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School spirit shines at College Football Hall of Fame

College football, like politics or religion, can ignite deep-seeded passions. Seat an Auburn fan next to an Alabama alum at your next dinner party: guaranteed sparks.

There is a new shrine devoted to the game, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. Just having celebrated its one-year anniversary in August, the Hall is centrally located downtown to reach tourists or folks in town for a sporting event.

If you are a fan of football or have a least a shred of school pride, the CFHOF is worth a visit. After purchasing a ticket,

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Find your favorite team on the Helmet Wall in The Quad. Photo by Melissa Lowrie 

visitors are given a pass, which they can program in The Quad. Simply go to a registration desk, type in your name and school (or whatever school you like) then look up to find your school’s helmet.

After selecting your school, a blue light blinks inside the helmet so guests can locate it. It then stays illuminated so all the other visitors know there are Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the house … or LSU Tigers or Texas Longhorns, et al.

The Helmet Wall in the entry is impressive. With more than 765 shiny helmets representing college football teams around the country, it’s a colorful visual example of the game’s breadth.

My kid, who isn’t old enough for college yet, decided to be a Georgia Bulldog for the day. The choosing of a school isn’t just for the Helmet Wall, but exhibits throughout the interactive museum. Whenever I’d walk up to a screen, “Hello, Melissa” would greet me as well as the Louisiana Tech logo.

If you visit the CFHOF with a child ***make sure they wear athletic shoes*** because they will want to show their mad skills in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Skill Zone. The 45-yard field features quarterback drills, a chance to kick a field goal and an obstacle course to tempt children (and adults) into testing their mettle. There is a concession stand and bleachers for those who want to watch the action.

The museum is comprised of three levels with plenty to keep fans occupied. From www.cfbhall.com: “This is a Hall of Fame Exhibit unlike any other, totally re-defining the way fans of any sport celebrate their Hall of Famers. In addition to a permanent, etched-glass representation of each Hall of Famer, guests will be treated to a personalized experience in the Hall through ten augmented reality displays where they can select video and images of players and coaches from their favorite school.”

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The hardware teams work toward every season. Photo by Melissa Lowrie

Here’s the deal in non-marketing terms. Guests walk up to a large screen with handles. The smart screen reads your pass, “Hello, Jack,” and instantly pulls up the hall-of-famers from the University of Georgia. From there, use the touchscreen to learn more about a favorite player. Moving the screen shows even more players. (Unless you went to a smaller school, then you’ll probably see all of them on the first shot … Terry Bradshaw, Willie Roaf and their smallish club popped up for me. Go Dawgs!)

There’s a great movie in the theatre, it runs about 10 minutes and makes viewers want to get in the game. Also check out the ESPN College GameDay Desk where guests can sit at the desk and virtually join ESPN analysts Chris Fowler and Desmond Howard.

In the Game Day Gallery, there is a focus on the traditions surrounding college football. From training to tailgating to cheerleaders and marching bands, game day is covered.

Tickets are prices are: Adult – $19.99; Kids (3-12) – $16.99; Seniors (65+), Military, Student – $17.99 (available at the box office only). Kids under 3 are admitted free. The CFHOF is open seven days a week, only closing on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Check the website for hours and additional information.

The College Football Hall of Fame is a fun place to go with your kids and football fans. Keep it in mind for a way to spend an afternoon with Thanksgiving guests. The address is 250 Marietta St. NW in Atlanta and there’s a parking deck right next to the entrance.

Enjoy some quality time with the kids and grandkids during the upcoming holiday. Wherever you end up, have a great time.

            

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