"Pro Football Hall of Fame Night" in Nationwide Arena
Columbus Destroyers vs. Philadelphia Soul
The Columbus Destroyers, presented by Germain, will host the Philadelphia Soul on Monday, April 23 and "Pro Football Hall of Fame Night" on Huntington Field at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. ET as the game will be televised nationally as part of Russell Athletic ESPN Arena Football Monday on ESPN2 with personalities Trey Wingo and Mark Schlereth.
This special night will feature a display of over 30 items from the Pro Football Hall of Fame and appearances by two members of the shrine, Ohio State and Cleveland Browns legend Bill Willis and former Cincinnati Bengals great Anthony Muñoz. Both Willis and Muñoz will take part in the ceremonial coin toss during pre-game festivities. In addition, all fans in attendance will receive a Russell "Red Out" t-shirt, and a Pro Football Hall of Fame poster featuring the Columbus Panhandles.
Willis, a Columbus native, played on Ohio State's 1942 national championship team and earned All-America honors in 1944 before starring for the Cleveland Browns of the All-America Football Conference and later the NFL from 1946-1953. He was honored as a three-time All-AAFC selection and named All-NFL from 1950-53. His famous touchdown-saving tackle helped preserve the Browns win in the 1950 NFL Championship Game. Willis will meet with fans in the Destroyers Quarterback Club prior to the game.
Muñoz was an 11-time Pro Bowler during his Bengals career from 1980-1992. A two-time All-America at the University of Southern California, he was the NFL's Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1981, 1987 and 1988 and was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1994. Muñoz will be available for autographs for the first 200 fans from 6:30-7:20 p.m.
The Columbus Panhandles were the first professional football team in Columbus and played from 1901-1922. The team was led by six brothers from the Nesser family. From 1907-1925 they were the most famous football family in the United States. The Panhandles were charter members of the NFL in 1920. First known as the American Professional Football Association (APFA), the league changed its name to the National Football League in 1922.
Columbus native Joseph F. Carr led the Panhandles. Carr later became the President of the NFL, leading the league from offices at 16 E. Broad Street in Columbus from 1921 to 1939. Under Carr the NFL drafted a constitution and by-laws, gave team's territorial rights, restricted player movements, developed membership criteria for the franchises and issued standings for the first time. In recognition of his role in the league's success, Carr was a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
The Hall of Fame display will feature a collection of over 30 items including memorabilia from the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ohio State Buckeyes who played in the NFL and the Columbus Panhandles. Click here for a full list of displays and their contents>>>
Columbus native Chris Willis, author of The Columbus Panhandles: A Complete History of Pro Football's Toughest Team, 1900-1922, will be on hand to sign copies of his book from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Blueline at Nationwide Arena.
SportsRadio 1460 AM "The Fan" will host "The Big Show" with Kirk Herbstreit and Bruce Hooley live from the Bud Light Arena Pub at Nationwide Arena from 4-7 p.m.
Discount tickets for "Pro Football Hall of Fame Night" on Monday, April 23 are now available. Click here for more info>>>
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