I've always wanted to pay a visit to the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. With our recent success I thought it might be a good time to check it out.
Let me start by saying I've always had this assumption Ohio was grey and miserable all the time. It was actually quite nice as you can see in the below pictures. There were rolling hills of green trees, blue skies, and a light breeze with temperatures in the low 70s.
We start with Johnny U. Best known for throwing a touchdown pass to Jerry Richardson in the 1959 NFL Championship Game.
As I followed the chronological order of the Hall it was difficult to find Panthers connections as we came into the league just 20 Years ago. One thing did catch my eye. A tribute to one of the greatest defenses of all time. Ron Rivera was a rookie learning the ropes and occasionally pitching in. His tackles were not recorded but he did register a 1/2 sack, interception, and fumble recovery.
As we get into the 90s our Franchise becomes part of history, joining the greatest sports league in the world. This ticket has some meaning to me as the Hall Of Fame Game is the day I became a Panthers fan.
As we go through the 90s and 00s our franchise receives no mentions as we failed to make a lasting impression. Reggie White had several photos and displays but never as a Panther (and rightly so).
As we get to the most significant recent moments a relic from Tampa is on display.
Yes, that is the ball Cam unselfishly gave to Katie Brown after breaking the record. The Panthers equipment staff quickly negotiated a trade and the ball now sits in the same room as Johnny Unitas's high tops.
Having finished the main historical section of the museum we head to see the Busts. It's a pretty cool feeling seeing them all as a whole but individually it's pretty unremarkable. The real excitement was watching these guys play.
I have to say Ditka had the best bust. Only the Saints could make this man a loser.
Next we make our way to the "Pro Football Today" Exhibit. Here we find displays of achievement from the past 2 seasons.
Luke's uniform from his record breaking performance against the Saints is on display
Also on display are all 2014 First Round Draft Cards. I think this has been circulated before but it's pretty funny.
We finish up in the Hall of Super Bowl Champions. There is no joy in this room for Panther fans. There are some pictures of our 2003 team on a video kiosk but I rather not talk about it.
One last memento as we approach the gift store.
That pretty much sums up the Hall Of Fame from a Panthers fan perspective. I enjoyed learning about professional football as a whole and took pride in the representation of our organization. I've included several more pictures that I enjoyed.
Ever wondered what a Bill Belichek playbook looks like? Here is one from his Super Bowl win over the Bills as a Coordinator for the Giants. Maybe someday we will see his notes from our walk through in 2003.
Jim Brown is honestly the baddest man on the planet. Watching his NFL Films tape is like watching Super Man play Football in High School.
Contrary to popular belief, player safety has been an important issue since the earliest days of football. The rule changes today are not a sign of the "softness" of our society. There was a time when men scoffed at face masks because they were for "wimps". Note the equipment hanging around these players necks. Those are "helmets". Designed to protect the nose from retreating into the brain.
If only I could buy season tickets for 10 times what the Bears were asking for in 1928. I wonder what a Beer cost?
Marion Motley is one of my favorite players to watch in the old NFL Films shows. A 270 lb Fullback with a mean streak.
While Reggie White made a name for himself in Philadelphia and Green Bay. He left and played hist last snaps in Charlotte. He chose to make Charlotte his home until his tragic death in 2004.
This silly drug store toy inspired the name of the greatest day on the American Sports calendar.
And finally we come to Cleveland. As I said before I was shocked at how wonderful the weather was in Ohio. It inspired me to head to Cleveland and see Great Lake Eerie. As I approached the city clouds descended. It was like a cartoon cloud that followed a sad person. The city is filthy and full of abandoned buildings. Every corner has a sketchy bar. The water is dark, the skies are grey. The city is the epitome of misery. I can see why Lebron claims to be from Akron where the sun shines brightly. I'm glad I went just to confirm every story was true and understated.
Edited by KendrickPanther, 18 July 2014 - 01:01 AM.