Thursday, March 5, 2009

Canton Confidential

The Pro Football Hall of Fame : Canton, Ohio

On this trip across America, I'm traveling with Brenda Hansen. Brenda is a huge fan of football and we decided, since we were driving through Ohio anyway, we'd go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. We got a late start on Wednesday night and ended up staying the first night in New Stanton, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is home of the Steelers--six time Super Bowl Champions (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005, 2008) and the only team to win six Super Bowls.

We Americans claim there's nothing more American than mom, baseball, and apple pie. Depending on who you are, you might debate that and toss baseball aside in favor of football. More Americans watch the Super Bowl than the World Series. A supreme court justice has played football, as well as one U.S. president--Gerald Ford who played for University of Michigan.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame was opened in Canton, Ohio, in September 1963 with 17 inductees. According to Wikipedia, "Canton, Ohio was selected as the location for the Hall of Fame primarily for three reasons: First, the NFL, then known as the American Professional Football Association, was founded in Canton in 1920. Second, the now-defunct Canton Bulldogs were a successful NFL team based in Canton during the first few years of the league. And finally, the community of Canton successfully lobbied the NFL to have the Hall built in their city."

My favorite display: a tribute to the teams in Washington and New York
following the September 11th attacks. The teams are: the Washington Redskins,
the New York Giants, and the New York Jets.

The hall of fame is chock full of memorabilia and factoids about America's gridiron. When football first started, forward passes were illegal and the field was set up in a grid. The first longest successful field goal attempt in the history of the NFL was kicked in 1970 by Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints. He kicked the ball 63 yards and did it with only half of a foot. (See the slideshow to see the special shoe he wore.) Decades later Jason Elam of the Denver Broncos equaled the distance, but with a whole foot.

Here's a quiz:

1. What was the original name of the Tennessee Titans?
2. What was the original name of the New York Giants?
3. What team has gone to the Super Bowl four times, but has never won?
4. Which has a larger viewing audience: the World Series, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, or the season finale of American Idol?
5. Which team is the youngest in the league?
6. Which teams have never gone to the Super Bowl?


White Castle:
The first hamburger fast food joint in America

After the Hall of Fame, we went to White Castle for lunch. White Castle was founded in the 1921 in Wichita, Kansas, and was the original hamburger fast food chain in the U.S. They sell sliders. People rave about these. Frankly, it was the most disgusting hamburger I've ever eaten. The pickle was thicker than the patty. I wouldn't feed it to my dog or my worst enemy. That said, though, I can now cross that off my list of must-eats in America. Please, if anyone knows the secret behind why these are a must-eat, share. The White Castle burger was lost on me and my stomach. My poor, poor stomach. Poor stomach. It's salads from here on out!

The original slider: a White Castle burger in a box. Yucky!


More pictures of the Pro Football Hall of Fame...


Answers to today's quiz: 1. The Tennessee Titans were originally the Houston Oilers. 2. The New York Giants were originally the New York Titans. 3. The Buffalo Bills have gone to the Super Bowl four times, including three years in a row, and they have never won. 4. The Super Bowl is watched by more viewers than the World Series, the Olympics, and American Idol. 5. The Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguers. They both entered the league in the mid-1990s. 6. The Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints have never played in a Super Bowl.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential in Canton and Akron, Ohio, 03/09


Maya said...

zzzzz, oh wait! Where's the Beef? ok, back to zzzzz

(kidding!). I know a lot of people are into football, it's just not my thing. ;-)

I'm glad you are having a good time (minus the stomach troubles).

LG said...

I can't believe I never went to Canton while I lived in Ohio. Kicking myself for that now. Also, your photo of the White Castle sign made my mouth water - but it was because of the Church's Chicken! That was one of my favorite places when I lived in Memphis.

Virginia said...

Dang DC! This is great. A complete tour. I'll have to pass on that football quiz. Unless it's Auburn football I'm sooooo out of it. About those hamburgers....where's the beef??? Can't wait for tomorrow's episode. Oh I just saw Maya's comment. Great minds!HA

The Artful Eye said...

I love road trips, be safe. Oh the things you'll see and eat.

I remember White Castle burgers as a kid in the early 60s. We loved them, because we could order so many it was a novelty. The pickle was always bigger than the burger but I'm sure they were much better back then.

It was a car hop and the girls would skate out to the car with your tray and you'd lower the window so she could place your food on the windows ledge.

I don't know much about football except that I'll watch a game or two. I still think a trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame would be interesting.

Cele said...

My ex use to talk about White Castles - I figured if Harold and Kumar were hot for White Castle it must have sucked.

I would love to visit the Football hall of fame, but I will take the world series of the Superbowl any day. I hope you guys don't hold that against me.

D.C. Confidential said...

Maya: I'm going to have a dinner party in November wherein everyone I invite has to watch a football game. I'll be sure you get an invitation! ;-)

LG: You never went to the Football Hall of Fame and you lived in Ohio?! Well, in truth, you didn't miss out on a whole lot. I mean, it was neat just because it's the HOF, but I wouldn't say it was worth the $18 admission ticket.

VJ: Thanks! I'm hoping to have fun with this trip and to take the rest of you along with me.

Andrea: Road trips are fun! We've seen some great things. The eats haven't been unique yet, though. The exception being White Castle and that was just uniquely yuck! I'd love to do some diners, drive-ins, and dives, but we're trying to keep it healthy and sticking with salads and Subway. I know, boring as hell, but it's better than heartburn and indigestion! As for the HOF, if you're ever in northern Ohio, it and the Rock and Roll HOF are probably worth your time.

Cele: Using Harold and Kumar as a litmus test for things that should be avoided is probably a very, very good thing. I wish I'd known of their love of White Castle. It might have saved me from a bad culinary experience. As for your sentiments on football, it's okay. I still like you! ;-)