The first weekend in August can mean only one thing – the first event on TV in months that in any way resembles a real football game.
No, the Hall of Fame Game doesn’t count for anything, but beggars can’t be choosers. We’ll take what we can get.
Here’s a rundown of what is on tap in Canton this weekend as the NFL enshrines a new class of Hall of Famers and kicks off the preseason game schedule.
1. The annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for 7 p.m. Saturday. Colts and Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy, Packers/Jets/Vikings/Falcons quarterback Brett Favre, Steelers/Rams/Panthers/49ers linebacker Kevin Greene, Colts receiver Marvin Harrison, Rams/Bears offensive tackle and Ohio State product Orlando Pace, Raiders/Oilers/Saints quarterback Ken Stabler, Lions/Redskins offensive guard Dick Stanfel and 49ers owner Ed DeBartolo Jr. will enter the hall.
3. Each team has a local product on the roster – cornerback Quinten Rollins (Miami University) and defensive lineman Trent Cole (Xenia High School).
4. Pace will be the 10th inductee from Ohio State, joining Middletown native Cris Carter, Sid Gillman, Lou Groza, Dante Lavelli, former Bengals coach Dick LeBeau, Jim Parker, Ed Sabol, Paul Warfield and Bill Willis. Only Notre Dame (13) and USC (12) have more Hall of Famers than Ohio State.
5. While Stabler is the eighth inductee who went to college at Alabama, Greene is the second from Crimson Tide rival Auburn (joining Frank Gatski). Harrison gives Syracuse eight inductees as well.