The league and the Hall of Fame knew the game would be cancelled about 80 minutes before kickoff. That’s when they told the players they weren’t playing.
In the meantime, the stadium began to fill up and no one bothered to make any sort of announcement to the fans. At least not right away.
Do you know why?
People who think they’re going to watch a football game go buy concessions and merchandise. Concessions and merchandise equal revenue and if you weren’t aware of this before, we’re glad you got out from under that rock…
The NFL only exists to take your money.
Here’s the Indianapolis Star’s account of what went down.
What happened to the fans at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium over the next 80 minutes (after players were told the game was cancelled) was no accident.
It was intentional. It was deceitful. It was the Pro Football Hall of Fame keeping alive the façade, using its scoreboard to show a countdown to an 8 p.m. kickoff that would never happen, because there was money to be made.
“I’ve spent $50 since I got into the stadium,” Colts fan Ben Coleman of Terre Haute was telling me in the stands as the clock struck 30 minutes to kickoff. “You’re damn right I’m mad. I’m (expletive).”
You would think Packers president Mark Murphy or Colts owner Jim Irsay, both of whom were on the field and both of whom were happy to bitch to the media about the field conditions, might have thought to say something to the fans.
Of course, their motivations would need to differ from those of the NFL’s in order for that to happen. And as we know first hand, they do not.
Hall of Fame president David Baker didn’t make an announcement to the crowd that the game had been cancelled until 7:50 p.m. That’s 10 minutes before kickoff was supposed to take place. It’s also exactly 70 minutes after the same announcement was made to players.
What happened after the game was called? That was no accident. It was NFL fans being tricked into staying more than an hour inside a football stadium where no football game was going to be played. It was concession stands doing big business. It was NFL fans learning, eventually, that they’d been had.
Yet, completely and totally unsurprising.