Hall of Fame offers chance to meet greats

Published 4:33 pm Friday, July 20, 2007

By Staff
Each year we get a great opportunity to rub elbows with some of football's greatest players.
You don't have to spend an arm and a leg to do it, or travel very far.
You only need to head south to the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.
This weekend, the Class of 2007 will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
As usual, the list of inductees is an impressive one.
Scheduled to be inducted are Bob Anderson (Colorado), Bennie Blades (Miami), Carl Eller (Minnesota), Steve Emtman (Washington), Thomas Everett (Baylor), Tracy Ham (Georgia Southern), Chad Hennings (Air Force) and Chip Kell (Tennessee).
Also set to be inducted are the late Joe Kendall (Kentucky State), Mike Phipps (Purdue), Mike Rozier (Nebraska), Jeff Siemon (Stanford), Frank Sheptock (Bloomsburg University), Bruce Smith (Virginia Tech), Emmitt Smith (Florida), Jessie Tuggle (Valdosta State) and Charlie Ward (Florida State).
Coaches to be inducted are Bobby Bowden (Florida State), Jim Christopherson (Concordia College) and William "Billy" Joe (Florida A&M).
For most of these players, they continued their careers in the National Football League, where they also achieved great success.
This year's class has several players and one coach that stand out above the rest when it comes to name recognition.
Emmitt Smith, the former Florida Gator and NFL's all-time leading rusher will be enshrined. Other notables to be inducted this weekend are Bruce Smith, Eller, Rozier, Phipps, Emtman, Blades and Ward.
From the coaching ranks, no one will want to miss Bowden.
What makes this weekend so special is the access that fans have to these players and coaches.
Today there is a putt-putt tournament in Mishawaka, Ind. that is just $5 and includes a ticket to Saturday's Fan Fest at the Hall of Fame.
The first of two autograph sessions is also tonight. For $40 you can get the autographs of nine players or coaches, including Bowden, Rozier and Ward.
Saturday's Fan Fest is a chance to take in the Hall of Fame parade at 9:30 a.m. and then watch the players and coaches participate in the flag football game at noon.
There is a youth clinic at 1 p.m. and then the second autograph session at 2:30. Among those in the second autograph session are Bruce Smith, Emmitt Smith, Tuggle and Eller.
The parade is free, while the flag football game and youth clinic are included in the price of the Fan Fest ticket.
Tickets for the autograph session went on sale at noon today.
If you are a fan of college football, then the Hall of Fame is the place to be this weekend.