Archives for category: Hall of Fame

Back to work!

Back to sweating in the summer heat, learning playbooks that are so big they make “War and Peace” look like a comic book.

Back to rookies fighting for their first NFL jobs, free agents fighting to stay on an NFL roster, fighting with teammates on the field as things get heated, along with the weather.

Back to sleeping in dorms for the first time since they were in college.

It’s back to work for all 32 NFL teams. For New England, it’s the hunter now becoming the hunted, as the defending Super Bowl champs. For the other 31 teams, it’s their chance to replace them as the NFL’s king of the mountain, so to speak.

NFL clubs will begin their on-field preparations for Kickoff 2017 this week, starting Wednesday, July 19 as rookies for the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints are scheduled to report.

The Arizona Cardinals, who will take on the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game (Thursday, August 3 on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern), will be the first team with a full squad in camp when their rookies and veterans report on Friday, July 21. By Saturday, July 29, every NFL team will be in camp.

This year, more than half the league (21 of 32, 66 percent) will be “staying home” for training camp. Teams considered to be “staying home” hold training camp at their respective practice facility, home stadium or at a site within 10 miles of their team headquarters. In 2000, only 10 of 31 (32 percent) teams stayed close to home.

“Our entire organization is excited to be returning to hold training camp at our facility in Metairie in 2017,” Saints owner Tom Benson told the Mobile Register and WKRG-TV. “This will be a great opportunity for our passionate fans from throughout the Gulf South to be able to experience the fun, excitement and interaction of Saints training camp as our team prepares for what we expect to be a very exciting season.”

The numbers may prove that training at home is a popular league-wide trend but there are still teams employing the “old-time” philosophy of holding camp away from their facilities.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the teams that “come together” away from home, holding camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for the 52nd consecutive year.

“There’s some intrinsic value to being here, some things that you can’t measure,” says Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on holding training camp at St. Vincent College. Tomlin told KDKA-TV, “Those are things that I think about when I think about training camp and those are the things that make me really excited about bringing a team to an environment like this.”

The NFL training camp longevity king? The Green Bay Packers, who return for their 60th consecutive summer at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.

Here’s a look at the number of NFL teams that stayed home for training camp since 2000:


2000 – 10 of 31 (32%)
2001 –  9 of 31 (29%)
2002 – 10 of 32 (31%)
2003 – 14 of 32 (44%)
2004 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2005 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2006 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2007 – 16 of 32 (50%)
2008 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2009 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2010 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2011 – 19 of 32 (59%)
2012 – 19 of 32 (59%)
2013 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2014 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2015 – 21 of 32 (66%)
2016 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2017 – 21 of 32 (66%)
Overall – 295 of 574 (52%)

*Teams considered to be “staying home” hold training camp at their practice facility, home stadium or at a site within 10 miles of their team headquarters.

The longest active NFL training camp tenures:

Green Bay Packers – Saint Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin (60)
Minnesota Vikings – Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, Minnesota (52)
Pittsburgh Steelers – Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania (52)

Veterans will be looking to keep their jobs, while rookies and free agents fight for that coveted roster spot. That spot means a paycheck. It’s going to be hot. They’ll be sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, they’ll fight heat, humidity, bugs and in some cases each other.

The playbooks will be bigger than the textbooks they used in college, making “War and Peace” look like a comic book. Meetings with coaches in their positions, pre-season games that will determine their futures will take place and in the end, they’ll either be on a roster or they’ll get that knock on the door from a coach or support staff member and the dreaded words “Coach wants to see you and bring your playbook.” That usually means you’re getting cut.

Some camps will have their rookies come in first to get used to being in camp, while others will have everyone come in at one time. For some, it will be like riding a bike. For others, it’s sort of like learning to walk again. It’s not easy. Most teams will play four pre-season contests (Dallas and Arizona will play five because they are playing in the Hall of Fame Game). Some say the pre-season is too long and needs to be cut back to one or two games, like our CFL neighbors to the north.

Below is the training camp list of sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates. Check with your team for dates and if practices will be open to the public. Hydrate, stock up on that bug spray (the mosquitoes in the South have been known to carry off small children) and mind your manners and watch out for your cousin Connie. She’s been known to wipe out a Super Bowl party.

