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The Suburbanite
  • Hall of Famers reunite for Golden Anniversary

  • Near-record number of Hall of Famers to be in Canton for Golden Anniversary Reunion

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  • Although the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on Aug. 3 is still weeks away, a near-record number of Hall of Fame members have made reservations to attend this year’s festivities. Already, 110 Hall of Famers — just one shy of the all-time record for returning Hall of Fame members — have indicated they plan to participate in what is being billed as the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Golden Anniversary Reunion.
    Hall of Fame officials expect that upwards of 130 Hall of Famers will be on hand when the Class of 2013 — Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson and Warren Sapp — are formally enshrined.
    This year’s expected record number of returning Hall of Famers, coupled with the Class of 2013, will result in the largest gathering of Hall of Fame members from any sport in one place at the same time. Typically there are 75 to 80 returning Hall of Famers attending the various Enshrinement Festival events each year.
    The Golden Anniversary Reunion is a part of the Hall’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration that has been highlighted by a number of events, not the least of which was the completion of the Hall of Fame’s two-year, $27 million expansion and renovation program.
    “We are truly excited that so many Hall of Famers will be on hand this year to help celebrate both the enshrinement of the newest Class as well as our 50th anniversary,” Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry said in a statement. “For many this will be the first time our Hall of Famers will see the ’new’ Hall of Fame and we’re anxious to see their reaction. We know they will be pleased.”
    The impressive list of reunion registrants includes:
    Troy Aikman
    Dick Butkus
    Earl Campbell
    Mike Ditka
    Dan Fouts
    Frank Gifford
    Darrell Green
    Joe Greene
    Sam Huff
    Steve Largent
    Floyd Little
    Howie Long
    Art Monk
    Jerry Rice
    Gale Sayers
    Shannon Sharpe
    Don Shula
    Bruce Smith
    Emmitt Smith
    Lawrence Taylor
    Kellen Winslow
    Steve Young
    Jack Youngblood
    A complete list is posted on the Hall of Fame’s website at Profootballhof.com/Golden-Anniversary-Reunion and will be continually updated as more Hall of Famers sign up for the weekend celebration in the coming weeks.
    Special fan-friendly events involving the football legends are being finalized. Already scheduled for Aug. 2 is a grand “Red Carpet” arrival at the Hall of Fame of the returning Hall of Famers and the 2013 Class of Enshrinees. Once at the Hall of Fame, the entire group will gather on the front steps of the Hall for a group photo. The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend this once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity. Additionally, autograph sessions and public appearances will be scheduled throughout the Enshrinement Weekend.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Nowhere else will fans be able to interact with this many Hall of Famers in one place,” Perry said. “It will be a truly fun-filled historic weekend.”