Over the weekend I took a trip to Canton, Ohio and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I first visited back in 1998. That year, guys like Paul Krause and Anthony Munoz got inducted. It was also the year Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were neck and neck in the single season home run race.
Going through the Hall of Fame is a blast!!! They’ve really changed a lot since the last time I was there. Right after buying your tickets to get in, you’re greeted by a photographer who will take your picture in front of a green screen. When you’re finished touring the museum, you can stop and see your pictures before leaving. They put a whole photo package together for you.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the holy land for any football fan. You can sit there and open every high-end football card product on the market today, and it will never come close to the fun stuff you see inside this place. All the way from professional football’s 1892 birth certificate to memorabilia used by players today. The Hall of Fame covers everything.
Its difficult to pick what parts of the Hall of Fame are my favorite. Every corner I turned there was another priceless artifact. The older memorabilia fascinates me the most. Mainly because its a miracle that its still around. The Hall of Fame Gallery filled with all of the inductee busts is really cool too. That was dramatically better looking than what I remember it being. But if I had to pick one artifact to be my personal favorite, it would probably be the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The gift shop is massive and contains every NFL themed item you could possibly think of. I bought three new pins, lanyard, golf shirt, and a Hall of Fame mini helmet. I also ate lunch at the Hall of Fame Cafe. They serve lots of stuff from hot dogs and hamburgers to gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.
Take a look!!!
Pro Football’s Birth Certificate – this is an expense sheet from the Allegheny Athletic Association dated November 12, 1892. The “game performance bonus to W. Heffelfinger for playing (cash) $500.00″ is the earliest evidence of someone being paid to play football.
Jim Thorpe’s Carlisle Indians Letterman Sweater.
(Top Middle) Arnie Herber’s sideline coat, (Top Left) Butch Gibson’s 1934 N.Y. Giants jersey, (Top Right) “Wooky” Roberts Canton Bulldogs jersey. Also seen in this picture is the helmet worn by Link Lyman in the 1934 NFL Championship Game, game ball signed by the 1925 N.Y. Giants, and coach’s cap worn by Redskins founder-owner George Preston Marshall.
Jerseys of Bob Waterfield #7, Bronko Nagurski #3, and Sid Luckman #42.
Jerseys of Johnny Unitas #19 and Doak Walker #37.
Jerseys of Jim Brown #32, Lance Alworth’s AFL All-Star jersey #19 , and Sonny Jurgensen #9. Helmets of Dick Butkus (left), and Tommy Nobis (right).
Jerseys of Peyton Manning #18, Reggie White #92, and Tony Gonzalez #88. Shoulder pads of Cortez Kennedy and college helmet of Larry Allen.
Tim Tebow jersey – this jersey was worn during the playoff win over the Steelers in 2012. Tebow threw an 80-yard bomb to win the game 29-23.
Miami Dolphins Perfect Season.
The “Immaculate Reception” Turf – Franco Harris removed this piece of turf at the exact spot where the “Immaculate Reception” took place in Three Rivers Stadium.
The inaugural Hall of Fame class from 1963.
Team Postcards – (Left) 1911 Nutshell Tigers of Canton, (Right) Game action from a 1900 game.
World Football League football – they didn’t make it.
United States Football League football – they didn’t make it either :-)
Player bench from the last game Vince Lombardi coached at Lambeau Field. Green Bay, Dec. 31, 1967.
LeSean McCoy wore this jersey, gloves, and cleats in a game against the Lions in Dec. 2013. On that day, in blizzard conditions, McCoy ran for 217 yards setting a new franchise record.
Vince Lombardi Trophy
Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XLIII ring.
“I’m ready to go in coach, just give me a chance. I know there’s a lot riding on it, but it’s all psychological. Just gotta stay in a positive frame of mind.” – Ace Ventura
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