RUSH: I need to ask this question. Did any of you tune in last night trying to watch the Hall of Fame game on ESPN? It was scheduled at eight o’clock, was gonna be the Packers and the Indianapolis Colts. Did you tune in to watch it? Well, I did. I remembered at about 20 minutes after eight that it was on. I said, “Whoa.” I was in the middle of doing something else.
So I tuned in at 20 after eight and I saw ’em interviewing a bunch of players, and it looked like it was live. The sun was setting. So I said, “This is not right. What is this? Is there a rain delay?” So I got out my radar device, my radar app, is it raining? Thunder? Maybe they had to delay the game. No, it’s not that.
So I hit the guide, maybe the game doesn’t actually start ’til nine. Maybe this is pregame. Nope, game starts at eight. So I said, “What the hell’s going on?” So I went to a couple websites. They had to cancel it! They had to cancel a game! And did you hear why? This is the most incredible thing. I think it is symptomatic of an overall, I do not know, lack of pursuit of excellence throughout our culture. I hope it isn’t that. When these kind of things happen, though, it’s inexplicable.
Okay, so they had the Hall of Fame ceremony. Where they play the Hall of Fame game is a high school stadium in Canton, Ohio. And they’ve upgraded this stadium. They put a brand-new field in this year because the field was in bad shape and the Steelers’ kicker injured his knee last year and lost his career because of it. Shaun Suisham. So they put in a new field. They had their Hall of Fame ceremonies on Saturday night, all the induction speeches and so forth and they had this giant tarp out on the field where they had stands and chairs set up for people to watch.
So they pulled a tarp off, and they hadn’t painted yet the Hall of Fame logo or any of the team logos in the end zone. I don’t know why; they’ve only had how long to prepare? They play one game a year on this date. They play high school games there, but those don’t start for a while. It turns out somebody used the wrong kind of paint, and the paint, an artificial surface that’s used now, there are actually — you know what it’s made of? Artificial surface is made out of tires. It’s made out of the same kind of rubber that’s actually made into tires on cars and other vehicles.
And inside, if you’ve ever watched a game and you’ve noticed what looks like little black particles streaming up when a player slides in or when there’s a lot of pressure on the ground, they’re actually rubber pellets that are buried deep inside the fake blades of grass which are also rubber, and then there’s a little cushion. Well, what had happened was, they used the wrong paint, and it congealed with all those gazillion little pellets and became like tar and concrete.
So they had to cancel the game. The players would have got stuck in it like playing in a tar pit or, if it had dried, it would be like falling on straight concrete. They tried to get stuff out there to grind it up and uncongeal it, whatever the word is, and that failed. They tried for about an hour, then they had to cancel the game. They had to cancel preseason game in Philadelphia some years ago because of bad field condition there. That was not new, that was at the old — the vet. But this, brand-new.
They’ve had theoretically a year to get ready for this game. (interruption) Well, I don’t know if anybody got fired. I don’t know. And if they do fire somebody, I don’t know if they’re gonna make a big public display out of it. Do you know how many management people the NFL has now? The excuse is, “Wait a minute now, Rush, the Hall of Fame is not the NFL, that’s a separate organization.”
Well, yeah, that’s true, but they work together on this. You can’t say it’s the Hall of Fame’s fault. It’s just a combination of things. Why the wrong paint? Why wasn’t it already painted? “Rush, they’re gonna put a tarp on that for the ceremony tonight.” Fields are painted before seasons begin, they play on ’em, they cover ’em, it gets rained on. None of it’s explicable. None of it makes any sense whatsoever. From the wrong paint to not having it done in the first place.
So, anyway, they cancel the game. ESPN had a brand-new play-by-play crew. They had a brand-new pregame crew. They had all kinds of stuff planned. The players probably really didn’t mind. They hate preseason games. So they did a fan fest. They let the fans in the stands out on the field to mingle with the players for a while. Players were dressed out in the game jerseys they were gonna wear but aside from that there was no pads or anything.
I’ve never seen anything like it. The closest I’ve seen is when they canceled a game in Philadelphia on a Sunday night because of snow in the forecast. That was bad.