I meant to post this on Friday, but totally forgot. Anyway, here is a Special Summer Edition of FMQB! It’s not often that I write a post in early June, but FMQB had an amazing football experience that needs to be shared to the masses (ok, 7 readers). Last week, FFMQB surprised FMQB with an amazing birthday present; a trip to Canton, OH and the Pro Football Hall of Fame! The Mecca of the NFL. All players want to go there, and any true fan wants to go as well. As if my passion for football wasn’t big enough, I got to go in and be surrounded by 107 years of football history and memorabilia. Needless to say, it was tough to contain my excitement.
We had to park in a parking lot at the stadium due to the festivities (which I will talk about soon), but there was the cutest old lady describing her crush on Jim Thorpe and her excitement for football. She was like everybody’s ideal grandma who could actually talk football with you. Anyway, it was a fun start to the hall.
We arrived and checked out the first level, which included a photography exhibit of amazing pictures, and the history of the NFL. I got to try on a replica pair of leather shoulder pads, wool jersey (very itchy), and a leather helmet. I did NOT feel protected one bit, I can’t believe that’s all players used to play with! The history section was also cool, going decade by decade on how the NFL came to be what it is today.
Once we finished with the first level, there was an announcement that the festivities were about to begin. See, the timing was perfect since the Hall of Fame had been under renovations for the past 4 years, and today was the Grand Re-opening. So we walked outside and listened to NFL Films music for 20 minutes waiting for a glimpse of the special guest: Joe Namath! We listened to a lot of construction managers talk about the project, but then we got to hear Broadway Joe speak. And trust me, he was still Broadway Joe. Total surfer personality, not a care in the world, but had the more amusing speech of the group (other than perhaps the Canton mayor). They ended up doing a ceremonial ribbon cutting, and fireworks went off in the background. Cool event.
Everybody went back inside, and we headed up to the 2nd level. This was kind of a mish-mash of exhibits. We got to go under the Replay Hood, try on current shoulder pads, listen to a helmet radio (very tough to hear, no wonder QB’s have to cover their ears), found out FFMQB is smaller than the thigh of Jerome Bettis, and FMQB’s hand is bigger than Troy Aikman’s. We also learned of rule changes, including a different outcome of Super Bowl III had TD’s still been worth only 4 points and FG’s worth 5.
The next room we went to held the infamous 273 player busts. Separated by year, we got to read the names and view the faces of each inductee, not surprisingly getting cooler as we got near the future and saw big names, such as Joe Montana, John Elway, Johnny Unitas, Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, and many many more! I was pumped to see Marshall Faulk’s near the end. This whole room was pretty surreal, with no lights other than accent lights behind each bust.
Another really cool aspect of the HOF, was a rotating exhibit they have which highlights the previous season. With all the records that were broken or tied, they had memorabilia from everything including Drew Brees jersey when he broke Unitas’ consecutive games with a TD, Jacoby Jones 108 yd kickoff return jersey, David Akers’ shoe from his 63 yd record tying FG, to tons of others. This room was cool because these names are still fresh, plus it gives these players the bragging rights to say “I have something in the hall of fame” even though they aren’t in it themselves. Adrian Peterson’s entire jersey/pants/shoes/helmet from his 2105 yd season was also here, very cool!
Super Bowl Exhibit:
BY FAR this was one of the coolest things I have ever seen! This room alone would have made the trip to the HOF worth it to me. The very first thing we saw was the full jersey that Ray Lewis wore at this years’ Super Bowl, including his intimidating face mask. Walking past that led to a room that was full of mirrors, and in the middle of the room, on a pedestal from heaven, was the Vince Lombardi trophy! And not a replica, but the real deal! What was even more amazing was that this was the 2014 trophy, that they would inscribe the team name onto at next year’s Super Bowl! The rest of the exhibit was a decade by decade look at their Super Bowls, and we saw everything from Bart Starr’s first jersey, to the Steelers Dynasty, a bunch of 49ers stuff, Cowboys stuff, John Elway gear, Kurt Warner’s jersey (my favorite!!!), Tom Brady’s gear (EERRRRRR), and Manning brother gear. It was completely overwhelming how much they had on display. The final part of the exhibit was a jewelry case that had the first 46 Super Bowl rings on display. It was cool to see how simple the rings were 40 years ago compared to what they have become today.
I know one of my readers will like this, but overall I was surprised how nice and accommodating everybody we met in Ohio was. Sure, we have “Minnesota Nice,” but literally every customer service interaction we had was above and beyond what I’m normally used to.
Joke of the Week:
Sooo, as a man I pride myself in my navigational skills. And other than construction, we did very well in a brand new city, a Chicago airport, and a Charlotte airport while running. Yet somehow, we got unbelievably lost in OUR OWN AIRPORT when we got back into town. Our flight landed at about 12:45am, and we finally got to our car at about 1:50. I sucked it up and asked a janitor for directions, he pointed us one way and we didn’t believe him. So we walked the other way, then thought he was right so walked the other way (awkwardly passing him), only to find that the corridor leading to the light rail was closed that late at night, so had to walk to the complete other end of the airport (and by him again). Overall it was a comedy of errors, but we spent more time in the Minneapolis airport than at the delayed Charlotte airport.