It’s being hailed as the greatest testament to pro football this side of Canton, Ohio. It’s called Gridiron Glory and it’s on display at Texas Southern University through April 30 at the University Museum.
Displayed for the first time on an HBCU campus, Gridiron Glory is a 6,000 square-foot traveling exhibit. Organized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in association with NFL Films, the exhibit gives viewers a panoramic view of the story of professional football, from its humble beginnings in the early 20th century to its status today as a cultural phenomenon.
Inspirational stories of the game’s pioneers, top athletes, coaches and unique plays will unfold for patrons. The exhibit includes more than 200 artifacts from the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s collection, rare documents, award-winning photography and a 500 square-foot area reserved for the venue’s home team, the Houston Texans, as well as the team formerly known as the Houston Oilers, now the Tennessee Titans.
In addition, the Gridiron Glory exhibit will be supplemented with the new Black College Football Hall of Fame display and Tigers in the NFL, a tribute to TSU players who made their mark in the league.
The interactive multimedia experience includes original artifacts, rare documents, immersive fan experiences, educational programming and remarkable footage from NFL Films showcasing the American legacy of the game of football and its historical significance.
Many of the items on display in Houston will be available for the first time. The exhibit includes the Vince Lombardi Trophy, an authentic interactive instant-replay booth, Knute Rockne’s 1919 Massillon Tigers helmet, Jim Brown’s jersey worn in an actual game, and Emmitt Smith’s rushing-record game mementos, among other highlights.
Tony Wyllie, Washington Redskins senior vice president of communications and a proud TSU alum, reflected on the TSU/NFL relationship.
“So much of this relationship was fostered a few years ago when Michael Strahan was inducted to the Hall of Fame,” Wyllie said. “The world will have an opportunity to see the beauty of the Texas Southern campus while enjoying an outstanding, history-making exhibit.”
Three HBCU SWAC legends featured in the display are Strahan (Hall of Fame 2014), Prairie View A&M University’s Ken Houston (HOF 1986) and Southern University’s Aeneas Williams (HOF 2014).
“Even as an inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I am still amazed when I view all of the football memorabilia that in this spectacular exhibit,” said Houston, a former Oiler and Redskin.
“I always wanted all of my family, fans and friends to see this…and now that the Canton exhibit is traveling to Houston they will be able to see it.”
“I am thrilled to be associated with Gridiron Glory,” said Williams, who played with the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams.
“This exhibit highlights all of the key moments in the history of the game and is a must visit for all football fans.”
Tickets for the exhibit are $20. Visit www.ticketmaster.com or call 713-313-7933.