Baltimore – Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Buffalo – St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Cincinnati – Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati (Rookies report 7/25, Veterans report 7/27)
Cleveland – Cleveland Browns Training Complex, Berea, Ohio (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
Denver – University of Colorado Health Training Center in Englewood, Colorado, (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
Houston – The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/25)
Indianapolis – Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center in Indianapolis, Indiana (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/29)
Jacksonville – Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields in Jacksonville, Florida (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Kansas City – Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/27)
Los Angeles Chargers – Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, California (Rookies and Veterans report 7/29)
Miami – Baptist Health Training Facility in Davie, Florida (Rookies report 7/20, Veterans report 7/26)
New England – Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/26)
New York Jets – Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans report 7/28)
Oakland – Napa Valley Marriott in Napa, California (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/28)
Pittsburgh – Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Tennessee – Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tennessee (Rookies and Veterans report 7/28)

Arizona – University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (Rookies and Veterans report 7/21)
Atlanta – Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Carolina – Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina (Rookies and Veterans report 7/25)
Chicago – Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
Dallas – Marriott Residence Inn in Oxnard, California (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/22)
Detroit – Detroit Lions Training Facility in Allen Park, Michigan (Rookies report 7/24, Veterans report 7/29)
Green Bay – St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)
Los Angeles Rams – University of California at Irvine (Rookies report 7/26, Veterans report 7/28)
Minnesota – Minnesota State University at Mankato (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
New Orleans – New Orleans Saints Training Facility in Metairie, Louisiana (Rookies report 7/19, Veterans report 7/26)
New York Giants – Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Philadelphia – NovaCare Training Complex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Rookies report 7/23, Veterans report 7/26)
San Francisco – SAP Performance Facility in Santa Clara, California (Rookies and Veterans report 7/27)
Seattle – Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington (Rookies and Veterans report 7/29)
Tampa Bay – One Buccaneer Place on Tampa, Florida (Rookies report 7/25, Veterans report 7/27)
Washington – Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Virginia (Rookies and Veterans report 7/26)

Note: The first official practice of training camp for each club at the site designated above is generally held the day after the veteran reporting date.

The pre-season schedule is not even out but we already know who will play in Canton in August.

The National Football League announced that the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers will travel to Canton in August to kick off the National Football League’s 2016 preseason in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game. The preseason classic is set for Sunday, August 7 at 8 p.m. Eastern in Canton’s Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

The Colts and Packers will close out the 2016 Enshrinement Weekend one day after three of their famed legends are formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Longtime Packers quarterback Brett Farve and the Colts’ former head coach Tony Dungy and wide receiver Marvin Harrison are among the eight-man class that was recently elected to the Hall of Fame. Other members of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 include owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr., linebacker Kevin  Greene, offensive tackle Orlando Pace, quarterback Ken Stabler and guard Dick Stanfel.

Favre spent 16 of his 20 NFL seasons with the Packers and led the resurgence of the franchise that resulted in a Super Bowl XXXI victory. He retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards, attempts, completions and touchdowns. Dungy coached the Colts for seven seasons during which time the team posted 12 or more wins every year except his first when Indianapolis finished 10-6. He became the first African American head coach to win a Super Bowl when he led the Colts to a victory in Super Bowl XLI. Harrison played his entire 13-season career in Indianapolis and racked up 1,102 catches for 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns. He was named First- or Second-Team All-Pro eight times and voted to eight Pro Bowls.

Each team will make their fifth appearance in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game.

Colts in HOF Game (2-2-0)
·1964 – vs. Pittsburgh (W, 48-17)
·1982 – vs. Minnesota (L, 14-30)
·1996 – vs. New Orleans (W, 10-3)
·2008 – vs. Washington (L, 16-30)

Packers in HOF Game (1-2-1)
·1969 – vs. Atlanta (W, 38-24)
·1980 – vs. San Diego (T, 0-0)*
·1993 – vs. Los Angeles Raiders (L, 3-19)
·2003 – vs. Kansas City (L, 0-9)*
*Games ended early due to lightning and heavy rain.


The Class of 2016 – DeBartolo, Jr., Dungy, Favre, Greene, Harrison, Pace, Stabler and Stanfel – will be formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 6, 2016. The Enshrinement Ceremony takes place at the new Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton and will be televised nationally by NFL Network and ESPN.

Three major events complementing the Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL/Hall of Fame Game on Sunday, Aug. 7, are the nationally televised Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner (Thursday, August 4) on NFL Network, the Concert for Legends, this year featuring Tim McGraw (Friday, August 5) and the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable (Sunday, August 7). It is at the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner where members of the Class of 2016 will be presented his Hall of Fame Gold Jacket. At the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable, the Class of 2016 will be featured center stage as they share memories of the game and their personal feelings about being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

More than 100 Gold Jackets (living Hall of Famers) return to the Hall of Fame each year to be a part of the Enshrinement Ceremony celebration. Nowhere else are fans able to see and interact with as many Hall of Famers in one place at one time as in Canton during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week.

The Concert for Legends, Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL/Hall of Fame Game will be held inside the brand new Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The venue’s new north stands and fan plaza will be completed in time for the 2016 Enshrinement Week. The second phase of the stadium’s reconstruction will be completed in 2017. Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, a world-class sports and entertainment complex, is one component of the $476 million Hall of Fame Village project that began in September 2015.

