Two of the most storied franchises in NFL history will start the 2013 preseason with the Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium as the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins will wrap up Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week in Canton.
The game is set for 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 4th. It marks a very busy season for the Akron and Canton areas; Akron will be hosting the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational World Golf Championship at Firestone Country Club the same week.
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(Pro Football Hall of Fame) The Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins will kick off the 2013 preseason in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game. Tickets to the 2013 edition of the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio will go on sale at 11:00 a.m. EDT today. The nationally televised NFL preseason classic is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. EDT kickoff at Fawcett Stadium on Sunday, August 4th and will be broadcast by NBC.
The Cowboys return to Canton for the fifth time. Dallas holds a 1-3 record in the Hall of Fame series. Their last appearance came in 2010 with a 16-7 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. That game was preceded by an overtime loss, the only sudden death occurrence in Hall of Fame Game history, to the Cleveland Browns in 1999. Dallas’ two other appearances were against the Oakland Raiders in 1979 and the Chicago Bears in 1968.
This year’s contest marks the Dolphins’ fourth journey to Canton. Miami is 0-3 in previous visits. Miami suffered losses in the Hall of Fame Game to the Bears in 2005, St. Louis Rams in 2001, and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1978.
The game will be played just one day after the newest class of enshrinees is formally inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 3. Three of the seven members of the Class of 2013 have ties to the participating teams.
Guard Larry Allen is the 14th longtime member of the Cowboys franchise to earn election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He starred for the team from 1994 to 2005 during which time he was named All-Pro seven times. Bill Parcells finished his Hall of Fame coaching career with four seasons in Dallas from 2003-06. He also spent time in the Dolphins front office after his coaching career as the club’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations from 2007-2010. Wide receiver Cris Carter closed out his playing career with the Dolphins in 2002.
Joining Allen, Carter, and Parcells in the Class of 2013 are defensive tackles Curley Culp and Warren Sapp, tackle Jonathan Ogden, and linebacker Dave Robinson.
The demand for tickets for this year’s NFL/Hall of Fame Game is expected to be substantially higher than previous years. This year’s game will serve not only as the culminating event of the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, but as an exclamation point for the Hall of Fame’s 50th Anniversary Golden Reunion Celebration. More than 120 previously elected members of the Hall of Fame are expected to be in Canton to celebrate the Hall of Fame’s 50th Anniversary. It will be the largest gathering of Hall of Famers in one place at the same time.
In addition to recognizing the members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013 during the game, plans are being formulated to also recognize many of the returning Hall of Fame members.
With the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions coming up this Saturday many fans will get a chance to see some of football's legends.
One of this year's inductees is defensive end Chris Doleman. In a conference call with the media on Tuesday, Doleman said he was excited to be amongst the best players in the world.
"Now that it's here, I just have to get into the moment, but obviously, I'm excited.
Doleman played 14 years in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings, the Atlanta Falcons, and the San Francisco 49ers.
He mentioned the coaches who impacted his life, most notably Bud Grant and Tony Dungy among those who shaped him not only as a football player, but also as a person.
The team Doleman is best associated with was the Vikings, where he played 9 seasons. When asked who was his toughest opponent on the field, he said it was his former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Gary Zimmerman.
"Gary's one of those guys where I think he made me better and I hope that I made him better."
During his playing days, Doleman made the Pro Bowl 8 times and had 150 and a half sacks.
He also was proud of the fact that his son will induct him into Canton on Saturday.
"It was a no brainer, " he said. "This is a moment he will carry with him for the rest of his life."
A popular local tourist attraction has reached a milestone in counting visitors.
A Pennsylvania youth got a lot of attention for being the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 9 millionth visitor on Sunday... and due to his location, it's probably no surprise that the kid's a Steelers fan...
Pro Football Hall of Fame - news release
10-year-old Steelers fan is Hall of Fame’s 9 Millionth Visitor
Ten-year-old Alex Duff of York, Pa. had a memorable first visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Sunday afternoon. Alex, who is vacationing with his father Bob, mother Kristen, and older brother Joshua, became the Hall of Fame’s 9 millionth visitor.
