By Charlotte Wilder
FOX Sports activities Columnist
ATLANTA — The Dos Equis Final College Football Road Trip is off and working, and our first cease is Georgia-Oregon.
It’s all the time fascinating when my travels take me to a impartial website sport as a result of regardless that it doesn’t have the thrill of a faculty campus, the followers nonetheless convey loads of ardour. I’ve already seen extra Oregon jerseys in Atlanta than I can rely, which is form of a jarring visible. However hey, Geese fly collectively, amiright?
The primary day on the bottom was jam-packed. First, I visited Atlanta native Matthew Foster, the genius behind the lemon pepper moist pizza that took Atlanta and the web by storm. Foster is the founding father of Phew’s Pies and as large a Georgia soccer fan as you’ll discover. He instructed me what it was prefer to lastly win a championship after years of heartbreak as we tossed pizza dough within the air.
In case you’re within the Atlanta space, remember to discover Foster at one among his pop-ups. Along with the lemon pepper, which is tangy, salty and melt-in-your-mouth, he makes an oxtail-ricotta pizza with scotch bonnets that marries the wealthy meat with the right quantity of warmth. Can’t say sufficient good issues.
We then headed over to the College Football Hall of Fame, the place I used to be joined by Marcus Allen. Allen had a storied profession. A star working again at USC after which within the NFL — with a 16-year profession between the Raiders and Chiefs — he’s the one soccer participant to ever win the Heisman Trophy, an NCAA nationwide championship, the Tremendous Bowl, an NFL regular-season MVP and a Tremendous Bowl MVP. He’s received too many data to rely, however he jogged my memory of a few of them within the characteristic we shot collectively, which can be out quickly.
Within the meantime, listed below are 5 takeaways from a day on the CFB HOF.
1. It’s very cool to go to the Hall of Fame with somebody who’s in it
Strolling via the halls with Allen gave the Hall of Fame a really totally different dimension from simply visiting as a fan. Often, the displays really feel like a museum: spectacular, however distant and distant. Going with a adorned participant who is aware of what it’s like to carry the Heisman, who remembers profitable championships, and whose teammates are additionally enshrined, was very transferring.
The place followers would possibly see trophies and accolades, Allen noticed the 1000’s of hours of exhausting work it took to get there. He seemed on the Heisman and noticed his mother and father; when he gained, he mentioned, it was one of many few occasions he heard his father cry. We swiped via the digital contact screens that confirmed outdated footage of him, and he remembered the times the pictures have been taken. He scrolled via the opposite USC gamers and remembered how they’d given him rides house, or how they’d been function fashions for him. The place followers see soccer nice Ronnie Lott, Allen noticed his former roommate.
It was an excellent reminder of the human expertise behind the titles and awards.
2. The HOF is formed like a soccer
3. Being a mascot is tough
I used to be fortunate sufficient to have the privilege of turning into Fumbles, the Hall of Fame’s mascot, for about quarter-hour. Did I’ve a panic assault once they first strapped me into the costume? Certain. Did I believe I used to be going to move out from the warmth and claustrophobia the headpiece generated? Completely! Did somebody must rapidly extract me out of the go well with? 1000 p.c!
However you recognize what? As a result of I’m a champion, I put the pinnacle again on, took a number of deep breaths, and labored via my worry to do some mix drills as a mascot.
And let me inform you, even with out the physio- and psychological existential disaster I needed to fend off, it’s tough. I couldn’t actually see a lot, the factor weighed a bajillion kilos and I needed to duck to get via any doorway. I sweated as a lot as I do in a scorching yoga class, and I believe I received simply as intense a exercise.
It was additionally, nevertheless, completely pleasant. There’s one thing actually nice about not being allowed to say something and being nameless inside a dressing up. My job is often to speak always and be as recognizable as doable, and let me inform you, it’s an actual reduction each on occasion to be instructed I’m not even permitted to speak.
I additionally felt very completed once I managed to kick a subject aim, throw a soccer and run as a fuzzy creature the HOF calls a “fanimal.”
I suppose what I’m making an attempt to say is that the rumors are true — not all heroes put on capes.
4. The HOF is much extra technologically superior than I’m
You already know these films from the ‘90s or early 2000s where the walls are all glass touchscreens and the building knows you’re in it earlier than you’re even there? Like “Minority Report” or no matter? That’s what the Hall of Fame is like.
If you enter, you’re given a badge, and you’ll program that badge to say your identify in addition to the school with which you’d prefer to be affiliated. You undergo the displays scanning your card and the HOF then emails you about all of the stuff you did. Every thing lights up, all the things is a contact display and I couldn’t work out how you can work most of it. Nevertheless it was very spectacular.
5. Colby College is within the HOF
Usually, when somebody within the faculty soccer world asks me the place I went to school, I inform them it’s a small liberal arts college they most likely haven’t heard of and we transfer on. However this time, the individual working on the HOF insisted I elaborate and mentioned that if the school has a four-year soccer program, its helmet is on the wall in the primary foyer. I used to be like, OK, buddy.
Then I looked for Colby College, and there it was, a helmet with a mule on it. (Sure, that’s the precise mascot. A mule.)
The blue and white helmet lit up and glowed. I used to be so proud. I used to be even prouder when the stats on the display introduced that my alma mater has zero gamers and coaches within the HOF. Jokes on them, as a result of we’d not formally be inducted, however I used to be not solely in the constructing right this moment, I used to be contained in the mascot contained in the constructing.
So now, a minimum of we are able to say that one Colby College alum is (was) within the Hall of Fame. A win for football-loving New Englanders in all places.
Charlotte Wilder is a normal columnist and cohost of “The People’s Sports Podcast” for FOX Sports activities. She’s honored to symbolize the always uncared for Boston space in sports activities media, loves speaking to sports activities followers about their emotions and is happiest consuming a hotdog in a ballpark or nachos in a stadium. Observe her on Twitter @TheWilderThings.
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