Ever visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
October 8, 2002 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Ever visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame? I haven't...I live in Florida. In honor of football season, however, check it out online. It has some pretty neat features, like how football teams got named, concise team histories, and a timeline of how American Football came about. Princeton vs. Rutgers in 1869 started it all....
posted by taumeson (22 comments total)
i live about an hour or so away from canton, and i went there a few times when i was younger. it is a pretty neat hall of fame.... far better then the rock n' roll hall of fame in cleveland.
it has your usual hall of fame stuff in it, and takes a little time look at everything.

i think the coolest thing is the theatre downstairs where they show nfl films all day long. i absolutly love the older ones with the old announcer... the music in the background is so session player funky and he is more prone then the new guy to have neat phrases.
posted by the aloha at 9:26 AM on October 8, 2002

"The old announcer" was the legendary John Facenda. Never been to the Hall myself, but a friend moving cross-country once stopped by and picked me up some swag. Thanks for the links!
posted by yhbc at 9:35 AM on October 8, 2002

HOUSTON TEXANS – After Houston was awarded the NFL's 32nd franchise on October 6, 1999, a series of focus groups were formed to help come up with a nickname for the team. On March 2, 2000, the team announced five choices, the Apollos, Bobcats, Stallions, Texans and Wildcatters. (...) After careful deliberation, the team unveiled the Texans' name, colors, and logo at a rally held in downtown Houston on September 6, 2000.

Proof that focus groups are stupid.
posted by Fabulon7 at 9:42 AM on October 8, 2002

"Baltimore fans selected the name in honor of Edgar Allan Poe, the American poet who penned his famous poem, “The Raven” while living in Baltimore."
Absolutely brilliant.
...imagines poe in the stands, beer helmet atop head, 'defense!!! nevermore!!!'...
posted by chandy72 at 9:46 AM on October 8, 2002

the Apollos

Probably just riding the Titans' coattails, the petty bastards. (not much coattail left, incidentally)


Seriously, how much longer will Aboriginal Americans have to put up with this bullshit?
posted by mikrophon at 9:52 AM on October 8, 2002

Aw, I like the Texans name. And I'm not even from there.

But Titans? Obviously, that team should have been the Tennessee Stud. Cue Johnny Cash.
posted by GaelFC at 9:58 AM on October 8, 2002

thank you yhbc. i was racking my brain, but couldn't remember.

fabulon, hahahahahahaha. true.
posted by the aloha at 10:15 AM on October 8, 2002

I think that it's a good idea that the online version of the Hall emphasizes things like the origins of team names. I don't know that the virtual experience could hope to rival a real visit. I toured the Hall when in my early teens. The exhibit I remember most was Bronko Nagurski's ring. You can't tell from the Hall's profile that Nagurski wore a size 19 1/2 ring. After seeing that, I couldn't imagine football players being anything other than larger-than-life.
posted by bragadocchio at 10:48 AM on October 8, 2002

From the gophersports.com page about Bronko Nagurski:

"Even today, people can point to the brick wall he cracked when he ran into it carrying the ball for the Bears one afternoon at Wrigley Field. "

Holy crap! THAT'S what it takes to get into the Hall of Fame.

Size 19. Crazy.
posted by taumeson at 11:01 AM on October 8, 2002

These guys make the Redskins=offensive name pretty well.
posted by rainbaby at 11:09 AM on October 8, 2002

Thats not football. This is football
posted by cohiba at 11:15 AM on October 8, 2002

That timeline is wrong though. The game played between Rutgers and Princeton was soccer. They were in a conference with Yale and others, and they kicked the ball only. It wasn't until McGill from Montreal went to Harvard (who hadn't joined that original league) that someone picked up the ball and ran with it. Harvard introduced THAT game - rugby, pretty much - to Yale that the development of American football began.
posted by mikel at 1:31 PM on October 8, 2002

A field goal was changed from five points to four.

This season the games so far, a field is the big difference between a win and loose, for a lot of teams. Wow what would a kicker be paid today for 5 or even 4 points at a time?

A true football player, not my favorite, but I think the greatest modern athlete : First big-name athlete to play pro football, signing with pre-NFL Canton Bulldogs in 1915 … Named "The Legend" on the all-time NFL team First president of the American Professional Football Association, 1920. Jim Thorpe.

