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The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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May 27 - September 10, 2017

In 2012, the Pro Football Hall of Fame celebrated its 50th anniversary. To mark that milestone, the Hall of Fame created a traveling exhibition that presents a panoramic view of the story of professional football...from its humble beginnings in the early 20th century to the sports phenomenon it has become today.

Gridiron Glory is the most extensive and comprehensive exhibit ever done on America’s most popular sport. The experience showcases the Pro Football Hall of Fame's vast holdings of football artifacts, rare photos and one-of-a-kind documents. In addition, NFL Films has provided spectacular footage from its unparalleled film archives to illustrate the exhibit’s many themes and storylines. Throughout the exhibit, visitors will find a series of interactive exhibits that challenge both mind and body. And one of the most extraordinary features of Gridiron Glory is a series of accompanying programs that include appearances by current and former NFL players, coaches and more.

Throughout the artifact-filled Gridiron Glory exhibition, visitors will follow storylines focusing on such diverse subjects as the societal impact of the sport  to the science behind the game. Inspirational stories of the game’s pioneers, great players, coaches, and circumstances of play will unfold throughout. The pro football exhibit includes more than 200 artifacts from the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s collection, rare documents, award winning-photography, and a special section devoted exclusively to Washington State's home team, the Seattle Seahawks.

In addition, the Gridiron Glory exhibition materials include a specially-developed educational component that includes a Teacher Activity Guide. The guide includes pre- and post-visit classroom exercises with a wide range of interdisciplinary lessons, each aligned with national educational standards in language arts, science, family and consumer sciences, social studies, visual art, technology, physical education, and mathematics.

The Pioneers

Gridiron Glory pays homage to the early days of the sport when an unorganized, rough-and-tumble game was played in empty lots and other makeshift venues. It captures the moment when the NFL was born, when the rules of the game were created anew and when one player of staggering ability - Red Grange - “barnstormed” across America to drum up fan support for a sport in its infancy. (Back to top)

Photo of Red Grange

The Great Moments

Perhaps more than any other sport, pro football is filled with extraordinary acts of athletic ability that become ingrained in the memories of those who witnessed them. NFL Films has captured many of those moments on camera and they are breathtaking.  In Gridiron Glory, they are presented in a tour de force artifact and video experience. (Back to top)

Football image

The Great Players

Football is a team sport but on every team, individuals have excelled. Football has produced a series of stars that have made every fan take notice. Johnny Unitas, Jim Brown, Joe Namath, Lynn Swann, Roger Staubach, and Joe Montana are household names. Their record-breaking careers are the stuff of legend. In Gridiron Glory, interactive kiosks provide video clips, photos and biographical materials on each of the 267 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Back to top)

Football picture

The Dynasties

The history of Pro Football has been one in which a number of teams have been so good that they have often dominated an era. The Cleveland Browns in the 40s and 50s, the Green Bay Packers in the 60s, Pittsburgh Steelers in the 70s, the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots in more recent years have all been amazing organizations, with teams too tough to beat. (Back to top)

Football dynasties

Pro Football’s Road to Equality

Artifacts, photos and film chronicle the inspirational story of the rise of the black athlete in America’s most popular sport. This section recalls individual accomplishments, milestone events and circumstances of play of this under-told story that begins in 1904 and continues even today. (Back to top)

African American football player

The Science of Football

The plays and rules of football have changed over the years and so has the technology. The very design of the football itself and its aerodynamic qualities, the evolution of the protective gear, the communication technology between coach and quarterback, and the media innovations are all part of a fascinating marriage between sport and science. In Gridiron Glory, complimenting artifacts from the game are interactive video presentations that examine science- and football-related subjects including “proper nutrition and hydration,” “projectile motion and parabolas,” “Newton’s Law of Motion,” and “spheres, ellipses and prolate spheroids.” (Back to top)

Radio broadcaster

Football as a Way of Life

For some people football is everything…it is a way of life. While maybe not everyone feels this way, pro football has been a tremendous shaper of our contemporary world. The television viewing habits of millions of Americans have been re-programmed by the presence of pro football on the airwaves. Annually, the biggest holiday outside of Christmas and the 4th of July has centered on a sporting event: the Super Bowl. Pro Football is a key part of American life and popular culture. (Back to top)

Football victory

Let’s Hear It for the Home Team

At the Washington State History Museum, a portion of the exhibit will focus specifically on the history and accomplishments of the Seattle Seahawks. The Hall of Fame and NFL Films each have contributed a wealth of material on our home team that is sure to have particular resonance for the local audience. (Back to top)

Space Needle in blue and green

Records Are Made to be Broken 

Every time a team or individual sets a record in pro football, it moves the bar higher for future aspirants.  That bar becomes a standard of excellence whether it is for one play, a season or a career.  Even seemingly unbeatable records such as Don Shula’s career coaching victories will someday be challenged.  Artifacts from the Hall of Fame’s collection will recount many of the milestone events we call “records.” (Back to top)

Coach being hoisted up

Champions

In a team sport the ultimate measure of success is a championship title. Each year a new battle begins and every team prepares with winning a championship as their goal. Only one will succeed. Artifacts and high-energy NFL Films presentations in Gridiron Glory bring to life the excitement of the road to the Super Bowl. (Back to top)

Lombardi Trophy

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