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Clark said he wouldn't discuss the outcome of the vote, though both he and Pittsburgh quarterback Charlie Batch acknowledged there were some players on the 90-man roster who were not in favor of the deal.
Not that it mattered to Scott Hill and Mike Bond, longtime Denver Bronco fans who made their way to Canton to watch former Denver tight end Shannon Sharpe's enshrinement on Saturday.
Neither Hill nor Bond felt the season was in danger, figuring once both sides realized what was at stake they'd come to their senses.
"It cost the Hall of Fame game, it cost nothing more," Hill said. "There was a lot of stuff in the press to try and get us worried, but until it got to the point where it was actually going to matter, there was no reason to get worried. ... This, this was all made up."
Maybe, but the league didn't do quite enough to appease Tony Dearing. The Hall of Fame game's cancellation means Dearing won't be able to throw a little cash into 8-year-old daughter Peyton's college fund.
Dearing spends every Hall of Fame weekend at his father-in-law's house on Blake Ave., which sits across the street from Fawcett Stadium, the site of the Hall of Fame game each year.
The family sells water and lemonade to fans and offers a handful of prime parking spots for $10. Dearing estimates he deposits between $300-$350 into his daughter's college account when the weekend is over.
This weekend, instead of working during the game, the family will hold a reunion of sorts instead.
"What upsets me is not that the game was canceled, it's that they didn't do something else," Dearing said. "You could still put together a concert with some well-known artists and have a good time."
Instead the Hall will offer a tailgate party with several Hall of Famers mingling in the crowd. It's not bad, but it's not a game.
Then again, it could be worse. There could be no football at all. Instead, the nation's most popular sport will have labor peace for a decade. Goodell isn't sure he'll have the job the next time a new CBA is negotiated.
"I think the most important thing is always listen to one another and find solutions," Goodell said. "One of the things I think we understand is that we're better off working together, we can create a better environment for everybody, most specifically the game and our fans."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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