Everything you need to know about the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game returns this Thursday after a year’s absence due to COVID-19. The Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers will meet to kick off the 2021 NFL Preseason in Canton, Ohio.
Fri, August 6 2021, 12:00 AM
Let’s break down everything you need to know about the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game both past and present.
Pro Football Hall of Fame Game History
The first Pro Football Hall of Fame Game was played in 1962 between the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals and has been played every year since then with just four exceptions. There was no game scheduled in 1966, and the game was cancelled in 2011 due to the lockout, in 2016 due to poor field conditions, and again last year due to the pandemic.
The game always takes place during the weekend of the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement festivities. It was moved from the Sunday after the enshrinement ceremony to the Thursday prior during the 2017 season. The game is always played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium adjacent to the Hall of Fame building in Canton, Ohio.
2021 Hall of Fame Class
Every year, the Hall of Fame class is loaded with exceptional players and contributors, but this year has even more star power than usual. Inductees include guard Alan Faneca, coach Tom Flores, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, safety John Lynch, quarterback Peyton Manning, senior scout Bill Nunn, wide receiver Drew Pearson, and cornerback/safety Charles Woodson.
Drew Pearson will be the representative for the Dallas Cowboys and Bill Nunn and Alan Faneca will be the representatives for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game.
HOF Game Fun Facts
The NFL typically chooses two teams with notable Hall of Fame inductees for that year, but there are some exceptions. In 2009, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the American Football League, the Tennessee Titans (dressed as the Houston Oilers) and Buffalo Bills played in this game as "original eight" members of the AFL.
The last four expansion teams added to the NFL appeared in this game in their inaugural season. In 1995, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers played each other. In 1999, the Cleveland Browns were a participant and in 2002, the Houston Texans played.
The Baltimore Ravens played their first Hall of Fame Game in 2018. This participation meant that all 32 current NFL franchises have played in at least one Hall of Fame Game. The Steelers and the Cowboys have played in the most Hall of Fame Games with six each.
The Washington Football Team has the most wins, with five, and the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Atlanta Falcons are tied with the most losses, with four.
Two games have been called in the middle of action. The 1980 game was called with 5:29 left in the fourth quarter due to lightning. The 2003 game was called with 5:49 left in the third quarter also due to lightning.
The 2021 Hall of Fame Game
The 2021 Hall of Fame Game will take place on Thursday Aug. 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast on FOX. You can wager on the game with TwinSpires Sports. The current line has the Steelers favored by 1.5 points and the total is set at 33.5 points.