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Unveiling of Gridiron Glory exhibit draws pro-athlete alums

| Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
Franco Harris, Nadine Bognar and Dana Harris during Black Tie Tailgate - Celebrating Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Exhibit at the Heinz History Center on Thursday, October 4, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Andy Masich with Amanda Shinholse, Meg Fulton and Vicky Mahoney during Black Tie Tailgate - Celebrating Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Exhibit at the Heinz History Center on Thursday, October 4, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Barbara and Bruce Wiegand during Black Tie Tailgate - Celebrating Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Exhibit at the Heinz History Center on Thursday, October 4, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Joe Horrigan, Stephen Perry and Saleem Choudhry during Black Tie Tailgate - Celebrating Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Exhibit at the Heinz History Center on Thursday, October 4, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Donna Weber during Black Tie Tailgate - Celebrating Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Exhibit at the Heinz History Center on Thursday, October 4, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Jerry and Wanda MacCleary during Black Tie Tailgate - Celebrating Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Exhibit at the Heinz History Center on Thursday, October 4, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review
Dok Harris and Alexis Wukich during Black Tie Tailgate - Celebrating Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Exhibit at the Heinz History Center on Thursday, October 4, 2012. Mike Mancini | For the Tribune Review

I love this! I could stay here all day,” commented Ron McCreary as he intently watched an archive video of NFL footage in all of its black-and-white glory.

What could quite possibly be described as the ultimate man cave, the Senator John Heinz History Center, last week unveiled Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The museum rolled out the red carpet on Thursday for a roster of pro-athlete alums, including L.C. Greenwood, Frenchy Fuqua, Mike Wagner, Tony Dorsett, Lydell Mitchell, and Herb Douglas (the oldest living black Olympian).

As if that weren't enough to put more than 200 VIPs over the edge, the evening celebrated the 120th anniversary of pro football, the 80th Pittsburgh Steelers season, the 50th year of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the 40th year of the Immaculate Reception.

“It's been a good 40 years,” offered Franco Harris.

Co-chaired by his wife, Dana, and Nadine Bognar, the exhibit enjoyed its debut as the first stop on a national tour, showcasing a jaw-dropping display of 200 carefully chosen goodies from the Hall of Fame as well as clips from the NFL Films archives that the HHC's Brady Smith accurately described as “Disneyland for adults.”

“I think this is fantastic,” offered Hall of Fame prez Stephen Perry. “We love it, because it's a way we can bring a piece of the Hall of Fame to people to give them a taste of what they can see in Canton.”

Making the rounds were HHC prez Andy andDebbie Masich, board prez Bob Cindrich, Bruce and Barbara Wiegand, Art Rooney Jr., Art Rooney II, John andVirginia DiPucci, Jerry and Wanda MacCleary,Dok Harris and Alexis Wukich, Jackie Dixon and Dino DePaulo.

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