As the milestone guest, Duff was showered with prizes that included a lifetime pass to the Hall of Fame, a custom “9 million” t-shirt, a $1,000 gift card to the Hall of Fame store, and a copy of the new “PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME 50TH ANNIVERSARY BOOK: Where Greatness Lives.” In addition, the fifth grader at Dallastown Area Intermediate School will be featured on a commemorative football card produced by Panini, the official trading card of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The excited Pittsburgh Steelers fan was stunned by the attention and had just one word to describe his newfound celebrity status, “Amazing!”
Timeline of milestone visitors:
1 million – 1973; 2 million – 1976; 3 million – 1981; 4 million – 1984; 5 million – 1991; 6 million – 1996; 7 million – 2001; 8 million – 2007
The Pro Football Hall of Fame first opened its doors on September 7, 1963. The original two-building complex, containing 19,000 square feet of interior space, has grown to 118,000 square feet. The Hall of Fame has had four major expansions in its nearly 50-year history – 1971, 1978, 1995, and the current “Future 50” Expansion & Renovation Project.
15 MODERN-ERA FINALISTS
FOR HALL OF FAME ELECTION ANNOUNCED
Two first-year eligible nominees – coach Bill Parcells and tackle Will Shields – are among the 15 modern-era finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012.
Joining the first-year eligible, are 12 modern-era players and a contributor. The 15 modern-era finalists, along with the two senior nominees announced in August 2011 (former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Jack Butler and former Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins guard Dick Stanfel) will be the only candidates considered for Hall of Fame election when the 44-member Selection Committee meets. To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.
Although technically a first-year eligible candidate, Parcells has been a finalist twice before (2001, 2002) following his announced retirement as head coach of the New York Jets in 1999. At the time the Hall of Fame By-Laws did not require a coach to be retired the now mandatory five seasons. Parcells returned to coach the Dallas Cowboys in 2003 and the five-year waiting period was in effect when he retired from coaching in 2006.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee’s 17 finalists (15 modern-era and two senior nominees*) with their positions, teams, and years active follow:
Jerome Bettis – Running Back – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
· Tim Brown – Wide Receiver/Kick Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
· Jack Butler* – Cornerback – 1951-59 Pittsburgh Steelers
· Cris Carter – Wide Receiver – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
· Dermontti Dawson – Center – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
· Edward DeBartolo, Jr. – Owner – 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers
· Chris Doleman – Defensive End/Linebacker – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
· Kevin Greene – Linebacker/Defensive End– 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
· Charles Haley – Defensive End/Linebacker – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
· Cortez Kennedy – Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
· Curtis Martin – Running Back – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets
· Bill Parcells – Coach – 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys
· Andre Reed – Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
· Willie Roaf – Tackle – 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs
· Will Shields – Guard – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
· Dick Stanfel* – Guard – 1952-55 Detroit Lions, 1956-58 Washington Redskins
· Aeneas Williams – Cornerback/Safety – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams
In addition to Parcells, other finalists who have been eligible in previous years include Bettis, Brown, Carter, Dawson, Doleman, Haley, Kennedy, Martin, Reed, Roaf and Stanfel. Although they were eligible in previous years, this is the first time Butler, DeBartolo, Greene and Williams have been finalists.
From this year’s list, four players – Butler, Dawson, Kennedy, and Shields spent their entire NFL career with just one team.
Butler and Stanfel were selected as senior candidates by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee at their August 2011 meeting. The Seniors Committee reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers took place more than 25 years ago. The remaining 15 modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s 44-member Selection Committee from a list of 105 preliminary nominees that earlier was reduced to a list of 26 semifinalists.
To be eligible for election, modern-era players and coaches must be retired at least five consecutive seasons. Contributors need not be retired.
Doleman, Greene, and Haley have been eligible for eight years. Dawson, Kennedy, and Reed have each been eligible for election for seven years, Carter five years, and Brown and Williams three years. Bettis, Martin and Roaf are in their second year of eligibility. Since the retirement minimum for a player prior to 1968 was three years, senior nominees Butler and Stanfel have been eligible since 1963 when the Hall of Fame first opened.
