Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun Times reports despite optimism that the NFL lockout that has dragged on for four months might be over soon, the labor impasse claimed its first game. Two sources said Friday that the Hall of Fame Game on August 7th in Canton, Ohio, between the Bears and Rams has been cancelled. A source outside the Bears said the teams were informed by the league, and a team source said word was out among key figures in the organization.
Joe Horrigan, vice president of communications for the Hall of Fame, said he was informed by the NFL that “the lockout has not ended and no games have been cancelled.’’ But Horrigan said the Hall of Fame wouldn’t be informed until after the teams were because it merely serves as a venue for the game, which is run by the league. No official announcement has come from the NFL, which continues to work overtime with representatives of the players on getting a deal in place by Tuesday, when both sides meet with Judge Arthur Boylan, the court-appointed mediator.
The dream of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appearing in the NBC television booth to proclaim business as usual during the first scheduled preseason game is dead.
“The dream is over,’’ one source said. “They had to throw one away, and everybody knew it.’’