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.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Akron Children's Hospital


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

Ohio to appeal ruling keeping Akron's red light cameras in place
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If you don't like tickets drive the speed limit and stop at red lights. It's really all up to you.

Who's on public assistance in Ohio?
legalize marijuana get over it,,, its here its been the main drug test scare of a lifetime. u got people that get drunk every night and work u got peoples on ...

Letters from a lost friend: A Beachwood survivor's Holocaust remembrance
What a great story -- and how important it was for both Marlene and her mother to tell it! Thank you.

Ohio lawmaker calls for an East Cleveland bailout
Instead of blaming Kasich and the Republicans for all of East Cleveland's fiscal woes, take a look at the facts. Some political entities in Ohio are too small ...

Legalized marijuana is a boon for a Cleveland-area grow light maker
Shouldn't he be in jail for paraphernalia? He knows he is selling for marijuana production.

Akron city council to vote on resolution for hiring ex-offenders
Great as a taxpayer I paid for the police to catch them, the free lawyer, the jail to house them , the food their kids eat the medical for them and all its goin...

5 of 8 rule headed for a vote
this is just another way for kasich to pass the buck and claim that it gives the local districts control. Few schools have enough money because of his cuts. T...

A passionate debate about parole in Ohio
I was heartened to hear that the legislators will consider ANY legislation to break the chains the parole board has put on these old law offenders who have serv...

Bill would allow Ohio religious leaders to refuse to do gay marriages
This is just a lot of political posturing. The free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment already protects clergy from being forced by civil authorities to perfo...

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