The Selection Committee will meet in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, February 4, 2012, to elect the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012. The election results will be announced at 5:30 p.m. ET during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl Media Center. The Class of 2012 will be the 50th class to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
At the 2012 selection meeting, the selectors will thoroughly discuss the careers of each finalist. Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of six or seven can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected. Representatives of the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche will tabulate all votes during the meeting.
At the announcement, Pro Football Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry will be presented with an envelope containing the names of the nominees elected. Each newly elected member will be contacted immediately by the Hall of Fame. Members of the Class of 2012 in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl will be asked to join the live announcement show. Those not able to attend will be asked to join via teleconference.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, a multi-day celebration of the enshrinement of the newest Hall of Fame Class, is held each year in Canton. The festival which culminates with the Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL Hall of Fame Game includes 18 special events over an 11-day period. Two major events are the Enshrinees Dinner (Friday, August 3), and the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable (Sunday, August 5). It is at the Enshrinees Dinner where each member of the Class of 2012 will be presented his gold Pro Football Hall of Fame Jacket. At the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable, the Class of 2012 will befeatured center stage as they share memories of the game and their personal feelings about being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Individual Enshrinement tickets and Fan Packages for the 2012 Enshrinement Festival are on sale now. Additional ticket information for the Enshrinement Ceremony, NFL Hall of Fame Game and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival events can be found on the Hall of Fame’s website (Profootballhof.com).
Some VIPs and others got to see the progress made at the Pro Football Hall of Fame as work continues on a $27 million expansion and renovation project.
Today's focus was mainly on the Ralph Wilson, Jr. Research & Preservation Center, where a "topping-out" ceremony was held as a symbolic beam was placed on the new facility. Wilson, who owns the Buffalo Bills, donated $2.5 million to the football hall's Future 50 project.
Future 50 is expected to be complete in 2013 as the Pro Football Hall of Fame marks its golden anniversary.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011 – Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders, and Shannon Sharpe – will be surrounded by greatness on Saturday, August 6, in Canton, Ohio when they are formally enshrined as the Hall of Fame's newest members.
Already, 70 previously elected Hall of Famers have indicated they will be on stage to salute the 2011 Class of Enshrinees. More names will likely be added as Enshrinement day draws nearer.
"It is truly amazing to see that many all-time greats of the game gathered in one place at the same time," commented Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry. "The Enshrinement Ceremony is one of the greatest sports events any fan could ever wish to witness."
Among those already indicating that they will attend, are three members of last year's Class of Enshrinees, Floyd Little, John Randle, and Emmitt Smith. Other football legends scheduled to attend include John Elway, Lynn Swann, Dick Butkus, Troy Aikman, Gale Sayers, Howie Long, Franco Harris, Warren Moon, Joe Greene, Eric Dickerson, Marcus Allen, Jim Kelly and Kellen Winslow.
In addition to attending the Enshrinement Ceremony, the returning Hall of Famers also participate in many other Enshrinement Festival events including the Enshrinees Dinner the evening before the Enshrinement Ceremony. It is there that the Class of 2011 will receive their gold Hall of Fame jacket. Many will ride in the Timken Grand Parade Saturday morning. The parade, rated one of the country's best, typically attracts a crowd in excess of 200,000 fans.
Many Hall of Famers also take time out during the busy Enshrinement Festival period to visit local youth groups, hospitals, and other non-profit and charitable groups as a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Ambassador program.
Among the returning Hall of Famers several will be celebrating a milestone anniversary of their enshrinement. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of their enshrinement will be Marv Levy, Nick Buoniconti, Lynn Swann, Jack Youngblood, and Ron Yary. Jan Stenerud, elected in 1991 will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his enshrinement and Willie Davis, a member of the Class of 1981, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of his enshrinement.
A complete list of returning Hall of Famers can be found at Profootballhof.com and will be updated daily.
Jim Nantz, lead play-by-play announcer for The NFL on CBS, is the 2011 recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award
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