The offseason sucks. I'm sure I don't have to tell any of you that, but it feels good to say it regardless. If it wasn't for my other favorite sports, I'd be going mad during the NFL offseason. Somewhere down the line, it gets so bad, that I actually start to care about preseason games. Not the outcome or anything like that, but I find myself looking forward to them despite the total apathy and lack of care that takes hold about midway through the first quarter.
But ... football, am I right!?
If you're already counting the days until the first football of 2015-16, then you're already aware that the NFL's annual Hall of Fame Game is set for Sunday, Aug. 9, the day after the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony. Notable ex-San Francisco 49er Charles Haley was inducted this year and I look forward to his speech when he gives it (and whether it will be Jerry Jones or Eddie Debartolo who introduces him).
On Wednesday, the league announced that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings will be the teams facing off in the Hall of Fame Game. It's essentially just a fifth preseason game for those two teams, but it will be the first "real" football in about half a year. I know I'll turn it on, or at least I'm sure I'll be thinking about turning it on right up until I realize I don't like watching games that don't include the 49ers.
San Francisco hasn't played in the Hall of Fame game since July 31, 2000, when they lost to the New England Patriots. That came more than a decade after their previous appearance, a win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Aug. 8, 1987. They've played in the game three times, with the first all the way back on July 28, 1973, when the 49ers beat the aforementioned Patriots.
It's worth noting that former Steeler Jerome Bettis and former Viking Mick Tingelhoff are among the Hall of Fame inductees this year.