This past weekend, Justin and I were itching to get out of Pittsburgh, but we didn’t know where we wanted to go. So on Saturday, we pulled up a map and just started looking at different places we could reach within two to three hours of Pittsburgh. We settled on Canton, Ohio, because Justin remembered that the NFL Hall of Fame is located there.
Oh boy. Football.
I’m not a huge sports fan, by any means. Definitely not the kind that we saw wandering around the Hall of Fame, taking video and detailed pictures of every exhibit. But I’ll go ahead and admit…this museum pulled me in a little bit. It was much more interesting than I thought it was going to be. And I actually learned a little bit…
I learned that people are really serious about football. Just look at this building, for starters. It’s like a cross between a football and a church sanctuary. Scary.
I learned that football players have really big hands, I guess in order to catch the football. In case you can’t read the caption, this ring belonged to “Refrigerator” Perry and it’s a whopping size 23! Are you kidding me?! I think I wear a size 7. I could fit three fingers in there and still have wiggle room!
I learned that football teams used to be located in obscure cities and have really funny names. Like the “Staten Island Stapletons.” For some reason, I picture their mascot being a giant red Swingline stapler with legs. And the crowd shouts trash talk like, “We’re gonna STAPLE you guys!!”
I learned that back in the day, guys used to wear leather helmets. This wasn’t so much for protection as it was a fashion statement, I’m guessing. Look how sharp they look! Plus, they can go straight from the football field to the swimming pool after the game and play water polo without switching hats.
I learned that it’s really tough to be a referee. Justin and I both tried out this instant replay booth, and we both ended up making the wrong call on the play. Or was it the referees in the video who made the wrong call? Hmmm….
I learned that Super Bowl winners get to wear a really fancy ring. Why did no one tell me that there is jewelry involved in football? In fact, I got to design my own virtual ring for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and it was pretty swanky.
By the way, did you know that the term “Super Bowl” came from a guy who had two kids at home who kept playing with those super bouncy rubber “super balls?” His job with the NFL involved thinking up a catchy name for the new championship tournament, and he made the connection when he saw his kids playing with those rubber balls in the driveway. Super Bowl=Super Ball.
Speaking of rings, I learned that holograms are not just something out of science fiction. Did you know that holograms are real? I sure didn’t. I swiped my hand through this ring about five or six times, and I still had trouble believing that it was just a hologram. I kept looking at it from every angle, trying to figure out how it worked. I took a picture of it just to see if it would show up on film–and as you can see here, it DOES! I am officially obsessed with holograms now. Does this mean that I can get a hologram of Ryan Gosling in my living room? That would be exciting.
I learned that if you do something really impressive in football, they make life-sized bronze replica of your head and put it in this dark, scary hall of heads. This room was really creepy–almost like a crypt. Many of the heads had those eyes that follow you wherever you’re standing. A bronze head, I decided, is definitely NOT something that I want to take home and put in my living room.
All in all, I give the Football Hall of Fame a thumbs up, even for people who don’t enjoy football. And people who DO enjoy football….well, they’ll just about pee their pants when they walk around this place. It has a lot of cool stuff (like holograms! Well, okay…just the one). And just a word of advice, people get really annoyed when you keep singing the “Hall of Fame” song as you walk through the different exhibits. Even if you lower your voice, and just strictly hum the tune, you’ll notice people giving you dirty looks and edging away from you. Just to warn you.