More memories from HOF Weekend


2:30 p.m.

Saturday (8/8) of Hall of Fame Weekend starts at 8:00 a.m. with a parade through downtown Canton which is attended by more than 200,000 people each year. Many returning Hall of Famers participate in the parade along with all of the members of the new class being inducted. My wife and kids along with my in-laws attended that parade and said that it was a great and very festive time. I was unable to attend as I was already at the Hall of Fame getting ready for the busy day ahead.

At 9:00am I attended The Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. This was a truly special event. The event kicked off with remarks from our President/Executive Director Steve Perry who was followed by our Chairman of the Board Tom Schervish. Next up was the Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell who talked about how important this new gallery was to the history of the National Football League. The Commissioner was followed by the President of the Kansas City Chiefs and son of Lamar Hunt, Clark Hunt. The ceremony ended with Lamar’s widow Norma Hunt telling some touching stories about her husband and how proud he would be of the Super Bowl Gallery being named after the Hunt family. The ribbon was then cut and all of the VIP’s toured the new gallery. The Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery is absolutely amazing. This new gallery is a great addition to the Hall of Fame. I strongly suggest that all of you come and see the new gallery first hand. You will be amazed with the new technology and the new Super Bowl Theater. At 10:15am the new Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery was opened to the public and was packed all weekend long with guests.

Next up was an Adam Schefter book signing of his new book “The Class of Football.” Adam signed books at various times throughout the weekend. The new book is great and people were excited to get an autograph with the book. From 12:00-2:00 we had an autograph session consisting of some of the returning Hall of Famers. Roger Staubach, Fred Biletnikoff, Mel Blount, Dan Fouts, Forrest Gregg, Joe Greene, George Blanda, and Tony Dorsett led the group along with Bills favorites Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas. This went really well and fans were able to get autographs from many of their favorite Hall of Famers. I went directly from that autograph session to another book signing from 2:00-3:00 with Warren Moon and his new book “Never Give Up On Your Dream.” Warren had a huge crowd and signed at multiple times throughout the weekend.

By mid-afternoon the Hall was buzzing and there was a long line out the door to get in to tour the museum. The excitement was also building for the Enshrinement Ceremony which was just a few hours away. The weather held out enough for us in that we just had some sprinkles throughout the day, and it was clear by nighttime. The merchandise tents were packed and people were buying all of the cool things we had for sale. Bills product was flying off the shelves as there were Bills fans everywhere. Steelers and Chiefs fans were second supporting Rod Woodson and Derrick Thomas. There was a lot of purple supporting Randall McDaniel and Dallas Stars support Bullet Bob Hayes.

The Enshrinement Ceremony started at 7:00 p.m. and was very special. After spending a lot of time with these guys over the past eight months it was so nice to see them get their busts and see them in their yellow jackets. I talked to Randall McDaniel seconds after he got off the stage during the commercial break after he was inducted and he said that he cannot wait until next year so he can relax and enjoy things more not being in the spotlight. As I stated in one of my earlier blogs, Randall was very nervous to speak, but he did a great job. All of the new members and the presenters and family member representatives did a great job. It was quite a sight to see the new guys sitting in front of over 80 of their peers sitting behind them. Each speech was special and from the heart.

After the Enshrinement and we closed everything up I headed to the individual parties. Mr. Wilson had a huge party as he had by far the most guests and had invited his entire organization to join in the fun over the weekend. Bruce Smith’s party was rocking and everyone was dancing and celebrating. Randall McDaniel and Rod Woodson had big crowds with people taking pictures of each of the guys next to their new busts. Derrick Thomas’s party was well represented with many of the Chiefs front office and family. Jerry Jones made a nice speech which was a highlight at Bob Hayes party. It was a long and great day and I was home by about 3:00 a.m. for a few hours of sleep.

{GALLERY}Sunday was a beautiful day. The sun was out and so were the fans. Bills fans still lead the way, but there was a nice showing of Titans fans as well. I saw a lot of throwback jerseys and apparel with the Houston Oilers logos on them. The grounds were packed all day and everyone was having a great time. The atmosphere is so nice and very family friendly. Kids were everywhere supporting their favorite team. At 3:00 we had the Class of 2009 autograph signing which is always very popular. This is the first time that all of the members of the new class get together to sign items for the public. The signing went very well and next it was time for the game.

The game was exciting for the first game of the season. The Hall of Fame game is always so special because it means that it is FOOTBALL SEASON!! I have been on the field for a ton of football games during my lifetime, but the fake punt by the Titans in the first quarter was the best fake punt I have ever seen. When I saw the replay it was still hard to follow it. You wonder why they didn’t save that play for the regular season. The Titans won the game, and everyone had a great time.

I talked to TO on the sidelines for a few minutes during the game. I got to know TO while I was at the Eagles. There are many things that people say about TO, but through it all he is a great football player. He told me that he was looking forward to the season in Buffalo. I would not be surprised if he has a big season for the Bills and that offense will be tough to stop with Lee Evans on the other side.

I got home about 1:00 a.m. and fell in bed. It was a great weekend and I am already psyched for next year. The 2010 Class has the potential to be huge. Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith are on the ballot for the first time. 

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