Pro Football Hall of Fame Trip!
As I mentioned earlier, the first stop me and Hank made on Hank’s
exile move to California was the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. So being football nuts, how exactly was our experience at the NFL’s historical vault?
I wouldn’t say it’s a must see for football fans, but there are a few elements that made the trip worthwhile if you go.
First off, if you’re into the history of the game—including questions like “Why the hell is it hall of fame located in Canton, Ohio?” Then you’ll be quite pleased. There was a lot of time dedicated to showing the evolution of the game from 12-15 guys in the neighborhood to the (over) finely-tuned machine you see today. Jim Thorpe, for example, gets a lot of love at the museum with a giant statue in the middle of the “Old Era” room.
One of the funny stories from this room was the fact that one of the early teams had 15 players and six of them were family members. That’s pretty cool. Could you imagine the Philadelphia Eagles vs the Akron Jacksons? Or the Cleveland Browns? Oh wait.
Another interesting fact from that era being that the first trade, which was at some point in the 20’s I believe, involved a player being traded in exchange for $300. That’s a lot of cash back then (I think my dad would know). (I hope my dad isn’t reading this).
One thing that was also interesting was the amount of memorabilia. I mean jerseys and helmets everywhere. For Eagles fans Reggie White is in there as well as a surprise appearance from DeSean Jackson who has a jersey hanging up from when he posted three consecutive scores over 60 yards in the first three games of his rookie year. I didn’t expect that.
For some of the other players that had gear displayed in the Hall: Eric Dickerson, Brett Favre, Tony Gonzalez, John Randle, Bruce Smith, Emmitt Smith, The G.O.A.T., and they even snuck Tim Tebow in there (those bastards). Another player that got some love and is a personal favorite of mine: Warren Sapp.
Another worthwhile part of the hall is the movie theatre. Being the NFL Hall of Fame they obviously have access to NFL Films and all of the incredible footage that they take each year. In this case, the Hall shows a 15 minute movie where they take you through the highlights of the season week by week and through the Super Bowl.
I really need to emphasize how cool this was. Big screen, high def, never before seen footage of beautiful catches and coaches yelling at people is just awesome to watch. Really a great sight, especially when they get to the Super Bowl.
The Ravens 49ers contest is about half of the film and makes John Harbaugh look like the most badass man on the planet. There’s two different times during the film where Harbaugh calls plays before they happen. One led to an Ed Reed interception, the other a Jacoby Jones return touchdown.
Now for the best part of the Hall:
This room was far and away the best part of the Hall. Not even close. Inside this room there were the busts of every player inducted to the hall…and a touchscreen program full of their highlights. Every single player inducted had an NFL Films produced player profile and it was absolutely fantastic. Me and Hank spent about half of our visit just going back and forth on selections. Mike Singletary, Eric Dickerson, Lawrence Taylor, Walter Payton, Kellen Winslow, Pete Pihos, Dick Butkus, Dion Sanders, Steve Van Buren, Night Train Lane, Joe Montana. God damn it was awesome. It was pretty much all that I wanted from the Hall in that single room. Everything else was just a bonus. For example, this.
Overall, I think the Hall of Fame is a cool place. Just understand that it’s about seven hours away and you’ll spend about two to three hours there in a single visit so I’d recommend having other things to do when you go. Hall of Fame Game perhaps? However, that doesn’t take away from the experience of the place which, while occasionally cheesy, is a really enjoyable experience as someone who loves the game. The NFL really does a good job of rolling out the carpet for starts of the past and retaining their legacy while balancing a respect for the talent in today’s game. Me and Hank certainly had a good time.