I tried to see if it was true about Jim Thorpe winning a game with a free kick for a field goal, yet I didn't see anthing. Last time I saw that play was on 3rd down I think in a Cowboys game, they missed.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:15 PM on October 9, 2002


from a page about rugby:
Any player, may at any time, from anywhere on the pitch, attempt a drop kick. This same rule still exists in the NFL, with the great Jim Thorpe the last to exploit it. Although difficult and risky (since a miss generally results in a turnover), this form of scoring has broken many a heart. Often used as a last resort in response to a solid defensive stand, an outstanding kicker can break an opponent’s back with a swift and accurate blow. Many games have been won in this dramatic fashion, often at the final whistle.
I also ran across this about Thorpe, in a Cincinnati Post vote for greatest athlete of the 20th century (he was voted number 1):
'In the 1912 Olympics, he entered both the decathlon and the pentathlon and won both! It's never been done again. In football, he once punted 90 yards, hit a 79-yard drop-kick, ran a kickoff back 90 yards against Army, had it called back for a penalty, then ran the next kick back 95 yards! There's just never been anyone like him.'
Thorpe was definitely something else.
posted by bragadocchio at 4:35 PM on October 9, 2002

rainbaby: So which is it... Fightin' Whites or Fightin' Whities?
While I understand the point they're TRYing to make... I think it misses. I'm a fan.

It would be interesting is to see how these people would respond to a name change demand in about 20 years... you know, after a hand full of championships and a long standing tradition of winning, success, pride, and strength.

Meanings and connotations of words and terms change over time.
posted by Witty at 3:45 AM on October 10, 2002

Witty - meanings and connotations do change over time. While the name Redskins used to seem acceptable for most, now it has come under justifiable scrutiny. So why not change it? BTW, I think Redskins is by far the worst of the names being questioned. There is just no positive connotation to the word, unlike Chiefs, for example. I can see both sides to that debate. But come on...Redskins???? Yeeesh.
posted by rainbaby at 7:36 AM on October 10, 2002

What does Redskins mean? What do you and the majority od all people think of first when someone says Redskins?
posted by Witty at 8:01 AM on October 10, 2002

Well, yes, I think of the football team. Then I think, gee that football team still has that offensive name. Then again, I'm a football fan - and football fans may not make up the majority of any given sample of people. There are bigger issues in the world, sure. But while I might, for example, support the Fighting Irish, I would think twice about buying a ticket to a Fighting Micks game.
posted by rainbaby at 8:45 AM on October 10, 2002

I totally understand where people are coming from when they say that the name is offensive... although I disagree. But I think changing it accomplishes nothing.

I think the opposite of what you said earlier is more reasonable.

While the name Redskins used to seem acceptable for most, now it has come under justifiable scrutiny.

I think the opportunity for scrutiny was when they named the team, in the first place. Unfortunately, in that day and age, people were less sensitive to things like that.

To me, now that all this time has passed, the term Redskins means nothing more than a professional football team. I don't even hear the the syllable 'red' or the syllable 'skins' and think, "color and epidermis". I just hear one term... Redskins. No different than the way I hear the term Cowboys or the Jets.

Changing for changing it's sake is nothing more than a worthless pat on the back.

Honestly, I don't see what's so offensive about the Fightin' Whities and the idea behind it proves nothing to me. Hell, when I fill out a form and they ask me for my race, I enter "white".

I truly believe, that if that "team" (the Whities) continues to exist for many many years... establishing tradition, that the members of that organization would feel exactly the same way about changing their name as the members and fans of the Washington Redskins.

One could argue that the term Redskins comes from a time long past, where term was used in a derogatory manner to hold back the progress of a group of people. But it's just not the case anymore. The term ISN'T used that way today. The fact that it once was isn't justification enough to change it now in order to correct the mistakes of yester-year.

If people want to help "Native Americans" (whatever that means... since I too was born in America and therefore am native to this country), there are plenty of other pressing issues that could be addressed besides playing games with names and other PC squabbles.
posted by Witty at 9:31 AM on October 10, 2002

The Fighting Whities were founded and named to make a point about and draw attention to the cavalier use of Native American team names. Nobody is protesting them, their name is a protest. You may want to check out the link again.
posted by rainbaby at 10:34 AM on October 10, 2002

bragadocchio, thanks. I wanted to post more on Jim, but thought, let others share too. Your right in my book he is the 20th century man as far as sports goes. I know there are other who are worthy, yet he did accomplish not in one individual sport or team sport but many and both.

If ever the USA wanted to pay homage to the indians our country missed this hero. Think the King of Sweden did and he is not our country's King. But the tragedy for Thorpe was the endings of each accomplishments. I have yet to hear the full truths of what really happened and I feel no justice will ever be served for him. But football may have done him right. Go Cowgirls.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:58 PM on October 10, 2002

rainbaby: I understand that their name is a protest and that no one is protesting them. Where did I say otherwise? Regardless, that fact kind of supports my point.

Hail to the Whities!
posted by Witty at 2:24 PM on October 10, 2002

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