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2021 PFRA CONVENTION
June 24-27, 2021
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Canton, Ohio

2021 PFRA Convention - Canton

Join us to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Football League.

Watch this space for details about events, guest speakers and hotel accommodations.



Convention 2021



If you already made and paid for reservations for the 2020 Convention or any of the add on activities we have held your reservations/payments and applied them to the new 2021 dates outlined below.

If you need to cancel your Convention/add on reservations because the new dates do not work for you please contact Convention organizer George Bozeka at sundaygolfer48@aol.com and your payments will be reimbursed.

If you have already booked with the Hyatt Place for the 2020 dates, the Hyatt has automatically rebooked your reservations to the parallel 2021 dates and new confirmation numbers have been sent to you.

If you are unable to make the new dates you can cancel your rebooked Hyatt reservations with no penalty up to 48 hours prior to your new 2021 arrival date.






The PFRA has decided to move forward with its 2021 Convention. All Convention venues are following current COVID 19 protocols and precautions including social distancing, sanitization, and masks.



Itinerary



The 2021 PFRA Convention will be held in Canton, Ohio in the Gold Jacket Lounge at the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the weekend of June 24-27, 2021. As we have done in the past, the Convention sessions will take place during the evening of Friday June 25 and all day Saturday June 26 with add-on activities on Thursday June 24 and Sunday June 27. The theme of the 2021 Convention will be the Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the NFL. The fee for the convention will be $50 for members and member spouses and $100 for non-members. The fee includes admission to the Convention, tour admission into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Museum (including the Hall of Fame Gallery, the “A Game for Life” Theater, the Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery, the Super Bowl Theater, the Pro Football Today Gallery, The NFL’s First Century Gallery, and the Interactive Area), meals on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, and free parking. A Convention logo t-shirt will also be available for an additional fee. To register for the Convention click on the 2021 PFRA Convention link on the PFRA website homepage and then use the PayPal link on the 2021 PFRA Convention page. The Convention logo T-shirts will be available for purchase at a later date.

Our host hotel will be the Hyatt Place Canton, located at 5421 Whipple Ave NW, Canton, Ohio 44720. The Hyatt Place Canton will charge PFRA a special group discount rate of $108 per night for their standard rooms (1 King or 2 Queen beds for up to 4 people). Hotel amenities include parking, a free breakfast buffet, a coffee and cocktail bar, an on-site restaurant, a snack bar, a microwave in the lobby, free Wi-Fi, a pool, a spa, a business center, and a fitness center. The hotel is located in a large retail area and is approximately 10-15 minutes from both the Akron-Canton Airport and PFHOF. The Hyatt Place Canton also has a free airport shuttle available from/to the Akron-Canton Airport and can schedule a shuttle to the PFHOF if necessary for an additional cost. To book the Hyatt Place Canton at the special group discount rate go to the following link Hyatt Place Canton , click on Book Now, and enter the Convention dates for which you wish to book rooms or simply call the hotel at 1-330-244-1700 Ext 0 and tell the front desk the dates and the group name (The Pro Football Researchers Association). There is a 48 hour cancellation policy. May 24, 2021 is the cut-off date for the special group discount rate.

If you already made and paid for reservations for the 2020 Convention or any of the add on activities we have held your reservations/payments and applied them to the new 2021 dates.

If you need to cancel your Convention/add on reservations because the new dates do not work for you please contact Convention organizer George Bozeka at sundaygolfer48@aol.com and your payments will be reimbursed.

If you have already booked with the Hyatt Place for the 2020 dates, the Hyatt has automatically rebooked your reservations to the parallel 2021 dates and new confirmation numbers have been sent to you.

If you are unable to make the new dates you can cancel your rebooked Hyatt reservations with no penalty up to 48 hours prior to your new 2021 arrival date.

The Convention itinerary will include our usual mix of speakers and tours. PFRA members Jeffrey Miller, John Steffenhagen, Joe Ziemba, John Maxymuk, Roy Sye, Lee Elder, Randy Snow, and Gregg Ficery have confirmed to speak at the Convention. Additional speakers will be added. Jeff, John Steffenhagen, and Joe will participate in a panel discussion about the Founding of the NFL and the original teams.

Jeff’s books include Pop Warner: A Life on the Gridiron, 100 Things Bills Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, Game Changers: The Greatest Plays in Buffalo Bills Football History, Rockin' the Rockpile: The Buffalo Bills of the American Football League, and Buffalo's Forgotten Champions: The Story of Buffalo's First Professional Football Team and the Lost 1921 Title. He was the 2004 recipient of the PFRA's Ralph E. Hay Award, presented for "Lifetime Achievement in Professional Football Research and Historiography."

