The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game will reportedly be canceled, a move that seemed inevitable in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the nation. The Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers were set to be the two teams that played in the game, and will reportedly play in the game when it resumes in 2021.
The cancellation of the Hall of Game Game is an anomaly for the NFL this offseason, as it's the first major event on the calendar to be canceled. Despite the pandemic, the NFL still moved forward with free agency and the draft, but teams did not have offseason minicamp due to facilities being closed.
Just because the Hall of Fame Game will be cancelled, doesn't mean the 2020 season is in jeopardy. This isn't the first time the league has canceled the Hall of Fame Game in the event's 58-year history, as the other previous occasions did lead to a full season.
2016: Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts
In one of the most embarrassing moments in league history, the league canceled the game minutes before kickoff due to poor on-field conditions at Tom Benson Stadium. A Packers player described midfield as "like cement" as the grounds crew worked over an hour trying to spray solvent on the area around the logo at midfield.
The problem occurred due to using improper paints at midfield, which was made worse when when workers tried to use heat to dry the excess paint. That melted the rubber pellets on the turf, deeming the surface unplayable.
Fans received refunds for the game, as the stadium was in the middle of an ongoing renovation that would be completed by the 2017 season.
2011: St. Louis Rams vs. Chicago Bears
The Hall of Fame Game was the only event canceled as a result of the 2011 NFL lockout, a small price to pay as the league worked its way back from a potential cancellation of the year. The league did vote in favor of a tentative deal to end the lockout, but neither the Rams and Bears were able to report to camp on time due to the lockout (teams that play in the Hall of Fame Game start training camp a week earlier than the 30 other teams).
Fans received refunds for the game, but the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony went on as scheduled. The game was the only one to be canceled as a result of the lockout.
2003: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers
The Chiefs and Packers played three quarters before several bolts of lightning delayed the game after Jose Cortez kicked a 27-yard field goal with 5:49 remaining in the third quarter. Play was halted for a half hour before NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue canceled the game.
The Chiefs won 9-0.
1980: San Diego Chargers vs. Green Bay Packers
This game was actually played, but eventually canceled due to lightning with 5:29 left in the fourth quarter. San Diego and Green Bay played to a scoreless tie.