Now, that’s a lot of Gold Jackets!!!
The Haggar Gold Jacket Report went into a brief hibernation. However, our time away was anything but sleepy!
Actually, we were consumed here in Canton with Gold Jackets! The 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend took place just a couple of weeks ago and what a glorious celebration it was to kick off another year of football!
Highlighting this year’s festivities was our Golden Anniversary Reunion. A total of 122 of our 162 living Gold Jacket bearing members were in Canton for the weekend. It represented the largest gathering ever of Hall of Famers from one sport in one place at one time!
On three separate occasions this record group of legends was paraded out for the thousands of fans and hundreds of media to enjoy. On Friday, 100 of the group were able to make it for the annual group photo prior to the private Ray Nitschke Luncheon. This year, the public was invited for the photo op that took place on our front steps.
Later that night a crowd of 4,000 guests filled the Canton Memorial Civic Center for the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner. The newest group of enshrinees walked through a gauntlet of Gold Jackets to make it to center stage where they received their official Hall of Fame Gold Jacket. The scene brought chills to everyone present inside the arena. It was an incredible who’s who of football legends. A stirring applause wrapped up the procession when the NFL’s all-time winningest coach Don Shula was assisted by three aides to take his bow in the spotlight. A thunderous ovation followed for Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, who is obviously legendary in statue especially in northeast Ohio.
And on Saturday, it was on to the main event. These great men flooded the enshrinement stage inside Fawcett Stadium. The ceremony’s emcee Chris Berman rattled off introduction after introduction of the star-studded lineup before the seven newest enshrinees arrived through a red carpet walk through the center of the crowd that night.
It was without a doubt a weekend to remember for football fans everywhere.
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