Last weekend was the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement down in Canton. Since I was a Canton resident up until last December, I had the duties of covering the entire Hall of Fame Festival for Rubber City Radio Group.
I've covered this each of the last four years in one way or another (for different organizations) and it has never been a disappointment. Though the festival remains the same, some out of the ordinary tends to take place each year. On Saturday I sat at the media table on the 50 yard line of Fawcett Stadium as the enshrinement was televised live on ESPN. I, with my laptop, recorded speeches and wrote stories for our website akronnewsnow.com. It was cool hanging out with my media brethren from D.C area. There were a pair of former Redskins being inducted, hence the vast majority of the media onslaught came from Maryland and Virginia.
Aside from meeting other media personnelit was neat to see former NFL stars just roaming around. I'm not one to slobber over the former players or current national media individuals, but I did get to meet ESPN's Chris Mortenson. A quick handshake and "hi" made my day.
The following day, Sunday, my co-worker Lindsay and I covered the Hall of Game between the Colts and Redskins. We watched the first quarter before heading off to get interviews and fan reaction. The starters tend to play one quarter in preseason before the scrubs come in and the game gets boring. Lindsay went to get interviews on a tongue-in-check story on Colts fans versus Redskins fans. I want to get interviews on reactions from fans on the entire festival itself...did they like it? Would they come back? What was their favorite part? Did Canton treat them well? That sort of thing.
I stumbled upon a group of four Redskins fans standing away from the crowd smoking. I figured they would be the best interviewees since they weren't concentrating on watching the game. After asking my questions and getting the audio I needed, we chat for a short time. They were pretty cool and fun to talk to. And I discovered one them was a graduate of Ohio University in Athens. OU is about an hour east of my hometown of Chillicothe along U.S Route 50. When I brought that up he tells me, "No way! I've been there!"
Are you kidding me?! I'm at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton covering the first NFL game (preseason) of the year between teams from Indiana and Washington. And the group of people I decide to talk to, on a whim, are all from Washington, D.C. and I happen to pick one who has been to my hometown & went to college for four years in the backyard of the place where I grew up. Crazy.
Its things like that make moving around fun. Not that I like moving, I've done it way too many times. Although, if there is a time where you move due to new employment or for a signifcant other this is what makes the experience worthwhile. I've lived in Kentucky, Indiana, Texas and Ohio and each time I have come across someone who is at least halfway familiar with where I used to live or someone I know.
I'm sure this will not be the last experience with such things, I mean...come on, I'm only 33. We'll see how the next 33 years evolve.
I just hope the next person I run into doesn't turn out to be a stalker. Note to self: If he or she knows your social security number or exact birth date...it is no longer fun and interesting.