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What is the Hall of Fame Game?
The Hall of Fame Game is the first NFL game of every season. It is a preseason game that has no bearing on the regular season and playoffs. It is an exhibition that takes place after the start of training camp, and is a tune-up for the two teams playing.
While the Hall of Fame Game is a mere exhibition, it has significance for two main reasons:
First, it is played in honor of each year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class. It is played at the same time that that year’s Hall of Fame class is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It honors the group of 7 former pro football players, coaches, executives, or owners who entered “the hall” that calendar year.
Second, the game is important for young football players trying to make their respective teams. While many starters and veteran players do not play in the game, the younger players that do have a lot on the line; they are competing against each other to make an NFL roster. Many of the players who play in the game will be cut by their teams, and many will be playing in one of their only NFL games. It is a golden opportunity for those players to earn their way onto an NFL roster.
Where is the Hall of Fame Game played?
The Hall of Fame Game is played in Canton, Ohio, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The game, and stadium, are directly next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Who Plays in the Hall of Fame Game?
Two NFL teams play in the Hall of Fame Game each year. The teams that play are randomly chosen before the season. These teams get an extra preseason game than every other NFL team. The Hall of Fame Game is a stand-alone exhibition that gives each of the two teams selected an additional preseason game. This is valuable playing time for young players trying to make their team.