A high school sports hall of fame? Really?
I see through Youth Sports Parents that a $20 million High School Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is going to be built in Easton, Pa., hometown of ex-heavyweight champ Larry Holmes, who indeed appeared at the Nov. 10 event announcing the National High School Coaches Association’s venture.
If the people behind this think the kids are going to mosey over from the Crayola factory to check out LeBron James’ hall-of-fame plaque or suck down carbon monoxide from the buses going in and out of the attached terminal, they’re, well, wrong. National museums focusing on sub-pro athletes have struggled, most notoriously the College Football Hall of Fame, which announced in September that it is moving to Atlanta in 2011 to see it can outrun the stench of failure in its stints in Kings Mills, Ohio, and South Bend, Ind.
The sub-pro halls of fame that are most successful, aesthetically and on their own attendance terms, are those that reflect the sport as a part of a local or ethnic culture, such as the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. So if this High School Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is going to succeed, it’s going to need some gripping exhibits that really reflect the impact teen sports has had on American culture.
I have some suggestions:
“F*** off, Nerdlinger: The Evolution of Jock Culture in High School”
“Mullets to Buzzcuts to White ‘Fros: Male Soccer Player Hair Through the Years”
“Did I Ever Tell You…: An Animatronic Rendering of Broken-Down Adults’ Old Glory Stories”
“No-Boner Zone: A History of Communal Showering, Naked Wrestling and Other Locker Room Activities that are Totally Not Gay”
“We Try Just as Hard!: A Corner by the Bathroom Devoted to Non-revenue Sports Nobody Cares About”
“Mesh Appeal: A Compendium of High School Football Coach Caps”
“Yeah, I Did Her: A Display of Cheerleader Panties as Apparent Proof of Sexual Conquest”
“Drink, Then Drink Some More, Then Puke Your Face Off: A Wacky Tribute to the Good-Natured Initiation Rites of Teams”
“I Love Title IX: A History of Girls’ Sports”
“Title IX Killed My Dog: Wrestlers Complain About Girls’ Sports Cutting Their Funding”