Just thought I would write up a quick little nugget about my recent trip to the Pro Football HOF that I took last weekend with my nephew, father and son. I live about 40 minutes from the Hall, so it was a quick little drive to Canton, OH to see the legends of football firsthand. A couple of quick observations right off the bat: Canton is a decent sized city, lots of restaurants surrounding the area, which you can tell largely depends on the HOF for considerable tourist income. Secondly, the Hall itself is pretty large, with Fawcett Stadium sitting right off the highway in plain view. There is also a football field for kids and parents to throw the pigskin around on located just beside the Hall. Now on to the actual visit.............
It is not cheap to visit the living legends of football. $23 for adults, $16 for kids and 5 and under free. Right when you walk in they hit you up with an offer for a photo with your group, that you can view later on (I felt the sting of the price gouge right there). The Hall consists of three floors, and also has a really cool "Super Bowl Theater" fan experience. It takes anywhere from 2-4 hours to tour and has many interactive and fun items for children.
My favorite displays:
1) They had an NFL replay exhibit. You could review different plays, then literally step "under the hood" and review the play from different angles/views and attempt to make the right call. My son, nephew and I reviewed this together and really enjoyed it. Then promptly made the wrong call lol Just like in real life!
2) Anything Bengal related (which, there were quite a few items pertaining to our favorite team). A few examples from memory: Game Ball from first ever game played by Cincinnati Bengals against Denver Broncos, Exhibit featuring Sam Wyche/Boomer Esiason that spoke about the innovation of the "No Huddle Offense," Anthony Munoz is represented prominently in the Hall. His game uniforms are there, linemans gloves, bust of course and many other items including him.
3) The Super Bowl Theater experience is very cool. It lasts about 20 minutes and was an in depth, extremely up close and personal look at the Ravens (Boo) and 49ers (Boo again) Super Bowl. Worth the time and the kids really enjoyed.
4) The 2015 Lombardi trophy. You could stand next too and pose with pictures beside the actual trophy that will be given away to the lucky team this coming year in Glendale, Arizona. This was a very neat and iconic display that every person visiting really enjoyed.
5) The gift shop. I know, the gift shop? Yes, the gift shop. Keep in mind, this trip is entirely sponsored and brought to you by the good old National Football league. I have never saw so many items related to the NFL in one store. Everything from ink pens to duck tape that had an NFL logo was present. Albeit not cheap, but they had it in every teams colors.
6) The Bust displays. This was something that I won't soon forget. This is the Smithsonian of the NFL. You really felt as though you were reliving NFL history by seeing all the greats who had been enshrined. I took several pictures of Anthony Munoz and was really excited when we finally saw his. The room is not large like I would have imagined, but very dark and lit up behind each group to kind of give it a mysterious and regal appearance. Truly awesome.
We spent about 4 hours at the HOF. I would recommend it to anyone who is truly a fan of the NFL. I would recommend leaving any female who is not a fan of the NFL at home for this one. My wife would have been miserable as I was basking in this glory. To me it really made me feel more of an appreciation for the game, while also passing this love on to my son and nephew. We had a great bonding experience, one that I believe only sports can sometimes provide. I recommend anyone make the trip if they are ever able, you will truly enjoy it. Until you get to the exit and the picture people pop up again and say, "Remember that picture you took right when you got here? We know you want to capture that moment forever for the price of only $35!" By then you'll be like us, talking about what you liked best as you walk right by the overpriced mementos of a great day............