Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Canton, Ohio: Pro Football Hall of Fame

If you've paid attention to pro football over the last few decades, the picture no doubt will look familiar. The Pro Football Hall of Fame's entrance has become something of an icon, and it's quite a tourist draw to Canton, Ohio. The NFL was essentially invented in a car dealer's showroom there in the 1920's, and this is a way of remembering those roots.

Those roots start at small-town America and extend to big cities with full stadiums today. The Hall of Fame has the usual memorabilia, displays on great players, teams and the Super Bowls, and a theater. The induction ceremony in August is always a highlight on the football calendar.

That all said, pro football's hall can be a small disappointment. Despite several expansions, it's easy to get the feeling that the place needs more room. There are a lot of pictures of memorabilia (Super Bowl programs, for example) instead of the items themselves. And the location, right on an Interstate, is convenient but less than charming. Contrast that to baseball's Cooperstown, which has a 19th century-style village out the front door.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is still worth a stop. Just don't go in with huge expectations.

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