Greg Roman, offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Friday. While deciding to make a pit stop after traveling from Tennessee where his family vacationed at their lake house, Roman wanted his children to witness the birthplace of the National Football League just in time before he had to report for Training Camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, N.Y.
Roman who is no stranger to Northeast Ohio, having attended John Carroll University in Cleveland where he was a three-year letter-winner, two-year starting defensive lineman from 1990-93 and earned All-Ohio Conference honorable mention honors during his senior year.
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“Everyone has to come to the Hall of Fame once in their life,” said Roman. “Attending college in Northeast Ohio, you get a real appreciation for the birthplace of football being in your back yard.”
While on a special tour provided by the Hall, Roman and his family viewed the rich tradition of football and he made a point to take a photo by Gold Jacket, Ralph Wilson Jr. But it wasn’t until he and his family had the opportunity to watch “A Game For Life,” the Hall’s new holographic immersive experience that just opened that would leave a lasting impression.
“I was getting goose bumps whiling siting in the ‘A Game For Life’ theater,” said Roman. “It was put together so well and I think what a lot of people will forget is when you participate in football and I don’t care if it’s pop warner, high school, college or at the highest level in the NFL, it’s preparing you for life and a lot of those points were driven home. I’m just so glad my children were able to see that. I know it’s going to leave a mark on them.”
For Roman, Canton is not only the birthplace of football but it’s also where he received coached his coaching baptism at the pro level. As an assistant offensive line coach for the Carolina Panthers, he reflected back 21 years ago when the Panthers squared off against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (then known as Fawcett Stadium) in the expansion franchises very first game.
“Not too many coaches can say they coached their first NFL game in Canton, Ohio,” said the Bills offensive coordinator. “It’s a blessing to see how much and how far the museum and my career has grown since that time, Canton is a special place to me.”
As Roman enjoys his last weekend before reporting to Training Camp and kicking off the 2016 NFL Season, the lasting words of The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Core Values of Commitment, Integrity, Courage, Respect and Excellence struck a high cord in his heart.
“I do believe in order to form the greatest team you need all of those Core Values, one doesn’t work without the other,” explained Roman. “The beauty of an NFL locker room or any locker room is that you’re bring in people from all over and they all just grow together as one. When you have the team that exhibits those characteristics that’s when you got a chance to be really special.”