The biggest annual farce of the football season takes place this evening – The Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. Each year, two teams that aren’t even close to ready to play let their rookies have a scrimmage and NBC covers it. It’s a total joke. The only thing that redeems it is that their is a betting line. Betting on this game is absolutely ridiculous, but it’s better than nothing. I guess. Washingtn in favored by six points over the Colts, and the total is 31.5. Every second I think about this game costs me brain cells, but here’s a quick breakdown of the basic points.
1. The Colts will have no one there. Manning, Harrison, Freeney and Sanders are all out. The trip to Canton is optional for the rest of the veterans. Only rookies have to play, and they will get the majority of the time. This team will bear no resemblance at all to the actual Colts.
2. Tony Dungy hates the preseason. He is 2-11 in his last 13 games, so he obviously doesn’t even try. He views it just as extra practice. He has won the first game of the preseason once in the last five years.
3. Jim Zorn is in his first game as a head coach. He spent the last seven years in Seattle, and they tended to play pretty hard in the preseason. They were 7-5 straight up and ATS in their last three years there. We can expect a better effort from Zorn than from Dungy.
4. The starters for Washington will see some playing time. The offense is scheduled to play two series, or 12-15 plays. That’s not much, but way more than the Colts’ regular will play. Last year Manning took just 13 snaps in the first two games combined, and that was when Indy had four games,not five like they do now.
5. Washington legends Art Monk and Darell Green are being inducted into the Hall this weekend. That means that Redskins brass will be in town, and Canton should be full of Washington fans. Jim Zorn has a lot to prove in his new gig, and he should view this game as an opportunity to start doing that given the significance of the weekend for his team. That should be enough to give them a big boost, and, in my view, a likely cover.