I've wanted to post this since the bye week after the Texas game, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to attach any images. With this being rivalry week, I thought I'd give it another try. I know that many of our Bruin brothers and sisters may not get an opportunity to visit the College Football Hall of Fame, so during a business trip to Atlanta in early September, I not only went for myself, but for all of you, as well.
Before you enter the venue, you are given an All-Access pass. This serves as an interactive badge that activates when one stands in front of screens with this capability Its purpose is to show you information on the team you choose when you first register your badge. Of course, there was only one team I could even consider choosing. Walking around the complex, it was nice to see UCLA information automatically appear once I stood in front of these screens.
On the first floor, the first thing one sees is the wall of helmets. It's really astounding to see. It's a bit hard looking for your team's helmet, but the staff use an iPad to find your helmet. Once they see the location on the screen, they light it on the wall for you to see in all its glory. I must admit, the gold helmet with the UCLA script is a beautiful thing to see. To the left of this wall is a large mural of the history of college football, and next to the foyer, one sees a small football field with a large screen on top where they show highlight videos of many teams.
As you move upstairs, you see a variety of artifacts. I did my best to capture as much as possible to share with you. On the second floor, you're able to appear on College Gameday with Chris Folwer and Desmond Howard. You sit in between them and put on the headgear like Lee Corso. Unfortunately, they only have a select amount of teams and UCLA was not one of them. Another thing you can do is to try your luck as a broadcaster. They have a few historical moments you can call, such as the Hail Mary and The Play. One thing I learned is that I'm not cut out to be a broadcaster.
The most exciting part of the HOF was the Game Day Theater. They showed a ten minute movie titled "The Game of Your Life" showing you what it's like to be a part of a game. You see how players come out of the locker room, the excitement of the fans prior to kickoff, great catches, defensive stops, coaches talking in the locker room, and many other things. The great part of this short movie is that it's narrated by former players, and our own Troy Aikman is heard throughout the movie. Many of the players talk about the nerves they feel prior to the game, the excitement they feel as the game begins, and how some of them learn to tune out the noise when they're concentrated on the field. I must admit, I was moved. Like the College Football Hall of Fame says, you truly get "a behind-the-scenes look into the experience of a game through the perspectives of former players and coaches."
Overall, it was a nice experience, but was a bit disappointed because I expected more. My biggest disappointment was the store. 90 percent of the products they sold was catered to the SEC. I know I was in SEC country, but come on! They didn't even have much merchandise for Florida State, and they're the defending national champions! I also didn't find anything related to Georgia Tech, and they're located about two miles from there. I asked them if they had any PAC-12 teams and was told they had some $outhern Cal shirts. Now, this was a lie because all I saw was a small book. As for UCLA, the only thing I saw was a picture of Terry Donahue, but this was only viewable looking from the outside in. Their excuse was that all PAC-12 teams are sponsored by Nike, and since they have a deal with Under Armour, they're not allowed to sell such merchandise. I told them if that was the case, why did they have Alabama, Georgia, and LSU jerseys. They just turned away.
Below are some pictures I took. I hope you enjoy them.
F#ck $outhern Cal!