Tickets on Sale Now

Tickets to the Enshrinement Weekend events are on sale now and available at and by calling

The Pro Football Hall of Fame also offers Official Fan Packages that provide fans with VIP experiences, premium seats and parties with Hall of Famers during the 2016 Enshrinement Week. Official Fan Packages are on sale now at


About the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Located in Canton, Ohio, the birthplace of the National Football League, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Mission is to Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values and Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE.

Hundreds of thousands of fans from across the globe travel to Canton annually to experience the exciting museum that chronicles America’s most popular sport. Millions more are reached through the Hall of Fame’s 100-plus special events held annually outside Canton and through the multiple nationally broadcast programs focused on the selection of the newest Class of Enshrinees – Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Tony Dungy, Brett Favre, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace, Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel – and the Enshrinement Weekend (August 4-7, 2016).

Now in its third year of traveling, Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a large-scale traveling exhibition that presents a panoramic view of pro football’s story and includes hundreds of artifacts from the Hall’s expansive collection. Gridiron Glory will be showcased at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, California, site of Super Bowl 50, from now until April 3, 2016 and is scheduled for three-month stays at various museums and cultural institutions through 2019. Enshrinees from the Class of 2016 along with numerous other Hall of Fame members will receive the spectacular Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence by Kay® Jewelers during ceremonies held in NFL stadiums during the 2016 NFL regular season. The Hometown Hall of Famer™ program presented by Ford honors Hall of Fame heroes with a program and permanent plaque to honor the Hall of Famer’s hometown support. Now in its 4th year, the US Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence honors 20 high school students nationally for excellence in community service, academics and athletics. Construction on HOF Village, a $476 million development project, is under way in Canton to transform the Hall of Fame’s campus.

For more information about the Pro Football Hall of Fame, please visit; @ProFootballHOF on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.​

His case has been aruged and presented to three commissioners and now newly-elected Commissioner Rob Manfred has it on his plate.

Manfred’s not even commissioner a full year and already he has to deal with the Pete Rose issue.

Yes. THAT Pete Rose. The one that slid into Ray Fosse and broke the Cleveland Indians’ catcher at the 1970 All Star Game. Charlie Hustle.

MLB’s all-time hits leader has been in baseball’s version of time out since 1989 when he agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball after accusations that he bet on Major League games while playing for and managing the Reds. He admitted to the accusations in 2004. The Baseball Hall of Fame voted in 1991 not to allow those who are permanently ineligible to be placed on any voting ballot.

Since that time, Rose has petitioned to former commissioner Bud Selig and the current commissioner in regard of that matter.

Manfred said last Monday that he has received a formal request from Pete Rose to lift his lifetime ban, adding that he is “prepared to deal with it on the merits.”

In an interview at a visit at the Dodgers’ camp with MLB Manfred said that “I do have a formal request from Pete and I intend to communicate with his representatives to talk about how to handle [the review process]. I want to understand details of the Dowd report and [then-Commissioner Bart] Giamatti’s decision and hear what Pete has to say and make a decision once I’ve done that.”

Manfred cautioned that people shouldn’t read any predisposition into his comments in regard to Rose.

Peter Edward Rose is not getting any younger. It’s time that MLB and the Hall of Fame reconsider this matter. It’s not only good for baseball and the fans that support the game through ticket sales, MLB product purchases, et al that are toting the note. After all, it’s their game too. There has been debate as to not only Rose getting in but Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Black Sox. While those men are no longer with us, Rose at the very least deserves to be heard. After all, Jackson and his teammates lived in a time where players were treated like chattle, almost like slaves, that could be bought and sold without consent. Such is not the case now, where a player that has senority can veto a trade. The average professional baseball player’s salary in Shoeless Joe’s day was about $25,000, the same salary that a teacher out of college would make today. That same player today would have a minimum salary of about $750,000. There is also debate that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should be enshrined as well. If either Bonds or Clemens get in, then so should Rose and Jackson.

Kennesaw Mountain Landis, who was commissioner at the time of the Black Sox scandal, refused to even hear the player’s side of the story and they were banished from the game, like Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden. If Landis had tried that today, there would grievances filed and perhaps lawsuits as well. While Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson lived in different eras, they both should be treated equally and fairly. After all, Manfred did say that he would look at Rose’s case on its merits.

Pete Rose needs to be in Cooperstown and he needs to be in the HOF preferably while he can still draw breath on this Earth and not have Johnny Bench deliver his eulogy at his funeral. Manfred’s predecessor at least tempered justice with mercy. The same can’t be said for Landis or Giamatti, who saw themselves as judge, jury and executioner. Let’s hope that Rob Manfred is as kind as Selig if not kinder.

Pete Rose’s case needs to and deserves to be heard on its merits and needs to be heard as soon as possible, while Rose can still walk and draw breath, not while he’s in a casket.

The clock is ticking for Rose and for MLB.