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5 things I learned at the College Football Hall of Fame

By Charlotte Wilder
FOX Sports Columnist 

ATLANTA — The Dos Equis Ultimate College Football Road Trip is off and working, and our first cease is Georgia-Oregon.

It’s all the time fascinating when my travels take me to a impartial web site recreation as a result of though it doesn’t have the buzz of a university campus, the followers nonetheless convey lots of ardour. I’ve already seen extra Oregon jerseys in Atlanta than I can rely, which is kind of a jarring visible. But hey, Ducks fly collectively, amiright? 

The first day on the floor was jam-packed. First, I visited Atlanta native Matthew Foster, the genius behind the lemon pepper moist pizza that took Atlanta and the web by storm. Foster is the founder of Phew’s Pies and as large a Georgia soccer fan as you’ll discover. He informed me what it was prefer to lastly win a championship after years of heartbreak as we tossed pizza dough in the air.

If you’re in the Atlanta space, make sure you discover Foster at one of his pop-ups. In addition to the lemon pepper, which is tangy, salty and melt-in-your-mouth, he makes an oxtail-ricotta pizza with scotch bonnets that marries the wealthy meat with the good quantity of warmth. Can’t say sufficient good things. 

We then headed over to the College Football Hall of Fame, the place I was joined by Marcus Allen. Allen had a storied profession. A star working again at USC after which in the NFL — with a 16-year profession between the Raiders and Chiefs — he’s the solely soccer participant to ever win the Heisman Trophy, an NCAA nationwide championship, the Super Bowl, an NFL regular-season MVP and a Super Bowl MVP. He’s acquired too many information to rely, however he jogged my memory of some of them in the function we shot collectively, which might be out quickly. 

In the meantime, listed here are 5 takeaways from a day at the CFB HOF. 

1. It’s very cool to go to the Hall of Fame with somebody who’s in it

Walking via the halls with Allen gave the Hall of Fame a really totally different dimension from simply visiting as a fan. Usually, the reveals really feel like a museum: spectacular, however distant and distant. Going with a adorned participant who is aware of what it’s like to carry the Heisman, who remembers profitable championships, and whose teammates are additionally enshrined, was very shifting.

Where followers may see trophies and accolades, Allen noticed the 1000’s of hours of onerous work it took to get there. He appeared at the Heisman and noticed his mother and father; when he gained, he mentioned, it was one of the few occasions he heard his father cry. We swiped via the digital contact screens that confirmed previous footage of him, and he remembered the days the pictures had been taken. He scrolled via the different USC gamers and remembered how they’d given him rides house, or how they’d been function fashions for him. Where followers see soccer nice Ronnie Lott, Allen noticed his former roommate.

It was an excellent reminder of the human expertise behind the titles and awards. 

2. The HOF is formed like a soccer 

Very cool!

3. Being a mascot is tough

I was fortunate sufficient to have the privilege of changing into Fumbles, the Hall of Fame’s mascot, for about quarter-hour. Did I have a panic assault once they first strapped me into the costume? Sure. Did I suppose I was going to go out from the warmth and claustrophobia the headpiece generated? Absolutely! Did somebody need to shortly extract me out of the go well with? 1000 p.c! 

But you already know what? Because I’m a champion, I put the head again on, took a number of deep breaths, and labored via my worry to do some mix drills as a mascot.

And let me let you know, even with out the physio- and psychological existential disaster I needed to fend off, it’s tough. I couldn’t actually see a lot, the factor weighed a bajillion kilos and I needed to duck to get via any doorway. I sweated as a lot as I do in a scorching yoga class, and I suppose I acquired simply as intense a exercise.

It was additionally, nevertheless, completely pleasant. There’s one thing actually nice about not being allowed to say something and being nameless inside a fancy dress. My job is normally to speak continuously and be as recognizable as doable, and let me let you know, it’s an actual aid each infrequently to be informed I’m not even permitted to speak. 

I additionally felt very achieved when I managed to kick a area purpose, throw a soccer and run as a fuzzy creature the HOF calls a “fanimal.”

I guess what I’m attempting to say is that the rumors are true — not all heroes put on capes. 

4. The HOF is way extra technologically superior than I am  

You know these motion pictures from the ‘90s or early 2000s where the walls are all glass touchscreens and the building knows you’re in it earlier than you’re even there? Like “Minority Report” or no matter? That’s what the Hall of Fame is like.

When you enter, you’re given a badge, and you’ll program that badge to say your identify in addition to the faculty with which you’d prefer to be affiliated. You undergo the reveals scanning your card and the HOF then emails you about all the things you probably did. Everything lights up, all the pieces is a contact display screen and I couldn’t determine methods to work most of it. But it was very spectacular.

5. Colby College is in the HOF  

Normally, when somebody in the faculty soccer world asks me the place I went to school, I inform them it’s a small liberal arts faculty they in all probability haven’t heard of and we transfer on. But this time, the particular person working at the HOF insisted I elaborate and mentioned that if the faculty has a four-year soccer program, its helmet is on the wall in the most important foyer. I was like, OK, buddy.

Then I looked for Colby College, and there it was, a helmet with a mule on it. (Yes, that’s the precise mascot. A mule.) 

The blue and white helmet lit up and glowed. I was so proud. I was even prouder when the stats on the display screen introduced that my alma mater has zero gamers and coaches in the HOF. Jokes on them, as a result of we’d not formally be inducted, however I was not solely in the constructing right this moment, I was inside the mascot inside the constructing.

So now, at least we will say that one Colby College alum is (was) in the Hall of Fame. A win for football-loving New Englanders all over the place. 

Charlotte Wilder is a common columnist and cohost of “The People’s Sports Podcast” for FOX Sports. She’s honored to symbolize the continuously uncared for Boston space in sports activities media, loves speaking to sports activities followers about their emotions and is happiest consuming a hotdog in a ballpark or nachos in a stadium. Follow her on Twitter @TheWilderThings.

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