Where Enshrinement Means More
You’ve watched award shows. The ceremony is reported on television, radio, and newspapers.
It’s a big party.
The great men and women stride to a podium to give thanks and encouragement.
If they have a presenter introducing them, they give a hug, a bro-hug, or handshake. They usually mention people who helped them along the way.
The induction ceremonies are part of sports fans’ must see TV. The only complaints come from those whose guy didn’t get in, didn’t get in with a unanimous vote, or had to wait longer than expected for the honor.
Getting chosen for a hall of fame, any hall of fame, means you played the game better than most. It’s an historical note to a stellar career. People learn about your achievements and the adversity you overcame.
And it lasts forever.
Athletes who make their sport’s hall of fame are finally among peers, the best to ever play. On a national level the greats are household names. Who’s the best basketball player? Football player? The best baseball player? The choices are endless, but there’s enough museum information to back up most opinions.
And that’s what halls of fame are, museums.
If you want to study the best of baseball, go to Cooperstown, New York.
For basketball history fans, it’s Springfield, Massachusetts.
Canton, Ohio is where you worship NFL greats.
The Oregon Sports Hall of Fame is no different than any other museum. Select athletes are nominated, come to the awards ceremony for a speech, and hopefully inspire the audience. Where do sports fans go to review Oregon sports greats and their gear?
To a warehouse in southeast Portland where it’s all packed away. And on the website which reports:
“The Hall of Fame is actively seeking new space in the Portland area, with a plan to re-emerge with a sports-themed restaurant and bar partner, as well as with a broadcast partner, as a reinvented historic, cultural and entertainment destination.”
At their core, museums are educational facilities. They merge information and entertainment for the modern visiter who needs more than a ball and a label. They want info-tainmnet with beers and burgers on the syllabus.
The Lucky Lab in Multnomah is no sports bar, but it feels like one when the Oregon Sports News crew gathers, so the marketing part would work. Oregonsportsnews.com also offers partnership ideas through it’s network that includes Oregonlive, Comcast Sportsnet and KGW NewsChannel 8, among others.
This writer looks forward to a new Oregon Sports Hall of Fame where Steve Prefontaine’s shoes and Dale Murphy’s bat have a new home. Where giant images of Oregon State coaches Dale Thomas and Ralph Miller’s smiles warm the room. Where Isaac and Big Suke could do Primetime on location.
Toward that end, why not appeal to the current super stars of Oregon athletics? Ndamukong Suh knows how to give back. Kevin Love might want to join the effort. They are two men at the top of their game who will be future members of many halls of fame.
Why not recruit them now for their high school and college exploits, and explain how their support during this time in their career will start a new era of The Oregon Sports Hall of Fame?
Neither will choose to stay in their team cities of Detroit or Minneapolis over Portland. Who would? Getting on board the new Oregon Sports Hall of Fame sooner instead of later will cement their true Oregonian legacy.
I know a group of sportswriters and podcasters looking for that special hangout.