Hanburger Headlines ‘The NFL Experience’

The bronze bust of recently-inducted Redskins linebacker Chris Hanburger was a  featured display at “The NFL Experience” in Indianapolis this week.

This was the first opportunity for Redskins fans to see his bust up close and in person, outside of its home in Canton, Ohio.

Accompanying the bust, was a list of “The Hitman’s” accolades, including his given name: Christian Hanburger, Jr.  It still amazes me that he was selected 245th overall, which fell in the 18th (of 20 total) rounds of the 1965 draft.

That equates to every team in the league pass over the eventual Hall Of Famer an average of 17 times.  Good thing the Redskins got it right with their 11th overall pick in the 18th round.

If he were selected 245th overall in the 2011 draft, he would have been taken only eight picks before nose tackle Chris Neild, and nine picks before the end of the draft.

Oh, how the times have changed.

Also in the exhibit, there was a picture of head coach Joe Gibbs and his three Lombardi Trophies (via @Brianjh):

Nearby, was a display of all 45 previous Super Bowl rings.  In chronological order, here are three pieces of the Gibbs family jewelry collection:

The pictures of the rings were on two walls that spread out like wings from a display case of a replica Lombardi Trophy.  Behind the trophy, was a centerpiece picture of another familiar Redskins Hall Of Famer, with a very eloquent proclamation:

Original Redskins Hog, Russ Grimm, had a particular way with words.  Fortunately for Mrs. Grimm, she never got in between her son and a Super Bowl title, so (to my knowledge), this vow was never tested.

Regardless, the point remains that the only stat in the world that matters is how many championships these players win.

Former Washington quarterback Sonny Jurgensen was given half of a display case, featuring a game-worn jersey from his “brilliant 18-year career,” and a Sonny-themed license plate:

From a long list of historical greats to a modern great, the NFL also featured the locker of Redskins linebacker London Fletcher.

It’s fitting that his locker mate on this imaginary team is Bucs corner Ronde Barber, the other player currently tied with Fletcher for most consecutive games played (224) (via @LFletcher59):

The NFL Experience took over the Indianapolis Convention Center and was one of the highlights of the Super Bowl week. I spent an afternoon wandering the halls, and got a full dose of Redskins nostalgia–a welcome sight in a sea of Patriots, Giants and Colts fans.

Plus, how many people can say they had a chance to be John Beck?  Or is that Malcolm Kelly?

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