Did you ever wonder what it would be like to try to kick a field goal, throw a pass to a wide receiver, or block a defensive lineman in a college football game? Would you like to learn more about the great coaches, players, and teams in college football history? Would you like to test your vertical leap, flexibility, balance, agility, strength, and reaction time-to see if you have the athletic capability of a college football player? Would you like to hear legendary coaches explain their craft in a locker room? You can do all those things and more at the College Football Hall of Fame at 111 South Street Joseph Street, South Bend, Indiana.
In the Practice Field, there is a goalpost, yard marker, and football, to simulate what it would be like to kick a field goal. Could you make the kick? There is also a life-sized photograph of a receiver and a hole to throw the ball through. Would the receiver be able to catch your throw?
There are many things to do and see at the College Football Hall of Fame. Many people might like to kick a field goal, test their athletic capability, take a trivia quiz, or see many of the other sites. Many people might go, however, especially to learn more about the great players, teams, coaches, rivalries, and champions in college football history. You can definitely do that at the museum, and there are many areas that will help you learn and be entertained at the same time.
Great players, coaches, and moments are pictured in murals.
The founders of college football through 1939 are honored. Touch screen monitors feature highlights.
Twenty-four well-known college football rivalries, such as Ohio State versus Michigan and Army versus Navy are featured through photographs and artifacts.
A video kiosk displays unforgettable games and plays.
Another section honors players who not only excelled on the field, but also in the classroom. Those players were good citizens and demonstrated great leadership.
While there has grown to be a huge number of college football bowl games every year, the College Football Hall of Fame has a section to honor the five major games. There are trophies, helmets, and other memorabilia from the games.
A touch screen provides visitors to the College Football Hall of Fame with video exhibits of players who have been enshrined.
In the Hall of Champions athletes and coaches from 1940 to the present are honored. Touch screen monitors give highlights.
All the recipients of ten prestigious awards, including the Heisman Trophy, are featured in one section.
The requirements to be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame are pretty stringent. A player must have been a first-team All American, have played his last college game at least ten years before his enshrinement, must have retired from professional football, and have proven himself worthy as a citizen after his football career, carrying the ideals of football forward into his community.
To be enshrined, a coach must have been retired for three years, have coached for at least ten, coached at least 100 games, and won at least 60% of the games he coached.
The first class of players and coaches was enshrined in 1951 and included 54 people, such as Red Grange, Jim Thorpe, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and Knute Rockne. Recent inductees have included such players as Jerry Rice, the famous NFL receiver, who played at Mississippi State in college, Charlie Ward, who was quarterback for Florida State during one of the team’s two national championships, and Bobby Anderson, who was a running back for the University of Colorado. Only one player has ever won the Heisman Trophy twice-Archie Griffin, who was a running back for Ohio State-and he was inducted in 1986.
There are a lot of features a visitor to the College Football Hall of Fame might find interesting. In the Stadium Theater, you can enter during a ten minute pre-game show, and find yourself on the field amid players, cheerleaders and fans. You can watch as 106,000 people fill the stadium and then watch a 14 minute feature.
In the Trivia Challenge, you can compete with five other contestants in one of five different trivia contests.
In the Strategy Theater, you can match your football knowledge with some of the greatest college football coaches of all time. You can pick the plays you would have chosen, had you been the coach, in five different historic college football games.
Football champions from the NCAA Division 1-A, Division 1, and NAIA are featured.
There are other features to be enjoyed too. If you ever get the chance to visit the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, you won’t forget it, as this author still remembers his visit when the museum was near Cincinnati, Ohio, before it was moved to Indiana. From Thanksgiving through Memorial Day, the College Football Hall of Fame is open from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. From Memorial Day through Thanksgiving, the museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $11 for non Joseph County, Indiana residents, $9 for residents, $8 for Seniors 62 and older, $8 for students from 13 to college age, $5 for children from 5 to 12, and free for those younger than 5.