Friday evening, I took my three children to see this movie…
For any boy young enough NOT to drive, this flick contains the key ingredients to a perfect movie: lots and lots of superheroes. It kinda reminded me of Saturday mornings as a kid watching my favorite cartoon…
Superhero movies are all the rage right now. Fans of all ages can’t get enough of the stars of the Marvel and DC comic worlds. But no matter how super and/or heroic these characters are, their greatness is minimized by one cold, hard fact:
THEY ARE FICTION.
But this weekend, I also came across another collection of superheroes whose exploits were not concocted by a writer’s imagination or any state of the art computerized special effects. These larger than life men created their legendary status with years and years of their own genuine blood, sweat, and tears…
The Canton Repository runs this picture each year, and every time, I scan it in awe. You can have your Avengers or Justice League. Those crews don’t stand a chance against this Gang of Gridiron Gods.
So Friday night, I gazed on the big screen and saw the familiar costumes of Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, and company.
But Saturday night, I turned on the small screen to the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony and saw those iconic faces from the autumn Sundays of yesteryear:
Jim Brown. Mean Joe Greene. Joe Montana. Gayle Sayers. Jerry Rice. Tony Dorsett. Marcus Allen. Joe Namath. Ronnie Lott. Dan Marino. The list goes on and on.
Their hair is a bit thinner and grayer. There once imposing bodies are a bit softer and hunched over. But there is no mistaking those enormous heroes of so many childhoods. Just watching highlights tracing Brett Favre’s career was like reading a comic book or hearing a Paul Bunyan tale.
Superhero movies take place in the far off land of fiction. But for those of us NFL fans living in and around Stark County, our annual summer blockbuster lands right in our backyard. So an enormous debt of gratitude goes out to all of the local men and women through the decades that have helped transform the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival an enormous success.
And thank you, Hall of Famers, for being true superheroes to generations of fans.
The author is a contributor for clesportstalk.com, as well as timesreporter.com. You can follow him on twitter: @macaljancic