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The Past Comes To Life

Cardinals when the two leagues were still feuding for a then unheard of $400,000? 

There was former Cowboys defensive lineman Chad Henning's helmet he wore in the final game of his career in 2000, encased with a small American flag, pointing out he was the only NFL player to have served in the Gulf War, flying 45 missions over Northern Iraq. 

For sure, they have videos. Saw Tony Dorsett's 99-yard record run. Highlights of Bart Starr and Ray Nitschke. Aikman and Wright. 

There was this bench from Lambeau Field, the one from the last time Lombardi coached a game in there, which just happened to be - sorry - Dec. 31, 1967, something called the "Ice Bowl" I do believe. 

There is a Super Bowl display, with the box scores of all the games, and poster-sized tickets hanging from the ceiling. Incredibly, the ticket to what was then the AFL-NFL World Championship cost $10. Price went all the way up to $20 for Super Bowl IX. Went to like $75 for the first one I ever bought a ticket for, Super Bowl XX. Skyrocketed to $350 for the last ticket I bought, which would have been for family at Super Bowl XXX. 

And one of the coolest of all these cool historical mementoes, was this huge picture, maybe like 20 feet wide of the teams lined up before the snap in Super Bowl XXVII as night was falling in the Rose Bowl, with the scoreboard glowing, Cowboys 31, Bills 10, with still 8:12 to play in the third quarter. 

Had the nerve to look for myself in the auxiliary press seating down to the far right of the stadium. No luck. 

And I'll be darned, as I was going through the darkened room with all the Hall of Fame member busts, checking out Tom Landry and Tex Schramm, along with Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Randy White, Bob Lilly and Mel Renfro - and the two empty shelves awaiting Aikman and Wright - there was the same dad with his son again. 

This time dad was pointing to the bust of tight end Jackie Smith, who made his name with the St. Louis Cardinals, but finished out his career in Dallas. And as I was passing by, I saw him pointing to Smith's bronze bust, saying, "And he was wide open in the end zone and just dropped the ball." His barely teenaged son was all ears. 

Great stuff. Great memories. Great stories. 

The Hall of Fame breathing life into what could have been a forgotten past.                                                                                

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