Pro Football Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame Game & Enshrinement
Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans
Pro Football Hall of Fame Game
August 9, 2009
18 - 21 Loss
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No. of Fan Visits: Over 8 million fans
Hours: 9:00am - 5:00pm
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Pro Football Hall of Fame Address
2121 George Halas Drive NW
Canton, OH 44708
Hall of Fame
Game - Fawcett Stadium Review
A visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is unlike any other experience in professional football. Walking on hallowed ground, in the midst of the birthplace of professional football in this country is indeed a unique thrill. I've been to the Professional Football Hall of Fame many times, but not like this. This year I attended during Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend and I attended as a guest of the Professional Football Ultimate Fan Association (PFUFA). As some of you know, last year I was nominated for membership is this Hall of Fame for NFL fans, but unfortunately, just like in the Pro football Hall of Fame, not everyone makes the cut. Many of the members are well known, like the Hogettes from Washington, the Bearman, Don Wachter in Chicago, or Tim McKernan, the Barrel Man in Denver. In many cases their persona outshines even the players, as fans and other onlookers look to these SuperFans for inspiration. I've run into several of them on many occasions throughout my travels to thirty-one stadiums across our great nation, and now thanks to the nomination of Wayne Vandevort, the Bruce Wayne of Tailgating, I now aspire to become one of them.
Our Hall of Fame Weekend began late Friday night when I arrived in Canton, to meet up with the member of PFUFA. As expected, they were still in full tailgate mode, swapping stories from the road and talking NFL football. We were immediately greeted by kindred spirit, Adam Goldstein, from adamsfootballtrip.com. Adam spent the fall of 2008 racing from NFL stadium to NFL stadium in an attempt to see a game in each one over the course of the 17 week season. He is actually from the UK and sold his apartment in downtown London in order to scratch together enough cash to make his dream come true. It's really an incredible feat, if you think about it, Adam was actually just a traffic jam, a delayed flight, or an inopportune virus away from not completing his goal.
The next morning, I was invited by PFUFA to walk in the Hall of Fame Parade. Thousands of NFL fans lined the streets of Canton and the PFUFA fans gave them exactly what they were looking for. We hyped up the crowd slapping high five, shaking hands, and kissing babies. Donning my custom-made Quest for 31, Buffalo Bills Jersey over a pair of shoulder pads, I strutted down main street to greet every Bills fan I could. Our war cry? Are you ready for some football? Best believe that the crowd responded in the affirmative.
This year was indeed a special year for Bills fans as the Red, White, and Blue Nation was on hand to watch two of our Bills take their places among the league's best. Career leader in quarterback sacks and fan favorite from the defensive line of our Super Bowl era, Bruce Smith and venerable team owner Ralph Wilson, Jr. were both to be inducted this weekend, and I would be on hand to witness it personally. The enshrinement ceremony was in itself a magical time as the lights and glamour of the evening seemed to sweep up each fan's imagination while we watched the highlight reels and reveled in seasons since gone by. Bills Fans could be heard chanting, "Bruuuuuuuce!!!!!" each time the star defensive end was showcased during the ceremony, just like in the glory days of Buffalo Bills Football. The speakers were a bit long winded, but to be there to relive the glory years within the deep recesses of my own mind is an experience I won't soon forget.
Sunday was gameday. It began with a PFUFA Induction and Awards Ceremony inside the Hall of Fame and would end with my Buffalo Bills taking on the Tennessee Titans in primetime. PFUFA setup a great breakfast event that morning, mirroring the sentiment of the night before, but this time honoring the sport's fans rather than it's athletes. Many of my heroes from around the league were on hand to ensure that all was well, including Lady Titan, Captain Defense, and Catman. Once the ceremony concluded we headed through the Hall for another look at the displays and finally onto the order of the day, Tailgating with Jay the Tailgate Guy.
arrived in a private parking lot flanked by Jay's new tailgate
machine, a converted bus, along with the RV of Joe Cahn, the
Commissioner of tailgating, and a Browns Tailgate Bus decked out in
Browns colors and featuring a set of balls on the back end of the
bus ... classy. We hung out with Kenny "Pinto Ron" Johnson as he
fried up some wings in an old Army helmet, broke bread with our
esteemed commissioner and drank a few beers with Adam, the Tailgate
Knight. After a few hours of the usual parking lot tailgate fodder,
Adam and I decided to head over to Fawcett Stadium, to watch the
very first game of the 2009 NFL season. Terrell Owens made his debut
as a Buffalo Bill and the team showed that it has some things to
work on before the start of the regular season. Tennessee looked
very impressive, primed to pick up where they left off last year and
ready to claim their playoff spot in the preseason. I guess We'll
see what the future holds for our 2009 Buffalo Bills. I'm hoping
after a playoff drought lasting a decade that this year's club will
do Mr. Wilson proud and surprise several of the playoff hopefuls
throughout the league with a string of wins. That's it for now
fellow Questers. Be sure to keep an eye on my travels over the next
several months and we tackle the "Final Five" en route to completion
of the Quest for 31.
|Hangin' with the Hoggettes||Purple Dame and Catman||The PFUFA Float|
|Myself, Peter, Adam, and Andrew||Me and the fam checking out the Lombardi||Crystal and I enjoying a beverage|
|Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony||The Pro Football Hall of Fame||Quest for 31 at the Hall|
|Kenny "Pinto Ron" Johnson||Hangin with the Bills Fans||Ready for the game|
|Adam and I ready for some football||The folks of PFUFA||They call him "Bruce"|
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