The 2023 Hall of Fame game has been announced, and the two teams that have been selected to participate are the NY Jets and the Clevland Browns.
The Jets and Browns had a combined three players inducted into Canton this February, Joe Klecko and Darrelle Revis for the Jets, and Joe Thomas for the Browns, all of whom will be in attendance for the first preseason game of the 2023 season.
Fans of both teams celebrated their club being chosen for the game, but this honor may be one that teams should hope to avoid.
Curious to see if the Hall of Fame game had any bearing on a team's success during the season, I began doing a little research to find the average win percentage of the winning and losing teams of the game since 2000.
The numbers are nearly identical, .528 for the winner and .524 for the loser. However one thing managed to catch my attention throughout the process: playoff wins, more specifically the absence of playoff wins.
Have the NY Jets stumbled upon a Hall of Fame game curse?
As I continued to look at the history of teams whose seasons started in Canton, I found that the team that lost in the Hall of Fame game had a combined four playoff wins since 2000.
One of these wins came this year, as the Jacksonville Jaguars lost the preseason game and went on to beat the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card round in one of the best postseason comebacks ever. Four playoff wins since 2000 isn't exactly ideal, but the winning team's fortunes have been even worse.
Since 2000, the team who was victorious in the Hall of Fame game has won a combined two playoff games. Those two wins both came from the same team, as well: the 2001 Rams, also known as "The Greatest Show on Turf." This means that the winner of the Hall of Fame game has not won a playoff game in 22 years.
Is it just coincidence, or do we have a newly-discovered curse on our hands? Jets fans have endured a lot of losing over the last decade, but maybe losing this one wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.