The NFL reportedly had BIG plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the league’s launch.
Peter King of NBC Sports’ Football Night in America reports the Pro Football Hall of Fame made a push to host a regular-season game in 2020 and wanted the Chicago Bears to be a part of it.
King hears The Hall angled for the Bears to host a game on September 17, 2020 at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio. What better way to celebrate the league’s birth date by playing a primetime game in its home town? From that point of view, I commend the league and the Hall of Fame for coming up with a creative twist in an attempt to tie the present game to its humble beginnings.
But I think it’s easy to see why this simply wasn’t meant to be.
In theory, playing a game featuring one of the league’s two original teams in the birthplace of football on primetime is a great idea. But for it to have happened, the Bears would have had to travel on a short week to play a “home” game somewhere other than home. That would have been quite the sacrifice, and it’s understandable why the Bears didn’t go for it.
Giving up a home game — along with sales from tickets, concessions, parking, etc. — to play away from the friendly confines of Soldier Field in a 25,000-seat stadium probably wasn’t an idea the Bears were too keen on following through to its conclusion. Tack on that they would have to travel while doing so probably made this a no-go from the get-go. But hey, it was a good idea and I’m not going to knock it.
One thing the NFL loves celebrating more than the league itself is its history. So having a game in Canton makes a ton of sense, and having a team that still figures to be in its window in contention in 2020 would have made for a must-see event. But King hears it isn’t happening, which is a shame because good ideas should be rewarded. Then again, sometimes there are reasons why good ideas never become anything more than just that.