NFL to celebrate Hall’s 50th Anniversary

NFL to celebrate Hall’s 50th Anniversary

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The National Football League will commemorate 50 years of the Pro Football Hall of Fame during Weeks 14 and 15 with special in-game and on-air tributes and events, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Tuesday.

The Hall of Fame began its celebration at the 2012 Enshrinement Festival last summer in Canton, Ohio. The 2012 NFL season marks the 50th year of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which opened on September 7, 1963. [Related: The Hall through the years]

“As the Pro Football Hall of Fame celebrates 50 years of excellence, we proudly reflect on its successful growth and development and are pleased that initiatives are in place that set the stage for even greater success in the future,” said Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry.

To kick off the in-season salute, the Hall and the Oakland Raiders will host a fan forum on Dec.  6 featuring Hall of Fame members John Elway, Howie Long, and John Madden and Raiders fans prior to Oakland’s Thursday night game against the AFC West rival Denver Broncos. In addition, the team will feature a special halftime tribute that will include the 19 bronze busts of each member of the Hall of Fame who has been part of the Raiders organization. It is rare that the busts are ever removed from the Hall of Fame Gallery in Canton. Perry will be on hand in Oakland as will many of the Raiders Hall of Famers.

Players will wear a special “50th Year of Pro Football Hall of Fame” patch on their jersey during the two weekends of games. All clubs with home games during Weeks 14 and 15 will feature in-stadium banners. In addition, there will be moments on game broadcasts and in-stadium recognizing and honoring Hall of Famers who are present in stadium, who appear on television and who are active in the community. A selection of game-worn jerseys from these Hall of Fame games will be sold on NFL Auction (www.nfl.com/auction). Fans can bid on these unique items with all proceeds benefitting the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution, and its Enshrinees Assistance Fund.

A sampling of other activities planned by the teams includes many of the game’s greatest legends being on hand for special tributes to the Hall of Fame. The Tennessee Titans will honor Hall of Famers Ken Houston, Mike Munchak, Bruce Matthews and Elvin Bethea who will participate in a halftime program. Linebacker Andre Tippett and guard John Hannah are two greats who are confirmed to be taking part in the New England Patriots tribute while the busts of all four longtime Patriots enshrined will be on display at the Hall at Patriot Place. The Buffalo Bills will wear their throwback jerseys this weekend against the St. Louis Rams as they invite their Hall of Famers to take part in a pregame ceremony. The team will also distribute special Hall of Fame posters to fans attending the game. During Week 15 in New Orleans, Class of 2012 enshrinee Willie Roaf will be the sixth and last member of the most recent class to receive his Hall of Fame ring.

Week 14   Week 15  
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012   Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012  
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders 8:20 PM ET Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles 8:20 PM ET
Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012   Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012  
St. Louis Rams at Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM ET New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM ET Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM ET
Dallas Cowboys at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM ET Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM ET Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM ET Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans 1:00 PM ET
New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM ET Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM ET
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM ET Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM ET
San Diego Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM ET Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Bucanneers 1:00 PM ET Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 PM ET
Baltimore Ravens at Washington Redskins 1:00 PM ET Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills (Toronto) 4:05 PM ET
Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers 4:05 PM ET Carolina Panthers at San Diego Chargers 4:05 PM ET
New Orleans Saints at New York Giants 4:25 PM ET Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM ET
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks 4:25 PM ET Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders 4:25 PM ET
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers 8:20 PM ET San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots 8:20 PM ET
Monday, Dec. 10, 2012   Monday, Dec. 17 , 2012  
Houston Texans at New England Patriots 8:30 PM ET New York Jets at Tennessee Titans 8:30 PM ET

“We are pleased to celebrate the great men who built this game as well as 50 years of the Hall where they are enshrined and honored,” said Goodell.  “The Pro Football Hall of Fame preserves the history of our game and is an important resource for educating generations of fans.”

As part of this year-long celebration, the Hall of Fame completed the largest expansion in its history and later this spring will complete a major renovation of the museum. In addition to those enhancements in Canton, the Hall of Fame also hit the ground with a 7,000 square-foot interactive, multimedia national traveling exhibition – “Gridiron Glory – the Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.” Currently at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, the exhibition will travel this winter to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, followed by a five-year nationwide tour to major cultural institutions.

The Hall of Fame also published a new book to salute its 50 years titled “The Pro Football Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary – Where Greatness Lives.” Get your copy now.

The 50th year celebration will also include a special Golden Anniversary Reunion of Hall of Fame members in Canton during the 2013 Enshrinement Festival weekend. It will be the largest gathering of Hall of Famers ever in one place at one time. Other exciting events commemorating 50 years of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be announced throughout the year.
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