Friday, March 17, 2017

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Oh yeah, I went there on my road trip.  I should mention it just in case you plan to go.  It’s fine.  Like many museums, in its effort to get everything in and unwillingness to offend by calling one part more important than the others, it would probably be best to do this in two bites, or more. It is complete, as it should be.  It can get tedious in the third hour. But it has lots of video, nice displays from many eras, and an opportunity to see career summaries with videos of inductees.  There is a hall of busts of inductees which is designed to look impressive, but really, not that that gripping to look at.  The touch screens that allow you to see all the San Diego Chargers who are in the Hall, with statistics and videos is more interesting. There are old uniforms and equipment, and reports from the early years that are fascinating in their oddness, such as the Duluth Eskimos, or the Pottsville Maroons being disciplined for infringing on the territorial rights of the Rock Island Independents. It was a narrower football world in 1920.

I did learn things.  Because of a paperback about Great NFL Quarterbacks given to me when I was  quite young, I have always been interested in Slingin' Sammy Baugh and it was fun to read up on him.  He came out of Sweetwater Texas, adopted football fairly late, and excelled because he was among the first to really work at the forward pass.  The game was changing, he was an athlete, and no one quite knew how to defend it.  Something similar happened in his great defeat, the 73-0 loss to the Chicago Bears for the championship. They ran a man-in-motion, which was completely undefensible when sprung on a team by surprise.  Before there was film to study, you could still show up and run a scheme that no one had an answer for.  

Only two original teams remain.  The (Racine) Chicago Cardinals, now of Arizona, and the Decatur Staleys, now the Chicago Bears.

And yes, Tim Tebow is in the Hall and likely to hold his spot, for the quickest playoff overtime victory, in 2012 against the Steelers.  11 seconds. As the OT drives are started on the 20-yard line, that’s not likely to be beaten.

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