Volunteer Tim Collins lands in the spotlight this week. Collins has always been a Steelers fan but that hasn't stopped him from learning the "inside scoop" on every NFL team. Little details, statistics, and unique facts and stories all rank at the top of Collins' list.
Name: Tim Collins
Hometown: Amsterdam, OH, which is about a half hour from Steubenville, OH.
Favorite NFL team: The Pittsburgh Steelers. I've liked them for my entire life. I used to go to the training camps when I was younger.
Favorite current player: Hines Ward. A lot of people like him even if they're not a Steelers fan because he's an unselfish player and has played the game for a long time. He's smart and tough, and I just like everything he does.
Well, I'm going to say Dick LeBeau for this year. I had a chance to meet him about 16 years ago. He was such a friendly guy. He even asked me where I was from.
Why did you decide to volunteer at the Hall of Fame? My brother found the volunteer application on the website and said I'd like volunteering here because I really like football and wanted to learn more about it. It's fun to do this!
How long have you been volunteering? Since August, 2007.
Your favorite artifact on display: The Sam Huff helmet in the Moments, Memories and Mementos Gallery. Not too many people know the story behind it. There is a dent on the helmet and most people think it was from a hit. But what supposedly happened was Huff sat it too close to a heater and it melted the helmet.
Your favorite memory of an NFL game:
Oh boy, I have a lot of them. It's hard to choose, but I would have to say Super Bowl XL when Antwaan Randle El threw a 43-yard pass to Hines Ward for the game-deciding touchdown. It was a reverse pass play. That was the first Super Bowl I can remember, which is why it's probably my favorite memory.
The most distant traveler you've greeted: I've talked to people from Hawaii, Germany and England. I've really met people from all over the world.
Most unusual question you've been asked by guest: When I was in the The Teams of the NFL Gallery, one kid asked me, "Why does the helmet look like a duck in the front?" Another time, a lady asked me, "Who's the guy named Riddell?"
Funniest story you've heard from a guest: Danny Ambramowicz, who played for the Saints, told me about the time he ran out of bounds, hit the camera and cracked his helmet.
Most famous person you've met?
I've met a lot of different people over the years. I met Deacon Jones and Gale Sayers when they visited the Hall of Fame one day. They were signing autographs and Deacon Jones asked a kid, "How about a head slap?" The kid thought he said, "How about a high five?" and the kid went to give Deacon a high five. Deacon just laughed. He was a very nice and funny guy, and he wanted people to know he was there. He never "hid" from the crowd. He was happy to be there.
Most memorable moment as a volunteer: I really enjoyed the time when all NFL rookies came to visit in 2008. I got to give presentations to the Steelers rookies and to some other teams. It was cool to see them up close.
Favorite NFL stadium: Heinz Field, but there's not too much history there yet because it's fairly new. But, I really like Fawcett Stadium, which can be considered somewhat of an NFL field, because we've learned so much about Fawcett and the history behind it.
Favorite sports book: I like any kind of book with statistics in it. I read the Steelers media guide every year. I also like anything by John Maxymuk, who writes very descriptive and informative books.
Favorite NFL rivalry: The Steelers versus the Browns, obviously. The two teams are so close together and I've grown up around Browns fans, so it's always fun to argue with them.
Did you know? I went to Northern Michigan and received an associate degree in accounting, but I am now working at St. John Villa in Carlton, a group home that works with delayed development. When I'm not working I spend time with my seven-year-old daughter and sometimes I bring her to visit the Hall of Fame. She's a Bengals fan, because she likes teams with animal mascots.
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