“[This is] a little more emotional than I thought it would have been,” said Hall of Famer and Texans Ambassador Ken Houston, staring at his iconic light blue Houston Oilers jersey in an enclosed glass case.
Houston, alongside Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea,
“I think it’s good for the younger crowd that’s still growing up, and even myself, to see how the older guys paved the way for us,” Washington said. “I’m appreciative to take it all in and share this experience with those kids.”
The traveling exhibit is caked with player-worn uniforms, helmets, playbooks and so much more, in hopes of teaching the progression of the game alongside the struggles that key football influencers endured.
“I told [the Pro-Vision Academy students] about how many black players were back there that actually went to black colleges and actually made it, and many of them that should have been playing but didn’t make it because of circumstances,” Bethea said. “It’s amazing how they endured it, fought through it and now they are part of history.”
“It’s been a learning experience for me also,” Joseph said. “There’s been a lot put into [football] to get it to where it is today, and I think everyone involved in sports should see and understand exactly how it started and where it started from, including myself.”
As each group walked from historic station to historic station, the Pro-Vision Academy students had the opportunity to ask any questions they had.
“We were just talking about football,” Demps said. “Talking about paying homage, paying our respects to the players that have come before us and what they’ve done for the game.”
The ‘Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’ exhibit, located at Texas Southern University, is open to the public until April 30th.
“It’s a great feeling to share the history of our background and what it took to get to where we are,” Bethea said.