Posted by: lylescott89 | August 18, 2009

My Visit to Mecca

Hey kids,


As you know, I have just recently returned from my tri-state tour of Indiana, Ohio & Kentucky.  Now, the Kentucky part was kind of a surprise and was very brief, but we will discuss that later.  For now, we will talk about my trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. 


The first thing I noticed when we arrived at 10:00 AM was that the place was right there next to the interstate.  I had always thought it was out in some pasture somewhere all on its own.  But, no it was right there in the hustle bustle of a busy town.  I will add that Canton was much bigger than I had anticipated as well.  We quickly took the exit and pulled into the parking lot.  Immediately we were met by a security guard who told us that the lot was full and we would need to park out here on the grass.  No big deal, but I was instantly concerned as I figured the place must be packed if the lot was already full a mere hour after the place opened.  No need to worry, however since the reason the lot was closed was due to a bunch of tents and set ups for the hall of fame induction ceremonies which were to be held the coming Saturday. 


The HOF is right next to a high school football stadium.  On that stadium were huge photos of all the HOF inductees for 2009.  After taking a few pictures we ventured inside.  I was so excited I almost wet my pants.  This was Mecca after all.  The holy shrine of professional football that I had dreamt about since I was a child was right in front of me.  Nothing could stop me now. 


After making my ticket purchase, I stepped through the turnstile and was greeted by an older lady who was a volunteer.  Her name was Margaret and she was very friendly.  She told us the best way to proceed through the HOF and suggested we start downstairs with the exhibit behind her.  I told her that I was in search of the exhibit known as the restroom as I was more than ready to go.  Once that was over we started our tour of the rotunda.


I will not bore you with all of the details of the HOF, but I will let you know that it was really cool.  There were tons of memorabilia and a display for every NFL team.  Plus they had a special exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the AFL.  But, the biggest thrill was the busts of all the hall of famers.  They were really cool.  I am busy now working on those photos and hopefully will get them uploaded to flickr very soon.


I also have to say that the little café inside the HOF was quite good.  I had the Italian sausage and fries and I was not expecting much.  However, the fries were very tasty and the sausage was pretty darn good as well.  Not that expensive either.


At the bottom floor of the HOF, right next to the café and before the gift shop, was a really big screen TV where you could play the Madden NFL game.  My friend Bill was busy with something else and I saw a kid there playing alone.  I asked if he wanted to play against someone and he said sure.  So, he showed me how all the controls worked and we began playing.  He was playing Denver and I was stuck playing the Saints.  For some reason that is the matchup he chose.  Here I was, an old guy playing a kid at a video game and I whipped him 20-0.  I impressed myself.  I think I knew a little more about football than he did and maybe that was a factor in my decisive victory.


Then as we finished, Bill came downstairs and asked if I wanted to play another game against him.  I looked around and since there was no one waiting to play, I said sure.  This time I chose my own team.  I picked the Bucs and Bill chose the Colts.  It was a brutal game.  Very defensive from start to finish as I was able to shut down Manning fairly well.  I even returned a Manning fumble for a touchdown.  However, at the end of regulation we were tied at 14.  After an exchange of missed field goals, I had the ball with 17 seconds left in the game.  There was only one play for me to choose and that was the Hail Mary.  I sat back in the pocket and whipped the ball as far as Garcia could.  Galloway came down with the ball and was headed towards the end zone when he was tackled at the 14 yard line.  I called a quick time out and set up for the field goal.  Now I had already missed two field goals in this game, one in regulation and one in OT, but it was my only hope with 3 seconds left.  The ball was snapped; the kick was up and went right through the uprights.  Good!  Final score Bucs 17 Colts 14.  I was exhausted from just playing a little video game and my thumbs hurt, but I had victory in my pocket.  It felt really good.


After seeing a few more displays and spending some money in the shop, it was time for dinner.  There was a place called Red Robin about five miles up the road and I love Red Robin’s burgers and chicken as well as their bottomless French fry basket.  I noticed they had a special burger on a table display and our waitress said it was great if you liked hot & spicy food.  Since I do like hot & spicy food I ordered it.  It was covered in lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pepper jack cheese, jalapenos and chipotle mayo.  It was incredible.  I also had the parmesan garlic fries and I allowed her to refill that basket just once because I wanted to have a delicious chocolate malt for dessert, which I did.


After dinner it was time to head back to the hotel and rest up for the trip to Cincinnati the next day.  I’ll give you the scoop on that next time kids.




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