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Fawcett Stadium before the start of the 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game is an annual National Football League exhibition game that is held the weekend of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's induction ceremonies. The game is played at Fawcett Stadium, which is located next door to the Hall of Fame building in Canton, Ohio.

The two teams that play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game are selected by the league. Since 1971, this has been one AFC team vs. one NFC team; but in 2009, starting with the Hall of Fame Game, Professional Football will recognize the 50th anniversary of the American Football League's first season. In 2009, the game paired two of the 'original eight' franchises of the American Football League, the Tennessee Titans (formerly the Houston Oilers) and the Buffalo Bills. Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. was inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2009 along with former Bills player Bruce Smith. Wilson and Titans owner Bud Adams are the only surviving members of the Foolish Club, the eight original owners of AFL franchises. For the game, each team wore throwback uniforms from the AFL years (1960 - 1969), with the Titans wearing Oilers uniforms. Appropriately, the officials wore the AFL's red-orange striped shirts with the AFL logo, instead of black stripes.

Because this game and the Hall of Fame's induction ceremonies are scheduled on the weekend before the league's regular four-week Exhibition season begins, both teams end up playing five exhibition games instead of the normal four and (unlike the Canadian Football League) the league does not remove an exhibition game from another week.

Since 1995, expansion teams usually played the Hall of Fame Game as their first ever NFL contest; the teams that have done so thus far are Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers matchup in 1995, and the Houston Texans in 2002. The only exception to an expansion franchise not playing at this venue is the Baltimore Ravens. It is assumed that this is because the team was considered a moved franchise, as its roster was based on the Cleveland Browns from the year before and no expansion draft was held for the team (nor was a dispersal draft held for the Browns after its suspension in 1995; however, the Ravens are officially recognized as an expansion franchise founded in 1996 as a result of an agreement between the NFL and the city of Cleveland), with another reason being possible fan backlash because of Canton's proximity to Cleveland. However, the Cleveland Browns (who were restocked with an expansion draft) were featured in the Hall of Fame Game upon their return to the league in 1999.

Contents

Television and radio

From 1999-2005, the game was held on Monday night, televised as part of ABC's Monday Night Football package. It had previously been held typically on Saturday afternoons, televised as part of ABC's Wide World of Sports package. In 1998, the game was put in the MNF package, and played on a Saturday night, which served as a test run for the move to Monday night. Starting in 2006, it was moved to Sunday night, coinciding with the new NBC Sunday Night Football television package. The 2007 game was telecast on NFL Network as NBC was intending to televise the China Bowl game in Beijing, China (a game which was postponed to 2009 and later canceled).

Westwood One owns national radio rights; it is the only exhibition game to air on a nationwide network. Each team's radio network is also allowed to broadcast the games (albeit usually with fewer affiliates since exhibition games are traditionally much lower priority to non-sports and non-flagship stations).

In 2007 and 2008 the game was broadcast live in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland by Sky Sports. It was not shown in 2009 because of a dispute between Sky Sports and the NFL over TV rights. ESPN America (formerly North American Sports Network) broadcasts the game in the rest of Europe.

