Are Bucs Lobbying For Hall Of Fame Game?February 18th, 2014
The buzz on the street says the Buccaneers are a prime candidate to open the NFL preseason schedule in the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Sunday night, Aug. 3.
It’s a game familiar to Lovie Smith, and one the Bucs very well may be lobbying to play.
Yes, NFL teams can serve up schedule requests to the league. It happens every year, from dates to start times to home-heavy early schedules, playing in London, and more. Those requests aren’t always honored, but often they are.
There are a couple of factors in place that lead Joe to believe the Buccaneers want to play in Hall of Fame Game, which would give them an extra preseason game.
First, Lovie Smith has experience with the game. The Bears won it in 2005, the year of Lovie’s first division title in Chicago, with a first-year offensive coordinator and a new quarterback (Kyle Orton). And the Bears also were scheduled for the 2011 game, which was cancelled because of the asinine NFL lockout. Lovie was on the last Buccaneers staff that played in a Hall of Fame game back in 1998.
Given the strong likelihood the Bucs will have legitimate competition for starting quarterback this season, Joe suspects Lovie would be pleased to have a fifth preseason game to let Jeff Tedford evaluate the offense.
Also, the Bucs are rolling out a new helmet and logo on Thursday. New jerseys could be on the way, and an earlier-than-usual preseason game on national prime time television can generate a lot of buzz to sell plenty of new gear.
Throw in Derrick Brooks’ enshrinement into the Hall of Fame that weekend, a man the Bucs have to be more proud to celebrate than Warren Sapp, and Joe would be surprised if the Buccaneers aren’t actively seeking to play in Hall of Fame game.
Joe’s actually getting pumped up at the possibility. The more Bucs football the better. Make it happen, Team Glazer.