Players, Officials, Coaches Savor Chance to Tour Hall of Fame
CANTON, Ohio – He has been to the Hall of Fame many times.
For Bill Polian, that didn't mean going once more this weekend wasn't special.
Polian, entering his 11th season as the Colts' President, was among the players, coaches and staff who toured the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday, the day before playing the Washington Redskins in the Hall of Fame Game Sunday Night.
"There are always new exhibits and new artifacts, so it's great," Polian said Sunday afternoon. "If you love the history of the game, and I do, it's a great experience."
It was a visit that made an impact, and not just on Polian, who has attended four induction ceremonies and three Hall of Fame Games.
Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy last visited the Hall of Fame in 1998, when he coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Hall of Fame Game.
"I guess the thing that takes me aback is seeing the Barry Sanders, the guys who you think shouldn't be in there yet," Dungy said. "They're still young to you. There is some great history. I always get the feeling of the foundation that those guys laid.
"That's what I try to pass on to our players: 'Now you're laying the foundation for the next group of you that's going to play 10 years from now."
The visit to the Hall was mandatory for rookies, and Dungy said about 20 veterans also visited.
"Guys want to know about history," Dungy said. "It was a good evening."
Said rookie running back Mike Hart, "It was a nice experience. I appreciated the (exhibits featuring) Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith – all of those guys. I got to see everything. I got to see the wide spectrum of things from the offensive line, to the defensive line to the cornerbacks.
"I thought that was really good because I know about the running backs, but I don't know about the defensive players."