Canton is coming to Tacoma.
“Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame” opens Saturday at the Washington State History Museum on 1911 Pacific Avenue. The 6,000 square-foot exhibition is a multimedia presentation of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a slice of the Hall that is coming to you, without you having to travel to eastern Ohio.
(Although, as a native of eastern Ohio who grew up an hour from the Hall of Fame and has been there countless times, you really should go there. Great people.)
Organizers of “Gridiron Glory” are calling it “the largest, most comprehensive traveling exhibit ever created” about football.
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Saturday’s kickoff gala will include free commemorative mini footballs for the first 100 paid admissions or WSHM members through the door. The “Sea Gals” cheerleaders will be there, as will West Sound Wildlife to introduce visitors to a wild rescued hawk and falcon.
“Gridiron Glory” features interactive components such as the opportunity to try on a player’s helmet, to hear coach-to-player communications, to step into an authentic instant replay booth and make a tough officials call, to size yourself compared to molds of real football players and more. The Hall of Fame is bringing more than 200 artifacts to tell the share its story of 125 years of American football, including a Champion’s Theater featuring NFL Films footage.
There will be a special “Hometown Heroes” Seahawks section of the exhibit that will include the Vince Lombardi Trophy Seattle won for its first and only NFL championship. The same trophy the league presented to the team immediately following its victory over Denver in Super Bowl 48 at the end of the 2013 season will be on display at the Washington State History Museum from Saturday until early July. Then it must go back to Canton, back into the full Hall of Fame.
“For 15 weeks, Tacoma will be a ‘Super Bowl City,’” said Jennifer Kilmer, director of the Washington State Historical Society. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many people in our region to experience the incredible collections from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
“Gridiron Glory” tells football’s story from the 1892 accounting ledger noting football’s first paid player (pro football’s “birth certificate”) to a locker depiction with gear from Seahawks players.
“We are excited to help bring this unique exhibit to the area for 12s from all over the region,” Seahawks Vice President of Community Outreach Mike Flood said. “It is a great opportunity for fans to visualize how the Seahawks fit into the historical context of the NFL, including honoring our own Hall of Fame members.”
The traveling exhibit has been featured in every Super Bowl host city since it started in 2012. The Washington State History Museum will be the only place to see it in the Pacific Northwest.
“Gridiron Glory” will be on display from Saturday through September 10 at the WSHM.