The Big Road Trip, Part 2

WE DID THE ROCK N’ ROLL HALL OF FAME and then went on to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in Canton, OH. Before the details about that awesome place, some details:

  • The toll booth gates on the Indiana Turnpike are a lightweight plastic and breakaway if you drive thru them, if you don’t realize that it hadn’t gone up after you take your toll ticket.
  • There’s a National RV Hall of Fame and Museum, in Elkhart, IN. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stop and visit.
  • Our 2017 Ford Fusion was awesome – we averaged 34 mpg the entire trip and doing anywhere between 69 – 72 mph on the interstates, most of the time, save for bad traffic around Chicago. The Eco-Boost engine deserves the hype.

Onwards to Canton, an easy hour or so drive south from Cleveland.  We got there early Thursday evening, ate at a Bob Evans restaurant for the first time and hit the Hall of Fame Friday morning, getting there just about when they opened at 10:00 a.m.

I’m a footall history buff – I can talk for hours about the NFL, dozens of players, eras, mergers, teams, great games, dynasties…you name it. So the Pro Football Hall of Fame was like the holy grail for me, and for my son. 

With each increasing year it seems like the NFL history gets a little bit more forgotten. Sure, there’s the NFL Network and various specials and films, but so much of their programming time is dedicated to the up-to-the-minute-moments and minituae, as you would expect. For me, the Hall was a place to get reacquainted with the history of the sport, and learn some new things.

The Hall tells the history, visually, as you’d expect, but there’s enough information at each exhibit to get more than just the “cliff notes” especially via video. For example, there’s a big exhibit on desegregation in the NFL, and how that evolved, delivered in multiple video chapters. It was very enlightening: I never knew that the 1965 AFL All-Star game was moved from New Orleans to Houston because of a player boycott. Turns out, that upon arriving in New Orleans, the black athletes couldn’t get cabs, couldn’t get served in restaurants, etc. And this was after the landmark civil rights legislation became the law of the land. The players all came together – blacks and whites – and decided that the hey could not and would not play the game in New Orleans because of the bigotry and discrimination.

The evolution of the the Super Bowl, equipment, TV broadcasts and so much more were on display. Bright, vivid and interesting.  We got to preview the new NFL Films movie, Dan Marino: A Football Life. We watched an action-packed and dramatic movie that revisited the New England Patriots’ stunning come back victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, in a cool theater where the seats turn 180°.

Naturally, we spent a lot of time in the actual enshrinement hall, where all the busts are featured. In truth, we spent more time at the video kiosks, looking up the highlights and stats of various football greats that are in the hall. We could have easily spent a couple of hours there alone.

All told, it was a great trip. My son had fun, we made some memories, had some good conversations. Highly recommend both the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and highly recommend the fun and value of a great road trip with your kid.

You can hear all details about the trip, and more, on the latest Weapon of Self-Distraction podcast.

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