In early February, we observed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers conquer the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. To be straightforward, just getting to the greatest game of the year was an enormous achievement for the NFL after covid-19 threw a monkey wrench into the plans of the league. The loveliness of this was: we made it through all of the unusual circumstances to crown a champion. With Tom Brady earning his 7th Super Bowl ring and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shifting their reputation around the league, the season came to a wailing standstill. The brutal truth, as a football fan, sinks in: We were now without football for several long months.
In a fast-paced off-season with various storylines that fascinated our attention, we now find ourselves on the verge of a fresh NFL season. The enthusiasm is tangible. The energy is electric. The preseason gives us the first sighting of what our beloved teams are rolling out in the new year. Even though it’s games that don’t technically count, there’s still a buzz in the air as the NFL Preseason kickstarts with the Pittsburgh Steelers squaring off against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, August 5 at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio- the site of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. It will be live on FOX at 8 PM EST For two franchises with a collective 11 Super Bowls, 43 Hall of Famers & fan bases that are held in high regard in NFL history, this matchup seems to be the ideal way to start the post Covid year.
Tonight, we get the return of American Football.
This event, the 7th Hall of Fame game appearance for both squads, was initially planned to be played to begin the preseason in 2020 but it was pushed back due to the pandemic wreaking havoc on anything normal.
The Cleveland Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl aspirations and they came to a crashing stop in the Wild Card Round, of the newly expand NFL Playoffs. For the Dallas Cowboys, having to endure a season without their franchise quarterback was brutal- finishing with a record of 6-10. Both teams come in under the radar with fan bases that truly believe they have a shot to win it all. The NFL preseason begins that quest for a Lombardi Trophy adding to the collection of each of these storied organizations.
The reason for the game is deeper than the return to football; it’s the continuation of legacies for the newly inducted members of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. The busts for these players, who changed the game of American Football in their respective ways, will be uncovered on Sunday, August 8th. 354 Hall of Famers reside in the Hall of Fame Gallery and the Class of 2021 is truly iconic.
WR Drew Pearson Cowboys, 1973-83
CB/S Charles Woodson, 1998-2015
WR Calvin Johnson, 2017-15
G Alan Faneca, 1998-2010
S John Lynch, 1993-2007
QB Peyton Manning, 1998-2015
Tom Flores, Oakland Raiders/ Seattle Seahawks
Bill Nunn, Steelers scout, and exec. 1970-2014
The rituals commence on Hall Of Fame Weekend with the unveiling of busts, speeches qof gratitude, and the gift of the prestigious gold jackets to the inductees.