Travel Treasures Close to Home: Pro Football Hall of Fame

by Tom Reed
WMV Web News Cleveland
Story filed December 19, 2005

We may travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to visit a tourist destination, but we sometimes overlook the attractions in our own backyard. These may be in Greater Cleveland, elsewhere in Ohio, or in neighboring states. Here's another in a series of articles about such places by Tom Reed, a freelance writer who specializes in travel, and who has been writing about various subjects in our Reed's Read segment.

Football is thought of as an autumn sport, but the excitement really cranks up in early winter, with college bowl games, the NFL playoffs, and of course the Super Bowl. So if you live in Northeast Ohio, this is a great time to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

If you haven't been there for a while, you'll find lots of new things. One of the most innovative changes has been in the Enshrinement Gallery itself. Only the basic information is displayed with the busts of the 229 enshrinees - just the name, position, team, and years played. But interactive video screens in the middle of the gallery give you a wealth of information and video clips of each player. Using a touch screen, you can search by the player's name, team name, position, or year. For players of the early years of pro football, they've put together videos using still photos, a la Ken Burns.

Among the new exhibits is a military display, honoring the more than 1,200 NFL players who served America in wartime. Three of them received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Twenty-three players were killed in World War Two, two in Vietnam, and one - Pat Tillman of the Arizona Cardinals - in Afghanistan.

Also new is an exhibit marking the New England Patriots record-setting winning streak of 21 consecutive games, over two years in 2003 and 2004.

The Game Day Stadium Theater is a highlight. The 24-minute presentation is shown in a revolving theater. You first watch training camp video, and then the whole theater revolves to face a larger screen for a film called Championship Chase, shot in Super 35mm Cinemascope.

The whole family will enjoy an interactive exhibit gallery. You can try your hand at passing a football, play a football video game, or test your knowledge of gridiron trivia.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is open every day of the years except Christmas. Hours during the winter season are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $13 for adults, $6 for kids 14 and under, and $8 for senior citizens. There is also a family rate of $32 for parents and all single children under 21.

For more information, visit the hall's website: http://www.profootballhof.com


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Copyright 2005 Tom Reed