Archives for posts with tag: Preseason football

It’s football season, kids!

Well, preseason football anyway and this weekend will be a celebration of both the past and present. That’s the agenda this weekend in Canton, Ohio, birthplace of the NFL.

First, the past is saluted with the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on Saturday at 7 p.m. Eastern on NFL Network and ESPN. History will be at the forefront as the Hall of Fame class of 2015 is inducted, sporting their new gold Hall jackets in front of returning Hall of Famers and thousands of fans.

“This is a wonderfully spectacular tradition, one of the greatest in all of sports,” says Hall of Fame president David Barker. “Nowhere can fans see so many of the greatest heroes of the game in one place at one time. There’s no better way to kick off the NFL season.”

The Hall of Fame class of 2015:

Jerome Bettis – RB; 1993-95 Rams, 1996-2005 Steelers
Tim Brown – WR/KR/PR; 1988-2003 Raiders, 2004 Buccaneers
Charles Haley – DE/LB; 1986-1991, 1999 49ers, 1992-96 Cowboys
Bill Polian – Contributor; 1978-1982 Chiefs, 1984-1992 Bills, 1993-94 NFL, 1995-97 Panthers, 1998-2011 Colts
Junior Seau – LB/ 1990-2002 Chargers, 2003-05 Dolphins, 2006-09 Patriots
Will Shields – G; 1993-2006 Chiefs
Mick Tingelhoff – C; 1962-1978 Vikings
Ron Wolf – Contributor; 1963-1974, 1979-1989 Raiders, 1966 AFL, 1976-78 Buccaneers, 1990-91 Jets, 1991-2001 Packers


Always of interest are the names of the “presenters” of the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees on their special day.

Jerome Bettis selected his brother John Bettis III to represent him.

“My brother has been the biggest Steeler fan in the world since we were kids,” Bettis told the Pittsburgh Gazette, KDKA-TV and USA Today. “All he wanted was for me to play for the Steelers and when that opportunity came there was nobody happier than my brother. He’s been my biggest fan, my biggest supporter my entire career.”

The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2015 presenters:

Jerome Bettis – John Bettis III, Brother
Tim Brown – Donald Kelly, Brother
Charles Haley – Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Former 49ers owner
Bill Polian – Marv Levy, HOF coach
Junior Seau – Sydney Seau, Daughter
Will Shields – Adrian Lunsford, Friend
Mick Tingelhoff – Fran Tarkenton, Teammate & HOF QB
Ron Wolf – Eliot Wolf, Son

Then on Sunday night, it’s back to football with the first game of the year (yes, there’s a football game… were you paying attention?) – the annual NFL/Hall of Fame Game at 8 p.m. Eastern at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on NBC – when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings meet.

The NFL is launching a year-long celebration of the Super Bowl to commemorate Super Bowl 50, which will be played on Sunday, February 7, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The “On The Fifty” platform is designed to link the past 49 Super Bowls with this year’s game and honor the teams, players, coaches, fans and communities that have been a part of those games. The 2015 NFL schedule will feature several Super Bowl rematches, beginning with Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game featuring Pittsburgh and Minnesota in a Super Bowl IX rematch. The regular-season schedule includes 19 Super Bowl rematches.

Sunday also marks the debut of the NFL’s new rules governing extra-point attempts. The extra point attempt will now be snapped from the 15-yard line, while two point-conversions will remain at the two-yard line. Additionally, the defense will be able to return a blocked kick, interception or fumble for two points.

The NFL/Hall of Fame Game will cap a memorable weekend for Steelers and Vikings fans one night after former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis and former Vikings center Mick Tinglehoff are inducted into the Hall.

“It’s a special time I am sure for Jerome,” says Steelers wide receiver John Stallworth, who was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2002 class. “For me, when I went in it was seeing all of the things you did, all the workouts, all of the sacrifice when you could have been doing things other guys were doing and you chose to work on your craft. It is recognition that all of that is worthwhile. That means a whole lot.”

The Steelers’ appearance will mark the sixth time the team has played in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game (1963, 1964, 1983, 1998, 2007).

“I’ll take it,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said of the extra work his team will get by preparing for and playing in this year’s NFL/Hall of Fame Game. “Having a fifth preseason game is an advantage if we make it one.”

The Vikings will play in the preseason classic for the fourth time in franchise history (1970, 1982, 1997).

