Induction ceremony goes on despite game cancellation

SHARE Induction ceremony goes on despite game cancellation

The Pro Football Hall of Fame was the big loser when the NFL announced the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame exhibition game between the Bears and Rams had been cancelled.

Richard Dent will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 6. Take it from someone who has been there: Watching all the Hall of Famers who return every year be introduced before the induction ceremony is worth the trip.

Visiting the Hall of Fame is something every football fan (especially one with like-minded kids) should do. If you’re looking for a weekend get-away, don’t hesitate.

That ends the public service announcement. Here’s the Hall of Fame’s press release in the wake of the cancellation:

Each year the eyes of the sporting world focus on Canton, Ohio as a new class of enshrinees is added to the immortal roll of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On enshrinement day, thousands turn out and millions more watch and listen as the nationally televised event unfolds. One by one, each newly elected pro football legend takes center stage and shares with his audience his innermost emotions and career experiences in a heartfelt and emotional acceptance speech.

This year will be no different. The annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony is not only a moving and inspirational salute to the game’s all-time great players, coaches and contributors; it’s one of the most spectacular events in all of sports. The nationally televised Enshrinement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, August 6 at 7 p.m.

While several other cities support annual sporting events and ceremonies like the Enshrinement Ceremony, Canton has turned the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement celebration into a multi-day festival. Although the traditional NFL/Hall of Fame Game has been canceled this year, a full schedule of 17 events over a 10- day period, all designed to celebrate the enshrinement of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will proceed as scheduled.

A concert and fireworks, hot air balloon invitational, a food fest and a ribs burnoff, are a few of the events leading up to the big event. Add to that a 2- and 5-mile race, Enshrinees autograph sessions, fan parties, and a fashion show luncheon, that’s just a partial list of events.

A highlight moment of the Enshrinement Festival celebration occurs on Friday night at the Enshrinees Dinner, when the Class of 2011 is presented their official Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket. More than 75 returning Hall of Famers will be on hand to welcome the Class of 2011 on stage in front of the 3,500 in attendance.

Helping to fill some of the void created by the cancellation of the NFL/Hall of Fame Game plans are under way to “enhance” the Sunday evening Fan Appreciation Tailgate event held on the Hall of Fame grounds from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

This year’s Fan Appreciation Tailgate Party will include appearances from several returning Hall of Famers including Lem Barney, Mike Haynes, Bob Lilly, Floyd Little, Tom Mack, Randall McDaniel, Billy Shaw, Larry Little, and Joe DeLamielleure. The Hall of Famers will partake in a general “meet and greet” and in an informal question and answer session with the fans. More Hall of Famers are expected to confirm participation later this week.

Admission to the Fan Appreciation Tailgate Party includes beverages (beer and soft drinks) traditional tailgate party food, and a DJ spinning jock jams and party music. Attendees will also receive a souvenir Hall of Fame visor. Tickets to the Fan Appreciation Tailgate Party are $60 per person and are available at online at or at the Hall of Fame Box Office between 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. or at Will Call August 5-7.

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