The yellowing scrapbook recalls the team’s victories. The white satin jacket with “Marshall” mono-grammed on the back in cursive was once proudly worn by the assistant coach. The posed black-and-white team photos seem frozen in time.
We Are Marshall, running through May 15 at the College Football Hall of Fame, depicts the tragically true tale of the 1970s Marshall football team killed in a plane crash.
“We’ve had people coming out of the exhibit with tears in their eyes,” says Kent Stephens, the Hall of Fame’s archives and collections manager. “It’s a very moving and inspirational story.”
The 58,000-square-foot facility, designed to mimic an actual stadium, shares memories of the game’s greatest players. Each year, new legends are added during a summertime enshrinement festival.
In other parts of the building, football fans can kick a field goal, throw a pass, block a defensive lineman, announce a game, tour the Pantheon, which honors Heisman trophy winners, or walk the Hall of Champi-ons, which recounts the history of football including the infamous flying wedge formation. Born in 1892, the flying wedge linked teammates together, forming a human barrier to protect the ball carrier. Because football players wore little protective gear at the time, and the formation meant that the players were moving at high speeds, the dangerous mass momentum caused many injuries and deaths, and was out-lawed after just two seasons.
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