'Football Heaven' video podcast series premieres with rare artifacts, renowned storytellers

  • Season 1 features Hall of Famers Edgerrin James, Kurt Warner, Steve Young, Jerome Bettis and others. Episode 1 debuts this week

CANTON, OHIO – The Pro Football Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Co. and Hall of Fame Village Media on Monday announced the premiere of their joint “Football Heaven” video podcast, to debut Nov. 15, and the schedule and focus of the series’ first six episodes.

What do KURT WARNER’s Iowa Barnstormers jersey, a Three Rivers Stadium elevator panel and a lock of EDGERRIN JAMES’ hair have in common? These seemingly unrelated items, along with dozens of other rarities, all play an integral role in driving the storylines for the most unique sports vodcast ever produced. “Football Heaven” uses artifact-driven story arcs told through direct interviews with some of the most renowned and dynamic Hall of Famers. 

The program is co-hosted by highly respected sports journalist and CBS correspondent Aditi Kinkhabwala, Pro Football Hall of Fame historian Joe Horrigan and Hall Archivist Jon Kendle. Together they delve into well-known football lore, while uncovering the intricacies of the stories-within-the-stories through interviews with the Hall of Famers who left an indelible mark on sports history.

View a clip from “Football Heaven” here or watch it below.

The 10-episode season of “Football Heaven” debuts with “The 10 Most Unusual Artifacts,” highlighted by a molded replica of JERRY RICE’s hands, PEYTON MANNING’s touchdownrecord football and a featured interview with EDGERRIN JAMES, along with the large lock of his hair that he donated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “It tells a story – and it’s part of the story – and there’s a reason behind it. You know, I didn’t just cut my hair because I wanted to cut my hair; it was a football business decision, and it’s part of the game,” James explains in Episode 1.

What else awaits? Here is information for the first six episodes scheduled for release every Tuesday through Dec. 20:
  • Episode 1 (11/15/22): "10 Most Unusual Artifacts" — The cohosts share strange Hall of Fame Museum artifacts and interview Hall of Famer EDGERRIN JAMES about his donated hair.
  • Episode 2 (11/22/22): "Perfect Seasons (Spun from '72 Dolphins)" — Featuring Hall of Famers LARRY CSONKA and LARRY LITTLE.
  • Episode 3 (11/29/22): "QBs Who Played in Other Pro Football Leagues" — Four legendary QBs share their journeys to Canton: JIM KELLY, KURT WARNER, WARREN MOON and STEVE YOUNG.
  • Episode 4 (12/06/22): "Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the Reintegration of Football - Part I" — A deep dive into the special history and culture of HBCU schools led by the modern NFL’s first black head coach, first black QB to win a Super Bowl and Hall of Fame HBCU alumni. Featuring HARRY CARSON, LARRY LITTLE, ART SHELL and WILLIE LANIER.
  • Episode 5 (12/13/22): Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the Reintegration of Football - Part II." Featuring HARRY CARSON, LARRY LITTLE, ART SHELL and WILLIE LANIER.
  • Episode 6 (12/20/22): The “Immaculate Reception” — Celebrate 50 years of this iconic play from both sides of the ball and discuss how it served as the launching point for the Steelers’ dynasty. Featuring Hall of Famers FRANCO HARRIS, JOE GREENE, FRED BILETNIKOFF and JEROME BETTIS.
"The 'Football Heaven' vodcast provides the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Village with an exciting new platform to share the history of the game using unique artifacts from our collections brought to life by the Hall of Famers connected to them,” Horrigan said.

“Being able to share these stories with the public is a unique aspect of our brand and partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There is simply nowhere else that you can find these stories told both visually and audibly as they are in ‘Football Heaven,' " said Olivia Steier, Hall of Fame Village Media executive vice president, who also serves as executive producer along with Horrigan and Kendle.

Visit Canton, the Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau, is a proud sponsor of the project. 

“We’re excited for fans to hear directly from Hall of Famers about what makes Canton such a special place to them, and hopefully they’re inspired to come experience it for themselves,” said Tonja Marshall, Visit Canton’s chief marketing officer.

Audiences can keep track of all of the classic moments, characters and revelations by listening to “Football Heaven” on Apple, Audible, Google, iHeart, Spotify, Pandora and Stitcher.

They can also watch full video episodes and get additional “Football Heaven” content here.