Football and America Exhibit

01/01/2005
Pat Tillman Honored

Football and America: The NFL Responds During Times of National Crises, a unique museum exhibit developed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the National Football League was reinstalled in the Hall of Fame in time for the 2004 enshrinement celebration.  It's next stop will be at Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida as part of the NFL Experience.

Originally designed to recognize the role played by the NFL and its players during times of national crises and military conflicts from World War II through the terrorists’ attacks of September 11, 2002, Football and America has been expanded to include the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Included in the exhibit is a special tribute to former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman who lost his life in Afghanistan while serving as a member of the U.S. Army’s elite Rangers. Tillman’s Cardinals jersey and his Rangers uniform are featured in the exhibit along with a video taped interview with the former player discussing his feelings after the 9-11 attacks.

The Football and America exhibit recalls stories of personal sacrifice made by some of the more than 1,200 players who interrupted or delayed their pro football careers to serve their country as members of the armed services. Acts of heroism, like that of pro football’s three Congressional Medal of Honor winners – Maurice Britt, Joe Foss, and Jack Lummus – are recognized. Inspirational stories like those of Tillman and Chicago Cardinals fullback Mario “Motts” Tonelli, who survived three-and-one-half years as a World War II prisoner of war, are recalled.

The exhibit also tells of how the NFL, while struggling for its own survival during World War II, generated millions of dollars in War Bond sales, and donated the revenues from 15 exhibition games to service charities. It relates how in 1966, the league became the first sports organization to send groups of players to Vietnam as part of the NFL/USO “goodwill tours,” a tradition that continues today. The timely exhibit also demonstrates how the NFL has used its game and resources to raise America’s collective level of patriotism during and after such national crises as the Iranian hostage situation, the Gulf War, the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the ongoing Middle East conflicts.

Football and America opened to the public on August 4 at the Hall of Fame and will remain at the museum until mid-January at which time it will be sent to the NFL Experience in Jacksonville , Florida, as a part of the Super Bowl XXXIX festivities.

Football & America - our online exhibits offers a small glimpse into the exhibit that is open at the Hall of Fame in Canton. Visit online Football & America>>>>

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