“I think it gives you good work, especially for a young football team,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told the Minneapolis Tribune about playing in the Hall of Fame Game. “It gives us another chance to evaluate our young players. Some of these guys in their first preseason game, when we go to Canton in the Hall of Fame Game, their eyes are probably going to be that big.”

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is anxiously awaiting his return to the field as he prepares for his second season as the starter in Minnesota.

“We’re heading to Canton, Ohio, ready to play our first preseason game, so we’re pretty excited and can’t wait to get back to work,” says Bridgewater.

They met in London in 2013 and they meet again and this time, it’s in Canton.

The Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to Canton in August to kick off the National Football League’s 2015 preseason in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game.

The preseason classic is set for Sunday, August 9 at 8 p.m. Eastern in Canton’s Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The NFL/Hall of Fame Game is televised nationally on NBC’s Sunday Night Football and also broadcast nationally on radio by Westwood One Sports.

Tickets and VIP Fan Packages for the NFL/Hall of Fame Game are on sale now and range from $54 to $69. Tickets can be ordered online at or by calling 844-HOFTIX.

The Vikings and Steelers will close out the 2015 Enshrinement Weekend one day after two of their famed legends are formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Longtime Steelers running back Jerome Bettis and Vikings stellar center from the 1960s and ‘70s Mick Tinglehoff 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 2015 include wide receiver/returner Tim Brown, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, contributor Bill Polian, linebacker Junior Seau, guard Will Shields and contributor Ron Wolf.

Bettis played 10 of his 13 seasons in the NFL with the Steelers. A six-time Pro Bowl pick, he rushed for 13,662 yards and retired as the game’s fifth ranked ground gainer of all time. He still holds the Steelers mark for most 100-yard games in a career (50).

Tingelhoff joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 1962 and quickly established himself as a leader of Minnesota’s offensive line. One of the finest centers of his time, Tingelhoff was noted for his toughness and durability as evidenced by never missing a game during his entire 17-season career.

The Steelers’ appearance in August will mark the sixth time the team has played in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game. The Vikings return to Canton for the fourth time.

Vikings in HOF Game (2-1-0)
1970 – vs. New Orleans Saints (L, 13-14)
1982 – vs. Baltimore Colts (W, 30-14)
1997 – vs. Seattle Seahawks (W, 28-26)

Steelers in HOF Game (3-2-0)
1963 – vs. Cleveland Browns (W, 16-7)
1964 – vs. Baltimore Colts (L, 17-48)
1983 – vs. New Orleans Saints (W, 27-14)
1998 – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneer
2007 – vs. New Orleans Saints (W, 20-7)

The Vikings and Steelers meet for the thirteenth time in the preseason. The two clubs have faced each other 16 times in the regular season over the years with Minnesota holding a slim 9-7 lead in the series. The two storied franchises also battled once in the postseason when Pittsburgh claimed its first Super Bowl championship with a 16-6 victory over Minnesota in Super Bowl IX. That game featured 19 Hall of Famers.

Hall of Famers in Super Bowl IX
Steelers (12) – Mel Blount (cornerback), Terry Bradshaw (quarterback), Joe Greene (defensive tackle), Jack Ham (outside linebacker), Franco Harris (running back), Jack Lambert (middle linebacker), Chuck Noll (coach), Art Rooney (president), Dan Rooney (vice president), John Stallworth (wide receiver), Lynn Swann (wide receiver), Mike Webster (center)

Minnesota Vikings (7) – Carl Eller (defensive end), Bud Grant (coach), Paul Krause (safety), Alan Page (defensive tackle), Fran Tarkenton (quarterback), Mick Tingelhoff (center), Ron Yary (tackle)

Hall of Fame Enshrinement – The Class of 2015 – Bettis, Brown, Haley, Polian, Seau, Shields, Tingelhoff and Wolf – will be formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 8, 2015. The Enshrinement Ceremony takes place at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton and will be televised nationally by NFL Network and ESPN.

Tickets on Sale Now – Tickets and VIP Fan Packages for the Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL/Hall of Fame Game are on sale now.

Great seats start at $35. Packages offer fans exclusive experiences and coveted amenities including parties with Gold Jackets (living Hall of Famers), exclusive events, VIP seating & access and more. Tickets and packages are available online at or by calling 1-844-4HOFTIX.