A walk back in time


We put the finishing touches on our two-year expansion and renovation project and officially opened the “new” Hall of Fame on June 1. In all humility, we have to admit, the place has never looked better. Our iconic two-story rotunda is home to spectacular interactive exhibits that also include some of our rarest artifacts, documents, and photos.

One of the biggest concerns over the past two years among our fans, and some staff and volunteers, was the location of our famous Jim Thorpe statue. Well, the game’s legend remains in his familiar place directly under our towering dome. However, we’ve eloquently elevated him and the desired effect has really captivated our audience so far.

Speaking of drawing attention many guests have been attracted to our welcoming “Time Tunnel” just unveiled with the renovated exhibit spaces. Visitors start their tour by walking up a hallway to the rotunda. Lining the wall is an artist’s rendering of Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis followed by a string of Hall of Famers who take you back in time. From there fans step into the “NFL’s First Century” and get a history lesson on the growth of the game starting with its roots in the late 1800s.

For those of us fully entrenched in football every day, the legends depicted on the wall are quite familiar. But, after a couple of weeks of listening to guests attempt to identify the players in the mural, most come up with the majority of the legends but aren’t quite as confident in knowing those players from the earlier days. So, we thought we’d share it with you!

Now, it would simply be too easy to give you the list of names. So, we’ll describe them one-by-one and let you test your football knowledge.

Left to right:

The game’s all-time leading receiver who holds virtually every major receiving record.

He had 12 seasons with double-digit sack totals and retired as the game’s all-time leader in that category.

Redefined the outside linebacker position and was a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Arguably the finest tackle ever to play the game. He was named All-Pro 11 straight times.

Led his team to four Super Bowl titles and was named MVP of the game three times.

“Sweetness” was his name and he walked away from the game as the all-time leading rusher.

He was the first piece in Pittsburgh’s vaunted “Steel Curtain” defense that helped the Steelers dominate the NFL in the 1970s.

He is credited with coining the term “sack,” something that he excelled at during his career most notably as a member of the Rams’ famous “Fearsome Foursome.”

One of the game’s most powerful runners, he retired as the league’s career leader in rushing yards after winning eight rushing titles in his nine seasons.

This Detroit Lions star started with the L.A. Rams and picked off 14 passes in his first year. The record stands more than six decades later.

One of the game’s biggest stars of his era, he revolutionized the NFL’s passing game during his 16 years as Washington’s quarterback.

This Green Bay Packers end (yes, the team used to wear blue) was the game’s first big-time receiver. In fact it took multiple players decades to break the career marks he set from 1935-1945.

The Chicago Bears signed this collegiate star in 1925 and he attracted massive crowds as he showcased his talents on the gridiron.

See how well you fared in identifying these Hall of Fame legends>>>

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