With NFL practices and preseason games scheduled to begin impractically soon, the league made a move that might in a few weeks be seen as an initial domino among many, canceling the annual Hall of Fame game that typically kicks off the preseason live from Canton, Ohio.
The game, scheduled for Aug. 6, would have been a fifth preseason contest for the Cowboys and Steelers, and with NFL owners meeting soon to discuss cutting the preseason slate down to two games, it would not have made sense to play the game, especially considering it comes earlier than the others.
However, the main reason for the cancelation seems to be protecting those who would have taken part of the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony that happens alongside the game, including former coaches Jimmy Johnson, Bill Cowher, as well as ex-players like Troy Polamalu and Edgerrin James.
“The delay is obviously disappointing but completely understandable,” former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who also would have been enshrined told The Associated Press.
The game will instead be played on Aug. 5, 2021, and the enshrinement will take place in early August next year as well.
This decision should not be seen as an NFL schedule decision so much as a limit-mass-gatherings-of-old-people decision, but nevertheless, as more such decisions that are made, the question of why to try an NFL season at all will continually be asked.