Since we were in Ohio and only about a 2 hour drive to Canton, we decided that this was an opportune time to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Why, you might ask, is the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio? There are 3 reasons, (1) the NFL, then known as the American Professional Football Association, was founded in Canton in 1920 (2) The now defunct Canton Bulldogs were a successful NFL team based in Canton during the first few years of the league and (3) the community of Canton successfully lobbied the NFL to have the Hall built in their city (although there is no direct connection with the NFL).
The Hall opened in 1963 with 17 charter inductees. To be eligible for the nominating process a player or coach must have been retired for at least 5 years. Team owners or executives can be voted in at any time. Fans may nominate any player, coach or contributor by simply writing to the Hall via letter or email. The Selection Committee then, through 4 votes narrows the list to 15 finalists. The selection committee then meets the day before each Super Bowl game to elect the new class. Between 4 and 7 candidates are elected each year. The selection committee is made up of 44 people – mostly sportswriters. With the 2010 class being enshrined in August, there will be 260 individuals in the Hall.
There is much more to the Hall than just the Hall of Fame Gallery where the inductees are showcased. This is a complete museum dedicated to the history of professional football. There is the Pro Football Adventure Room that examines the many other pro leagues that have challenged the NFL. The Super Bowl Room recaps the 42 Super Bowls played to date and exhibits the Super Bowl Rings (some are really really gaudy). The Teams of The NFL exhibit pays tribute to the current 32 teams. And a bunch of other stuff.
It Pays To Ask!! The entry fee for the Hall is $20. The price for seniors is $15. I figured that I would ask if they had a discount for retired military members. The answer was not only a yes, and a thank-you for your service but, the entry fee is waived. We got in free. Free is always good!
Speaking of cost - check out the price of an NFL franchise.
And since we saved a few bucks – that night we went to Northfield Park between Akron and Cleveland and blew the savings on the harness races.