Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The NFL Hall of Fame Game

This past Sunday night the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game was played in Canton, Ohio. The first HOF game occured on August 11, 1962, and both John Madden and Pat Summerall were there as players and commentators(I keed, I keed). Seriously though, the first installment of this wonderfully captivating yearly occurence featured the New York Giants and the St. Louis "Football" Cardinals. Amazingly, it ended in a tie, and they didn't go to overtime to try and decide a winner. I think Charles Bidwell thought they were going to charge him for the extra time, and he decided a tie would be cheaper.

We here at The Sports Oasis(right now that consists of just me, though sometimes my cat does manage to walk across the keyboard) were curious as to what the winners and losers of the past 10 HOF games have gone on to do in the regular season. We(once again just me) chose to only go back 10 years because A) I'm still trying to verify if Maurice Clarett is the Bengals new "equipment manager" and B) The game has changed a lot over the course of 44 years, but 10 years ago it wasn't too different.

Enter the Hall of Brain
Starting with 1996, here is the outcome of the game, and the regular season result of both teams.

The Indianapolis Colts beat the New Orleans Saints in the HOF game by a score of 10-3. Like I said, not much has changed in 10 years. The Colts go on to a 9-7 record, and lose to the Steelers in the Wildcard round. The Saints end up 3-13, and don't make the playoffs.

The Minnesota Vikings defeat the Seattle Seahawks 28-26 in the HOF game. The Vikes end up with a 9-7 record, and lose to the 49'ers in the divisional playoffs. The Seahawks go 8-8, and don't make the playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-6 in the HOF game. The Bucs end up 8-8, and the Steelers finish the season 7-9. Neither team makes a playoff appearance.

The Cleveland Browns beat the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 in the HOF game. The Browns finish the season 2-14(no, the HOF victory wasn't one of the wins), and the Cowboys go 8-8. Dallas loses to Minnesota in the divisional playoffs.

The New England Patriots beat the San Francisco 49'ers 20-0 in the HOF game. The Patriots end up with a 5-11 record, and the 49'ers finish 6-10. Neither team makes the playoffs.

The St. Louis Rams beat the Miami Dolphins 17-10 in that year's HOF game. The Rams end up 14-2, and lose to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Dolphins finish 11-5, and lose to the Ravens in the wildcard round.

The New York Giants beat the Houston Texans 34-17 in the HOF game. The Giants finished the season 10-6, and lost to the 49'ers in the wildcard round. The Texans finished their inaugural season 4-12, and didn't make the playoffs.

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Green Bay Packers 9-0 in an HOF game that was cut short due to lightning. The Chiefs finished their season 13-3, and lost in the divisional playoffs to the Colts. The Packers finished 10-6, and lost in the divisional playoffs to the Eagles.

The Washington Redskins beat the Denver Broncos 20-17 in the HOF game. The Redskins finished the season 6-10, and didn't make the playoffs. The Broncos finished 10-6, and lost to the Colts in the wildcard round.

The Chicago Bears beat the Miami Dolphins 27-24 in the HOF game. The Bears went on to finish 11-5, and lost in the divisional playoffs to the Panthers. The Dolphins finished 9-7, and didn't make the playoffs.

The Oakland Raiders beat the Philadelphia Eagles 16-10 in the HOF game. Oakland ends up with 3 wins(49'ers, Texans, Jets), and Al Davis suits up for the final game of the year. The Eagles finish 9-7, beat the Cowboys in the wildcard round(T.O. comes on the field to help defend against the hail mary and gets burned for a T.D.), but lose to the Panthers in the divisional series.(I told you my cat walks across the keyboard sometimes).

The most important statistics from this 10 year historical record are:

Winners of the HOF game have compiled an 87-73 regular season record with 6 playoff appearances.

Losers of the HOF game have gone 76-84 with 4 playoff appearances in that same span.

Don't tell Jeffrey Lurie though because he might ask the NFL to void the Eagles' loss.

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