The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame fascinates, educates and entertains at Union Station – but only for a short time!
By Sean Collins, KU Sports Journalist
Instantly earning enthusiastic reviews from guests who come to visit Union Station’s newest exhibition ‘Gridiron Glory,’ the experience delivers fascinating history and priceless treasure that rarely leaves the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame in Canton, OH.
Bringing in more than just football fans, Gridiron Glory delivers an experience packed with vintage NFL films, facts and fan interaction while gloating the Kansas City Chiefs’ and NFL’s greatest teams and players covering nearly 125 years of history. Stopping in Union Station only until September 7, 2015, Gridiron Glory will leave you both energized and enlightened in ways hard to describe.
As a sports fan, every facet of the extensive exhibition delivered entertainment value and put me into the actual moments that were to become the stuff of football legend. It also brought to life the interesting aspects of football’s history in Kansas City and the men who made our town one of the top NFL markets in America.
As a Chiefs’ fan, I had only heard about the impressiveness of the Gridiron Glory collection. Reality is even better. The exhibition is presented in distinct galleries covering the Chiefs and the NFL, but the transitions are smooth and make perfect sense. From the very beginning, the chilling feeling of walking through “The Tunnel” and onto the field mimics a player’s walk into Arrowhead with flashing lights, echoing screams and haunting fan chants.
After “The Tunnel”, impressive video highlights showcase plays made by the Chiefs’ early Super Bowl teams and extend to more recent fan favorites like Dante Hall returning kickoffs for touchdowns. After reliving the plays via video, how about the chance to commentate them? Just before entering the ‘Hall of Fame’ section is a booth where fans can put sportscaster headphones on and read highlights off a teleprompter as spectacular game-day plays are projected onto a huge wall. For a moment, it’s just like being your favorite ESPN analysts.
Once inside the “Hall of Fame” galleries, the exhibition presents over 200 of the rarest artifacts covering every aspect of the game and, of course, from the NFL’s best players both past and present. Sending football geeks into orbit and the rest of us into a prolonged state of amazement, these galleries deliver the kind of punch and proper reverence expected and deserved by footballs’ legends, heroes, dynasties and record-breakers.
A mere $15 to get into the exhibition is nothing compared to the experience you will carry with you. There are moments of quiet reflection as well as heart-pounding, surround-sound excitement. Every sense will be activated and we’re not talking about the typical museum glass-case tour with Gridiron Glory. It’s hands-on and fun for every age. In fact, touching and taking photos throughout are encouraged.
Finally, I can’t forget to bring particular attention to the interactive elements toward the end of the exhibition. From passing a football into the hands of a diving receiver and kicking the game-winning field goal to making the tough call in an actual NFL replay/review booth, Gridiron Glory truly puts you not only onto the field, but squarely into the fascinating history of what has endured and evolved as a sporting cornerstone of Kansas City and the entire United States. Gridiron Glory is a bucket-list experience you don’t want to miss!