Even with linebacker Derrick Brooks being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and a new look with their uniforms and helmets, the Buccaneers will not be playing in this years annual preseason kickoff classic, instead the NFL chose the Bills and Giants to get the 2014 season underway.
Many Tampa Bay fans were hoping to see the Buccaneers debut their new logo, uniforms and helmet in the NFL Hall of Fame Game this year in Canton, Ohio, but the NFL announced on Friday that it will instead be the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants who kick off the 2014 preseason in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game on Sunday, August 3 at 8:00 PM ET.
With linebacker Derrick Brooks being the second Buccaneer player to be elected to the Hall of Fame in the last two years (joining Warren Sapp in 2013, third in franchise history Lee Roy Selmon 1995) and with the new uniform revision, speculation was that the Buccaneers might be one of the two teams that play in the annual classic.
Instead, the NFL chose the Bills-Giants matchup as two of the seven members of the Class of 2014 have ties to the participating teams.
Wide receiver Andre Reed played 15 of his 16 seasons with the Bills from 1985-1999, and was named to the Pro Bowl seven times. Defensive end Michael Strahan spent his entire 15-season career with the Giants from 1993-2007 and also was selected to seven Pro Bowls.
Joining Reed and Strahan in the Class of 2014 are linebacker Derrick Brooks, punter Ray Guy, defensive end Claude Humphrey, tackle Walter Jones, and cornerback/safety Aeneas Williams.
This is the first time the Bills and Giants will meet in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game. The Giants played in the very first Hall of Fame Game in 1962 and followed with three other trips to Canton to play in the preseason classic (1972, 1985, and 2002). Buffalo returns to Fawcett Stadium for the fourth time. The Bills started their season in Canton in 1974, 1989, and 2009.
The Buccaneers last appeared in the Hall of Fame Game back in 1998 and defeated the Steelers 30-6. The only other time Tampa Bat played in Canton was a 38-0 loss to the Seahawks in 1984.–Part of this report was obtained from the NFL Communications Department
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