The Hall is easily accessible from Interstate 77 in Ohio. Tickets were $24 per person, with parking set at $10. A little bit pricey, to be sure, but I figured I wouldn't be traveling this way very often, so it was worth the expense.
Jim Thorpe gets plenty of exposure here, as do the Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears. Lots of collectibles from those eras.
I first saw the Vince Lombardi Trophy in late January 2009 during the NFL Experience when Super Bowl XLIII was held in Tampa, FlLorida. The Steelers and Cardinals played that day (Feb. 1, 2009) at Raymond James Stadium, with Pittsburgh winning 27-23. On Monday, I saw it again, and it was in the center of a small room. It looked fantastic.
I was a big Miami Dolphins fan when I grew up in South Florida during the 1970s, so seeing this memorabilia from the 1972 perfect season was especially fun. The uniforms of Larry Csonka (39) and Mercury Morris (22) is balanced off nicely by the homemade tie of kicker Garo Yepremian.
"Get out those white hankies," WIOD radio announce Rick Weaver - the voice of the Miami Dolphins - would tell his listeners after the '72 Dolphins scored a touchdown. Here is one of those specially made hankies.
There is even some room for humor at the Hall of Fame, as this vintage photo suggests. Players who didn't wear the proper kind of equipment were destined to suffer some bumps and bruises.
The room with the busts of the Hall of Famers is very impressive, and this is what fans visiting the Hall enjoy looking at. The likenesses are pretty much dead on, as this bust of coach Don Shula proves.
Lee Roy Selmon, the first Tampa Bay Buccaneers player to be enshrined in Canton. Ferocious on the field, but always a gentleman away from the gridiron.
More class. Another one of the best, on and off the field -- former Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks.
Here is the actual card used by the Bucs to draft Jameis Winston No. 1 in this year's NFL draft. The other cards were also in this case, in numerical order. Very interesting.
There are uniforms from the past and lots of newspaper clippings and photographs. A casual fan could get through the Hall in an hour; if you are more hardcore, plan to spend at least two.
The merchandise is expensive, but then again, no more pricey than at an NFL stadium on game day.
It was a nice visit.