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Thread: Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

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    Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

    Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely
    By Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports
    2 hours, 58 minutes ago

    With collective bargaining agreement negotiations between NFL owners and players projected to last into next week, the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams are expected to move back the start of their training camps from July 22. As a result, the cancellation of the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, is looking more and more likely.

    The preseason encounter between the Bears and Rams is scheduled for Aug. 7, one day after the annual enshrinement ceremony. However, sources from the two teams are getting anxious about playing the game, particularly if they can’t start camp on time.

    “The decision is probably going to be made for us,” a coach from one of the teams said. “You get past a certain point and you can’t play that game … the way things are going right now, I don’t think we’re going to have the time to travel for an extra game, let alone all the other stuff you’re talking about.”

    “All the other stuff” is a vast array of things that teams are going to have to do in a very short amount of time once the league year starts following an offseason with no minicamps or other team-run training activities. To start, teams must sign players, including veteran free agents, draft picks and undrafted rookies. Many general managers were hoping that process would start by Friday, giving St. Louis and Chicago a week and everyone else at least two weeks before the start of camp.

    For example, although the Bears list 69 players on the roster posted on the official team website, 19 are either rookies who have yet to sign (such as first-round pick Gabe Carimi) or free agents (such as center Olin Kreutz). While Carimi and Kreutz are both expected to sign with the team, formally filling the roster from 50 players to at least 80 – the maximum number of players previously allowed at training camp – takes time. The situation becomes even more complicated when you consider reports that training-camp rosters will be expanded this year to deal with the lack of offseason conditioning.

    That’s to say nothing of the other issues, such as St. Louis’ situation on offense, where new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is taking over for Pat Shurmur. McDaniels has yet to work directly with quarterback Sam Bradford or any of the offensive players.

    With executives now hoping that owners at least vote on an agreement by July 21 in Atlanta, at the latest, the period to sign players could be just a matter of days.

    “Realistically, it’s just not enough time to do everything for the first day of training camp the way we’re going,” an executive from one of the two teams said. “We’re going to do what we have to do and we all have to live by the same rules, but it’s not going to be easy.”

    For Chicago and St. Louis, living by the same rules may require the cancellation of the Hall of Fame game. League spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday that no decision has been made on the game. Likewise, Hall of Fame spokesman Joe Horrigan said no decision has been made by his organization. However, Horrigan said there is no way to change the date of the enshrinement festivities.

    “The Enshrinement Festival events couldn’t be changed at this late date as it really is a 10-day, 18-event schedule and tickets have already been sold; out-of-town vendors contracted; and venues booked; etc,” Horrigan wrote in an email. “The game, although no one has suggested it, could at least in theory be rescheduled, it just wouldn’t be a part of the Enshrinement Festival per se. Again, there would be the issue of ticket sales – refunding or offering the same tickets at a different date, etc. – but at least in theory, I guess in the strictest sense could be possible.”

    Forcing the Bears and Rams to play that game at a later date would also be problematic.

    “That’s three days you lose and we’re going to be struggling to get everything done already,” the coach said.

    This year’s induction class features one of the most interesting groups in recent years, including Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk and Shannon Sharpe. However, the likely cancellation of the game as a result of the labor impasse could cast a pall on the weekend. The Hall of Fame game has been played annually since 1962, with the exception of 1966, when the Hall was unable to secure two teams, according to Horrigan.

    “While obviously the game is an important part of the 10-day Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, the main event is the Enshrinement of the new Class of Enshrinees,” Horrigan wrote. “That said, we would however, be disappointed if the game were not played as it too is an important part of the tradition of the Pro Football Enshrinement Festival.”


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    Re: Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

    It's really a shame that this has dragged out as long as it has. They've apparently had the parameters for a deal in place for a couple weeks now, yet a game will still get canceled. I guess it's not all bad though. Having to play one week earlier than everyone else is some what of a disadvantage when you're trying to sign FA's and rookies etc.

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    Re: Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

    Sweet.

    I don't know why any Rams fan would be exited about STL playing FIVE preseason games this year. Yeah, it would be nice to have the Rams showcased for the nationally televised game, but it would be even nicer if our roster stayed healthy through training camp.
    (Which it usually doesn't)
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    Re: Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

    I have mixed feelings about this but I guess I can stop worrying about potential injuries from players. Hopefully we have Cofield, an OG, and an OLB in our FA needs.

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    Re: Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

    Good.

    As much as I want to see Rams football, I'm anything but interested in us playing five preseason games. Especially with only a couple of weeks training under our belts. I worry about team conditioning and injures.

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    Re: Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

    I was looking forward to a nationally televised contest, but not at the expense of rushing into a game at the last minute and putting the players in a tough spot. I'm not going to lose any sleep if the game does not get played, I'll be happy just to see a complete season.

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    Re: Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

    I would still like to see this game, but if they cancel it I won't be upset. Remember, this is a very young team and I think every chance they get to play a real (or as real as a preseason game can get) game together will help. Of course it is also hard to forget just how many preseason and camp injuries we have had over the past few years...

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    Re: Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaRamFan View Post
    It's really a shame that this has dragged out as long as it has.
    As far as the NFL litigation, yes it is a shame.

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    Re: Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

    In a comment about the Rams/Bears starting training camp on time, I don't see a reason why they couldn't... under the premise that the lockout is lifted by then. With the installation time in the spring erased, there's no reason why the Rams shouldn't take every available opportunity. Start camp on time and if you don't have a full roster yet, then who cares? You have to wittle down the roster to 53 anyway, so focus on getting the draftees in and signed, along with priority free agents and the camp bodies can wait. The guys who are going to actually be on the team can be learning in the classroom and working into the swing of practicing slowly while this is happening.
    I believe!

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    Re: Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

    I'm disappointed simply because it is a lost chance to see the Rams play. For all I care that could be mitigated by televising training camp. I know I'd watch it.

    But on a much larger level, I will be perfectly happy if they don't play this game. In fact, IMO, preseason should only be 2 games; 3 at the most.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Bears-Rams Hall of Fame game highly unlikely

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    I'm disappointed simply because it is a lost chance to see the Rams play. For all I care that could be mitigated by televising training camp. I know I'd watch it.

    But on a much larger level, I will be perfectly happy if they don't play this game. In fact, IMO, preseason should only be 2 games; 3 at the most.
    1. Absolutely. If I could pay like $10/year for a nightly episode of footage from Rams camp, I'd be happy. Say you got 5,000 fans per team paying $10, you could make $50k per team, or $1.6 million. Of course, you'd need a few cameramen and an editor per team but it could maybe make money.

    2. I'd worry about the ability for undrafted players to get a fair chance at making a roster with only 2 preseason games, but if they opened rosters up to say 60 players, 50 active on game day with an 18 game season, then teams could carry more developmental players and allow them to play on special teams, which would lower the wear and tear on everyone. Essentially, let more guys play on game day and roll the practice squad into the regular roster.
    I believe!

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