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General Published on : 1/21/2005

Pro Football Hall of Fame Travels Three Major Exhibits to Super Bowl XXXIX

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is sharing its story, and its vast collection, with those on hand in Jacksonville for the festivities surrounding Super Bowl XXXIX on February 6, 2005.

NFLX-2The Hall's annual exhibit Throwbacks will once again be a part of the NFL Experience.  The NFL Experience takes places at JEA Park which is located across the river from ALLTELL Stadium, host of this year's Super Bowl.  The expansive exhibit features 28 display cases that help convey the story of professional football.

Pieces in the exhibit range from a nose guard from the early 1900s to the shoes worn by Atlanta Falcons' Michael Vick on December 1, 2002 when he established the single-game rushing record for a quarterback (173 yards vs. the Minnesota Vikings).

NFLX-1The Throwbacks exhibit traces the 113-year history of professional football in a thematic and chronological fashion.  Such artifacts as a game ball from a 1903 indoor game played at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the leather helmet adorned by Hall of Famer Pete Henry of the Canton Bulldogs, and the autographed football by the 1929 champion Green Bay Packers help relate the story of pro football's early years.

The growth of the game during the 1930s and 1940s is illustrated with the help of such mementos as  Bronko Nagurski's shoes, Sid Luckman's jersey, and Sammy Baugh's football pants.

NFLX-3 The explosion of pro football as it grew to be America 's passion in the 1950s and 1960s is told through Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Jack Christiansen's helmet, Johnny Unitas's jersey, the program from the American Football League's first game, and Joe Namath's high school football jersey.

Numerous other artifacts that continue pro football's story since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 include Sam Huff's New York Giants helmet, Sonny Jurgensen's jersey, the shoes worn by Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, "Mean" Joe Greene's helmet, the shirt worn by Don Shula when he became the NFL's winningest coach in 1993, and Peyton Manning's jersey from his rookie season.

Football and America

FAAnother major exhibit that will be a part of the NFL's Experience is Football and America.   The Football and America exhibit was created by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in cooperation with the National Football League.  Football and America has been on exhibit at a past Super Bowl Experience, D-Day Museum in New Orleans, the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, and most recently at the Hall of Fame in Canton.  (Related story: Online exhibit – "Football and America )

Crown Jewels of the Game

Another special exhibit, Crown Jewels of the Game has opened at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine.  The Hall of Fame, in cooperation with the National Football League and Tiffany & Co., has helped showcase some of the sports most historically significant artifacts.

"We are pleased to be a part of this collaborative effort between two major Halls of Fame," said John Bankert, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "Although we represent two very different sports, we both strive to preserve and present stories and circumstances of play that bring to life words such as courage, dedication, vision, fair play, and skill."

Items on loan from the Pro Football Hall of Fame include a wide range of mementos representing past Super Bowl stars and Hall of Fame members Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Len Dawson, Franco Harris, Jim Kelly, Jack Lambert, and Joe Montana.