Game history

Date Score
August 11, 1962 New York Giants 21, St. Louis Cardinals 21
September 8, 1963 Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Cleveland Browns 7
September 6, 1964 Baltimore Colts 48, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
September 12, 1965 Washington Redskins 20, Detroit Lions 3
1966 No game was played.
August 5, 1967 Philadelphia Eagles 28, Cleveland Browns 13
August 3, 1968 Chicago Bears 30, Dallas Cowboys 24
September 13, 1969 Green Bay Packers 38, Atlanta Falcons 24
August 8, 1970 New Orleans Saints 14, Minnesota Vikings 13
July 31, 1971 Los Angeles Rams 17, Houston Oilers 6
July 29, 1972 Kansas City Chiefs 23, New York Giants 17
July 28, 1973 San Francisco 49ers 20, New England Patriots 7
July 27, 1974 St. Louis Cardinals 21, Buffalo Bills 13
August 2, 1975 Washington Redskins 17, Cincinnati Bengals 9
July 24, 1976 Denver Broncos 10, Detroit Lions 7
July 30, 1977 Chicago Bears 20, New York Jets 6
July 29, 1978 Philadelphia Eagles 17, Miami Dolphins 3
July 28, 1979 Oakland Raiders 20, Dallas Cowboys 13
August 2, 1980[1] Tie 0-0; Green Bay Packers vs. San Diego Chargers
August 1, 1981 Cleveland Browns 24, Atlanta Falcons 10
August 7, 1982 Minnesota Vikings 30, Baltimore Colts 14
July 30, 1983 Pittsburgh Steelers 27, New Orleans Saints 14
July 28, 1984 Seattle Seahawks 38, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0
August 3, 1985 New York Giants 21, Houston Oilers 20
August 2, 1986 New England Patriots 21, St. Louis Cardinals 16
August 8, 1987 San Francisco 49ers 20, Kansas City Chiefs 7
July 30, 1988 Cincinnati Bengals 14, Los Angeles Rams 7
August 5, 1989 Washington Redskins 31, Buffalo Bills 6
August 4, 1990 Chicago Bears 13, Cleveland Browns 0
July 27, 1991 Detroit Lions 14, Denver Broncos 3
August 1, 1992 New York Jets 41, Philadelphia Eagles 14
July 31, 1993 Los Angeles Raiders 19, Green Bay Packers 3
July 30, 1994 Atlanta Falcons 21, San Diego Chargers 7
July 29, 1995 Carolina Panthers 20, Jacksonville Jaguars 14
July 27, 1996 Indianapolis Colts 10, New Orleans Saints 3
July 26, 1997 Minnesota Vikings 28, Seattle Seahawks 26
August 1, 1998 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30, Pittsburgh Steelers 6
August 9, 1999 Cleveland Browns 20, Dallas Cowboys 17, OT
July 31, 2000 New England Patriots 20, San Francisco 49ers 0
August 6, 2001 St. Louis Rams 17, Miami Dolphins 10
August 5, 2002 New York Giants 34, Houston Texans 17
August 4, 2003[2] Kansas City Chiefs 9, Green Bay Packers 0
August 9, 2004 Washington Redskins 20, Denver Broncos 17
August 8, 2005 Chicago Bears 27, Miami Dolphins 24
August 6, 2006 Oakland Raiders 16, Philadelphia Eagles 10
August 5, 2007 Pittsburgh Steelers 20, New Orleans Saints 7
August 3, 2008 Washington Redskins 30, Indianapolis Colts 16
August 9, 2009 Tennessee Titans 21, Buffalo Bills 18
  1. ^ Game ended with 5:29 remaining in the fourth quarter due to severe lightning.
  2. ^ Game ended with 5:49 remaining in the third quarter due to severe lightning.

Standings

Team W L T Pct. Last appearance
Washington Redskins 5 0 0 1.000 2008
Chicago Bears 4 0 0 1.000 2005
Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders 3 0 0 1.000 2006
Carolina Panthers 1 0 0 1.000 1995
Kansas City Chiefs 2 1 0 .667 2003
Minnesota Vikings 2 1 0 .667 1997
New England Patriots 2 1 0 .667 2000
Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams 2 1 0 .667 2001
San Francisco 49ers 2 1 0 .667 2000
New York Giants 2 1 1 .625 2002
Pittsburgh Steelers 3 2 0 .600 2007
Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts 2 2 0 .500 2008
Philadelphia Eagles 2 2 0 .500 2006
St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals 1 1 1 .500 1986
Cincinnati Bengals 1 1 0 .500 1988
New York Jets 1 1 0 .500 1992
Seattle Seahawks 1 1 0 .500 1997
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 1 0 .500 1998
Cleveland Browns 2 3 0 .400 1999
Green Bay Packers 1 2 1 .375 2003
Atlanta Falcons 1 2 0 .333 1994
Denver Broncos 1 2 0 .333 2004
Detroit Lions 1 2 0 .333 1991
New Orleans Saints 1 3 0 .250 2007
San Diego Chargers 0 1 1 .250 1994
Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans 1 2 0 .333 2009
Houston Texans 0 1 0 .000 2002
Jacksonville Jaguars 0 1 0 .000 1995
Buffalo Bills 0 3 0 .000 2009
Dallas Cowboys 0 3 0 .000 1999
Miami Dolphins 0 3 0 .000 2005
Baltimore Ravens 0 0 0 .----- N/A

Most appearances- 5: (tie) Cleveland Browns (1963, 1967, 1981, 1990 and 1999), Pittsburgh Steelers (1963, 1964, 1983, 1998 and 2007) and Washington Redskins (1965, 1975, 1989, 2004, and 2008)

Most wins- 5: Washington Redskins (1965, 1975, 1989, 2004 and 2008)

Longest active drought without Hall of Fame Game appearance- 23 seasons: Arizona Cardinals (last appearance - 1986 [as St. Louis Cardinals]); 21 seasons: Cincinnati Bengals (last appearance - 1988); 18 seasons: Detroit Lions (last appearance - 1991)

Active teams to have never made a Hall of Fame Game appearance- 1: Baltimore Ravens (founded 1996)

All three Cardinals appearances have been as the St. Louis Cardinals; they are the NFC team with the longest current absence from the game. The Cincinnati Bengals, who last appeared in 1988, are the AFC team with the longest current absence.

References

External links

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