Dr. Lori: A look at the heart of football
BY DR. LORI Art and Antiques
Monday, November 19, 2012
11/19/12 at 6:29 AM
If you like vintage architecture from the 1960s, you'll like the surroundings of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
The building was ultra-modern in its day, with its interior spiral ramp, glass curtain wall and football-inspired roofline indicative of the mid-century modern style of American architecture.
Canton, Ohio, was chosen as the site for the Hall of Fame for many reasons. But one was that Jim Thorpe signed a football contract there. Thorpe, an Oklahoma native and the star of the 1912 Olympic games, signed his first contract to play football with the Canton Bulldogs in Canton in 1915.
While the vintage building is good-looking, the museum is in the midst of completing a major expansion. Construction should be completed by the Hall of Fame's 50th anniversary celebration in 2013.
The new facilities will be home to the Ralph Wilson Jr. football research and preservation center, an event center, state-of-the-art interactive displays featuring game footage and player videos, the Lamar Hunt Super Bowl exhibition gallery where the Vince Lombardi trophy will be on display, and a Super Bowl ring exhibit.
The Super Bowl ring display was one of my favorites (who doesn't like all those diamonds?), but the Hall of Fame gallery is the heart of the complex. It houses interactive displays and an impressive collection of bronze portrait busts representing each Hall of Fame inductee. The bronze busts are the work of the Utah sculptor Blair Buswell.
Exhibits trace the history of professional football, showcasing unique objects like the Baltimore Colts marching band's bass drum, press wood posters announcing the 1962 AFL championship game between the Houston Oilers and the Dallas Texans, and early helmets worn by various players.
Other displays reveal the love of the game by focusing on great plays made by players such as Oklahoma native and Dallas Cowboy great Troy Aikman.
The museum, through its diverse exhibits, gives visitors a look into the heart of the game of football.
I discovered a very interesting thing about sports museums during my visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
No matter how much information is available to a visitor in a sports museum, fans always search for more. I noticed many visitors standing in front of very good, informative displays - even interactive displays - who were still searching for additional stats on their cell phones. I even found myself doing it.
As a former museum curator and director, I bet you think I'd be appalled by this, but I'm not. I think that when a museum display prompts visitors to find out more, that's a pretty cool museum.
Original Print Headline: A look at the heart of football
Antiques appraiser, author and TV personality Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide. See her on "Auction Kings" on Discovery channel. Visit www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or call 888-431-1010.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, includes galleries that spotlight the history of the sport and the achievements of some of the game's great players. Courtesy