically, the NFL pre-season begins with the Hall of Fame Game, played in Canton, Ohio the first Sunday in August. This city is the location of the Football Hall of Fame (HOF), so the reason for the name of the game is rather obvious. The game is normally played after a handful of players, coaches or owners are inducted into the Hall of Fame; one of the highest honors in American football.
This year’s HOF game promised to be really special, too, even though it is “only” pre-season. Pre-season is a time for the coaches to get a look at potential new players in real competition, as well as to evaluate returning players. This year, the game match-up was to feature the Green Bay Packers vs the Indianapolis Colts. This is especially notable because one of the inductees for this years’ Hall of Fame is Brett Favre, a long time and very talented former quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.
I was really ready for this game for another reason, too. You see, the Packers are one of my four most favorite teams, which includes the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. With Brett getting inducted, I was expecting a fantastic game.
The game was to begin at 6 pm, my time. Only, the game was cancelled not long before it was to begin. You might wonder if there were bad lightning storms or a torrential downpour (an earthquake is unlikely in Canton, though there have been a few in the past. That is just rare.) Nope, that wasn’t why the game was cancelled, and notice that I said cancelled, not postponed. It wasn’t because of a natural disaster. Besides, keep in mind that football games are often played in horrendous weather conditions, from bitter cold to snowstorms to heavy rain.
The Hall of Fame Game was cancelled because of the condition of the field! In specific, the painting for the yard stripes and so forth had turned into a rubberized mess. It would have been exceptionally slick and could have caused injuries to the players. Now, I’m all for the safety of the men who are playing on the field and I certainly don’t want to have any players getting hurt. Because of that, I completely understand why the coaches of both the Packers and the Colts chose to cancel the game.
My question is, why didn’t someone notice the condition of the field in time to do something about it, rather than two and a half hours before kickoff? This is something that should have been seen long before it was detected. Thousands of dollars are spent to get a football field ready for play long before the game begins.
To be honest, I’m neither angry nor upset about it. I was able to enjoy an especially good church service so my day already had wonderful meaning and was quite pleasant. I’m even more passionate about God than I am about football. However, I am disappointed and can’t help but think that this isn’t a complimentary thing to have happen for Canton, Ohio. I can only hope that they will be much more observant in the future, everywhere that football is played.
Oh, well, NFL Pre-season still hasn’t yet begun, though it already should have. It will begin on Thursday night. Until then, I’ll just have to enjoy some reruns of last year’s football.
Picture by kyleburning, attribution CC NoDerivs 2.0 generic