Monday, August 12, 2019

Pro Football Hall of Fame

It seems like I am getting further and further behind with the blog. I still have three more posts about our time in Ohio the week of the Fourth of July. Since we are back in WashPA for three months and aren't doing many news things that will give me time to get caught up, I hope.
Even though we lived most of our lives within 100 miles of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, we had never visited. Going north on I-77 you can't miss the exit when the power lines crossing the highway are attached to a goal post. 
The Hall of Fame is a huge complex that includes a stadium, practice field, research center and galleries with football memorabilia and to honor the inductees. 
Welcome to the Hall of Fame.
I finally scored a visit to the Hall of Fame.
The hallway to the first gallery is lined with a painting of showing one honoree from each team. 
November 12, 1892 is considered the birthday of pro football when William (Pudge) Heffelfinger was paid $500 by the Allegheny Athletic Association to play a game against the Pittsburgh Athletic Association. After this, teams began paying more players, thus the beginning of "pro" football. The poster is from the 1917 Ohio Championship game Massillon vs Canton.
Jim Thorpe played for Canton and lead them to three championships. He later played for six different National Football League teams.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
Lockers for each of this year's inductees: Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Ed Reed, Johnny Robinson....
....Champ Bailey, Pat Bowlen, Gil Brandt, and Tony Gonzalez.
Yes, most of these players are huge. Nanc could fit in the mold of Jerome Bettis' leg.
A Game for Life exhibit uses holographic figures to have coaches and players tell stories of how football helped shape their lives. Joe Namath is the host and there are also presentations by George Halas, Vince Lombardi, Alan Page, Jim Brown, Curtis Martin and Steve Largent. This was one of the neater exhibits in the hall.
The locker room where A Game for Life is shown.
Every inductee has a bust made when they are enshrined in the hall. With this year's class there are now 326 members in the hall.
Every inductee also receives the famous gold jacket.
Of course our main interest was anything Steelers. Here are all the Steelers who are in the Hall of Fame.
The greatest era of Steeler football was the team that won four Super Bowls in six season. These four defensive players: Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert and Mel Blount and Coach Chuck Noll, were with the team for all those championship. 
These five offensive players: John Stallworth, Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris and Mike Webster, also played in those Super Bowls. It really was a great time to be a sports fan in Pittsburgh. 
Other people who had ties with the Steelers who are in the Hall. (Top) Dick LeBeau, who is in the Hall as a player, was a coach with the Steelers for many years. Art Rooney, team founder. Tony Dungy, who played for the Steelers, was inducted as a coach. Team president, Dan Rooney. (Bottom) players from the pre-Super Bowl years; Jack Butler, John Henry Johnson and Ernie Stautner.  
The Lombardi trophy is given to the Super Bowl Champs each year. The Steelers were the first team to win six times in their eight trips to the big game. 
The play that changed Steeler football. The Immaculate Reception was a desperation fourth down pass by Terry Bradshaw that bounces in the air and into the hands of Franco Harris to give the Steelers their first ever playoff win. The following year their Super Bowl run began. 
The 1970's sure were the greatest for Steeler fans. Art Rooney with the four trophies.
Terry B's jersey. We enjoyed the Hall of Fame, but feel the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY is better. Maybe it's just that we followed the Pirates more growing up than we did the Steelers, who were not very good until the 70's.  The Baseball Hall of Fame had much more memorabilia which was really cool to look at.  If you are a Pats fan, this is a good year to visit as each year the team that wins the Super Bowl is highlighted.