News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron General

Levin Furniture

NOCHE


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Sports


New book on 50 years of Football Hall of Fame
Look back at the origins of the game, with quotes from every enshrinee
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
A new book looks back at 50 years of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
Courtesy of Robert Sustersic
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton is commemorating 50 years with a new book looking back to the origins of the game. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia has more.
(Click image for larger view.)

The revamped Hall of Fame is teeming with visitors gazing in hushed reverence at football artifacts.  But what’s on display is just part of the game’s long history.  Joe Horrigan has been with the Hall for 36 of its 50 years, and he and John Thorn have written a new book, “Where Greatness Lives.”  It features a wealth of information that’s rarely, if ever, on display.

“I think the biggest challenge was [having] so many things to choose from.  Particularly if you’re looking at the 4 million graphics that we have in our photo collection.  So when we're trying to pick the best, or the ones that tell the story the best, that became very challenging.  And just choosing artifacts that we want to feature.  You don't want to have 200 pages of jerseys.  You want to get some balance.  So we brought out some of the unusual artifacts that helped tell the story.”

Artifacts
That story is told through displays of vintage helmets that look as protective as cowboy hats.  Pictures of a game-making piece of Cleveland Stadium’s goal post from 1945.  The NFL’s rule book from 1933, when the league deviated from college rules for the first time.  And ancient documents that provide a peek at the NFL’s infancy.

“That’s from 1917, I believe.  This is the Chicago Cardinals incorporation papers.  Now, the Chicago Cardinals are now known as the Arizona Cardinals.  And for those fans out there who may think that the Arizona Cardinals are a relatively new team, they’re actually the oldest team in the NFL.  It’s arranged chronologically but it’s not a year-by-year, day-by-day story.  It’s a lot of essays, ranging from Peter King to Steve Sabol to Dave Anders from the New York Times.  We really put a lot of thought into this.  We really wanted to have a very comprehensive and different approach to telling the same story.”

The game in society
“Society and sport have always been microcosms of eachother.  And I think there’s a lot of stories in here, [such as] pro football reintegrating in 1946, a year before baseball.  But that is really the stories about how America was integrating after World War II.  Having had the military and how there was this sense of unity.  I think that transferred over to our country and sport was a big part of it, because it made social changes possible.”

Think of it either as a lively textbook or a scholarly coffee table book.

Perspective
Tim Watko from Massillon was among the fans having his book signed at the Hall of Fame last weekend, and he appreciates the historical perspective.

“Just on the older players, that really started the game.  And some of the older one that went in the Hall that I never really knew.  So that’s why I really liked it.”

Watko was already tearing into the book before leaving the building.  Guy Ruda from Canton has read the book cover-to-cover and likes the modern-day perspective.

“The Hall-of-Famers (who) are actually living today, giving their insights to Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL.  And if you’re any kind of a history buff, which I am, NFL history is right here and this is where it all started.”

Along with the 50th Anniversary book, Horrigan and the Hall of Fame have put together a 9,000 square foot travelling exhibit that will be in New Orleans ahead of the Superbowl before crisscrossing the country for the next several years.
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Cuyahoga Valley National Park OK's sharpshooters to thin deer herds
In this article you mention that the Mule Deer Foundation is a "hunting group" in reality the Mule Deer Foundation is a conservation group that is over 25 years...

In the driver's seat of history
I believe he was a teacher of mine as James Ford Rhodes. My favorite teacher of all time! Loved learning this part of his amazing history.

Cleveland RTA is moving Public Square bus stops beginning this week
I am very confused. Why are you taking one or more of the park and ride 246 out of service in the morning. I looking over the new schedule I see that there ar...

Canton school board will vote Wednesday on its high school merger
Great to see that THE REPOSITORY is advising a 'no' vote for now! Another point, besides all the Very accurate points already made against this move is the fac...

Some parents opting their students out of Common Core test
I am an 8th grader at a school in Allen County. I have just recently taken the ELA performance based assessment and found it extremely difficult. It asked me a ...

Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling
The comment by Nathan Johnson from OEC is confusing. Instead of cities being 'emboldened' to craft zoning laws that were just stricken down by this ruling, comm...

Stopping sediment dumping in Lake Erie
Ah, yes, the Army Coro of Engineers, the geniuses that designed the levee system in New Orleans that has made the flooding worse due to no sediment reaching the...

Ohio charter school critic says reform bills are a good step
The cold truth is that these charter schools are offering services beyond the what the state tests can guage. Parents and students have a choice and they are ch...

State law trumps restrictions on oil and gas drilling in Munroe Falls
Justice O'Neill's quote brings up a point I wish WKSU would address: since, unlike for Federal judges, our judges here in Ohio are elected, and therefore respo...

Ohio Supreme Court invalidates local fracking bans
If Ohio has their way, Fracking Wells will be planted in the courtyard of every town. That is if the State of Ohio can profit by it...for more on how the court ...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University