Sports: Up Close and Personal at the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame

American Football

Michael Smallwood, President of the Phoenician Raiders Booster Club, attends the induction ceremony of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015, calling it, “The experience of a lifetime.”

Eight football greats were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on 8 August 2015 in Canton, Ohio: Tim Brown, Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Bill Polian, Ron Wolf, and Mick Tingelhoff.

Opening in 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio. Its emphasis is on the National Football League (NFL).

So why was a city of 73,000, which doesn’t even have an NFL franchise, chosen to serve as home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

First, the forerunner of the NFL was established in that city in 1920. Second, the city was home to the Canton Bulldogs, a professional football team that played 25 straight games without losing one of them, which remains an NFL record.

Finally, the city made it happen, lobbying hard to get the NFL to build the Hall of Fame in their town!

Michael Smallwood, President of the Phoenician Raiders Booster Club, is the Official Correspondent for the Accidental Travel Writer in Phoenix, Arizona.

Myke and his girlfriend, Joann Brown, flew to Ohio last weekend to attend the induction of Tim Brown and 7 other football greats into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He shares his thoughts below.

Experience of a Lifetime!

“I had an experience of a lifetime!!!” Myke says.

“Tim Brown is my all time favorite professional athlete. I didn’t want to miss seeing him get inducted into the “Pro Football HOF”, but we initially decided not to go due to our Raiders Home Opener weekend plans.

“I didn’t expect to be invited to his HOF Afterparty by one of his Senior Associates, which was a great Honor and privilege.

“My girlfriend and I couldn’t resist and quickly changed our minds to go anyway. We spent less than 36 hours in Cleveland and Canton for the events, and it was well worth it!!!”

Exclusive Event

Myke says he didn’t realize how exclusive the event would be.

“I was very surprised that I didn’t see more of his teammates and people from the Raiders Organization,” he says.

“It was mostly family, friends, and other Hall Of Fame players.

“Brown’s former teammate Lincoln Kennedy, who was one of the very few who attended the ceremony and after party, later explained to me what normally happens during Special Events like that.

“I did have the pleasure to speak to a few of the HOF former players. I took advantage of the opportunity to yell @ Derrick Brooks for injuring Former Raiders Qb Rich Gannon. The look on his face as he laughed at me was classic.

“I took a lot of pictures at the events. My two favorite pics are when Joann and I are posing behind his Heisman Trophy and HOF Bust. The other one was the pic I took was with Tim Brown himself.

“There were too many great things to mention that happened in this single testimonial. This was a weekend I will be reflecting back on for years to come.”

If You Decide to Go …

The city of Canton has 3 other claims to fame should you wish to make a trip there to visit to Pro Football Hall of Fame.

It is home to the McKinley National Memorial, the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, and the National First Ladies’ Library.

William McKinley, the 25th president of the United States, was born in Canton in 1897.

How to Get There

The nearest airport is Akron-Canton Airport, which is served by Allegiant, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airways, United Airlines, and U.S. Airways.

There are flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, and several cities in Florida and along the East Coast. Flights to Las Vegas will be launched in fall 2015.

The nearest major airport is Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, which is approximately 64 miles, or 103 kilometres, from Canton.

The airport is served by most major domestic airlines with flights to travel destinations throughout the United States as well as Air Canada with flights to Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario.

 

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