Monday, August 06, 2007

Hall of Fame Report

We had a great time at the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend as we traveled up there to see our friend Bruce Matthews honored as a member of the class of 2007! The folks in Canton, Ohio really know how to plan and carry out a wonderful festival weekend.

Above are a couple of pictures from the front of the Hall and at Fawcett Stadium, where the Hall of Fame game was played Sunday night. The pictures below show Bruce giving his acceptance speech and the HOF mug that I won as a keepsake at the Friday night dinner.

Some quick observations about the weekend:

~ Lots of ex-players were in the crowd. They are Big and Tall. They made me feel, if not petite, at least almost average in height.

~ Big Men do cry. A lot. They supplied each inductee with an athletic towel. A couple of them made ample use of it. (Not Bruce).

~The guests were very friendly. We met lots of interesting people, including the current head of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes who, along with his wife, were seated next to us at the Friday dinner.

~The dinners were similar to industry or corporate events where awards you never heard of are given to people you don't know (unless you are a die-hard sports fan and consumer of sports news).

~Whenever I hear someone invoke their "spiritual advisor" I am immediately on my guard. Michael Irvin began his way-too-long and way-too-confessional acceptance speech with these words. Let me just say--too much information IMHO.

~The most poignant moment was when three of the members of the HOF wheeled out Gene Hickerson, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease during the ceremony. His son had to give his acceptance speech.

~Every member of the HOF is represented by a bronze bust. Some are better likenesses than others. Bruce's doesn't look like him much at all. He joked that they had to pay extra for the bronze to cover his "dome" (high forehead).

~ There was a family-friendly carnival party for the Matthews' guests after the ceremony complete with jugglers, carnival games, an ice cream soda fountain, popcorn, funnel cakes and cotton candy. A perfect reflection of the family-focused Matthews clan.

~ Bruce must be exhausted. He was constantly being greeted, giving autographs, posing for photos and being ushered around from event to press opportunity along with the rest of the group. He's not someone who seeks or enjoys a lot of personal attention. I bet he was really glad to get home.

~El Jefe was really flattered when a former-player-looking-guy came up to him with a Hall of Fame football and asked him to sign it! We are still wondering who they thought he was, but as El Jefe quipped, "whoever he thought I was, I'm definitely down from my playing weight!


Presbyterian Gal said...

Sounds like you had a great time! I love the mug you won. Will you actually drink out of it, or is it 'shelfware only!'.

Can we get a picture of El Jefe, holding a football?

(last time I was in Canton Ohio it had just gotten 24 inches of snow!!)

Welcome home.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear you're having a good time. I used to live in Canton. I did a year's internship at Calvary Presbyterian Church there. Actually, we lived in North Canton ... wow that was more than 20 years ago!

Thanks for the memory.

Cathy said...

Sounds like you had a GREAT time! and what a fun party afterwards!

SpookyRach said...

How fun! Did El Jefe find out who his football twin is/was?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like so much fun! What a great and memorable experience for you and El Jefe!

In college, I went to a New Year's party that was somehow affiliated with the Oilers. My then-boyfriend had a reasonable resemblance to quarterback Bucky Richardson (remember him)? Someone approached and asked him to autograph a jersey. We joked that they were in for a rude awakening the next day when they saw their jersey autographed by some random guy. LOL.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

It sounds like such a fun time!! I want El Jefe's trading card.