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Should Bears Play in Hall-of-Fame Game?

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Should Bears Play in Hall-of-Fame Game?

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The Indianapolis Colts play against the Washington Redskins in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium on Aug. 3, 2008, in Canton, Ohio.

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One month from tomorrow, the Bears are scheduled to start their pre-season against St. Louis at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Normally, Bears fans would be excited about the date coming up so quickly as they book hotel rooms in Canton to cheer on the team and Richard Dent's induction in the Hall. However, this off-season is anything but normal, and the lockout has put this game in question.

To play in the game, the Bears would need to start training camp in just over two weeks. Though reports from labor negotiations have been positive, the window for an on-time training camp is closing. For the Bears to play on Aug. 7, the lockout needs to be over by July 15. Chris Harris is concerned that the team will rush into the HOF game without a proper training camp.

"Even if we report three days later, then it's still past that date. The Bears organization, Lovie (Smith) and Jerry (Angelo) made the decision to have training camp when we're having it because of that preseason game on Aug. 7. So that's the amount of time it would take for us to get ready for the game. That's how I look at it." 

Though most players have continued to work out through the off-season and get together for informal practice sessions, they are not yet ready for the rigors of playing even one pre-season quarter.

As Charles Tillman pointed out, "the only way to get in football shape is to do football things with the team." They need to be together, under the tutelage of their coaches, for every day possible before thinking about a pre-season game. Putting them into a game too early can open up the team to injuries.

But the people at the Pro Football Hall of Fame are still holding out hope that the game will happen. Ticket sales have lagged, but the organizers have heard from both sides that the game will be played. Here at Grizzly Detail headquarters, we're hopeful to see actual exhibition football in a month, but we won't blame you if you hold off on booking a hotel room.

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