John is the great grandson of former Rochester Jeffersons’ player, coach, owner and manager Leo Lyons and is the creator of rochesterjeffersons.org, a website that chronicles the history of the team. Leo was also present at the 1920 meeting in Ralph Hay’s Hupmobile showroom in Canton that founded the NFL.

Joe is the author of When Football Was Football: The Chicago Cardinals and the Birth of the NFL (1999 Nelson Ross Award by the Professional Football Researchers Association for recent Achievement in Football Research and Historiography).

John Maxymuk will make a presentation about Pro Football Hall of Fame player and coach Guy Chamberlin. Chamberlin is profiled in John’s recent book Pioneer Coaches of the NFL. John is the author of numerous books on professional football history. In 2017, he was awarded the PFRA’s Ralph E. Hay Award for “Lifetime Achievement in Professional Football Research and Historiography.

Roy, Lee, Randy, and Gregg Ficery will participate in a panel discussion about the Pre-NFL History of Pro Football. Roy is Vice President of the PFRA and Chair of the PFRA’s Pre-NFL Committee. Lee is a former Secretary and Board member of the PFRA. Randy runs his own website theworldoffootball.com. Gregg is the author of the upcoming book Gridiron Legacy: Pro Football’s Missing Origin Story. He will share research he has conducted regarding the early years of pro football and his great grandfather Bob Shiring who played for the Massillon Tigers of the Ohio League from 1903-1907.

New Speaker Added: PFRA Executive Director Mark L. Ford will participate in the Founding of the NFL/Original Teams Panel Discussion on Friday evening. Mark is the author of A History of NFL Preseason and Exhibition Games 1960-1985 and A History of NFL Preseason and Exhibition Games 1986-2013, and has been a recipient of both the PFRA’s Ralph Hay Award (2016) and Nelson Ross Award (2003).

New Speaker Added: Former Pro Football Hall of Fame Executive Director Joe Horrigan has agree to make a presentation on Saturday morning. Joe, one of the original founders of the PFRA, was the recipient of the PFRA’s Ralph Hay Award in 1991. Joe is also the author of NFL Century: The One-Hundred-Year Rise of America’s Greatest Sports League.

New Event Added: Three former NFL players have agreed to participate in our NFL Player Panel Discussion on Saturday afternoon: Mark Miller, Roger Duffy, and Bob Vogel.

New Speaker Added: Mark Miller was a quarterback for head coach Sam Rutigliano and the Cleveland Browns from 1978-1979.

New Speaker Added: Roger Duffy was an offensive lineman for the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers from 1990-2001. At different points in his career he played for head coaches Pete Carroll, Bill Parcels, and Bill Cowher.

New Speaker Added: Bob Vogel was an offensive lineman with the Baltimore Colts from 1963-1972. He was a 5-time Pro Bowler, played for head coaches Don Shula, Don McCafferty, and John Sandusky, and played in Super Bowls III and V.

New Event Added: PFRA member Neal Golden has agreed to host PFRA Quiz Bowl II on Saturday afternoon.

Please stay tuned to The Coffin Corner, PFRA Website, and PFRA Forum for additional details and announcements. If you have any questions regarding the Convention or hotel reservations please contact Convention Organizer George Bozeka by email at sundaygolfer48@aol.com, or by phone at 330-867-1950 or 330-571-0112.

Three add on activities have been added to the schedule, one for early arrivals on Thursday afternoon, one on Friday afternoon and one on Sunday morning.

The Thursday June 24 add on activity for early arrivals is a tour of the Paul Brown Museum in Massillon from 2:30- 4:00. Massillon is 20 minutes to the west of Canton. There is no charge for the tour. After the tour we will visit Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon and view the Paul Brown statue and Ohio historical marker at the entrance to the stadium. Special exhibits tentatively scheduled at the Paul Brown Museum during our visit include "Massillon's Pro and Semi-Pro Teams," "Play Like a Girl: From Gym Class to Title IX," and the “Paul Brown & Tigers Timeline.” Deadline for reservations for the Thursday add on is June 18. To make reservations for the Thursday add on, please contact Convention Organizer George Bozeka at sundaygolfer48@aol.com, 330-571-0112 or 330-867-1950. Also, if you have any questions contact George.

The Friday June 25 afternoon add on is a pre-Convention luncheon from 12:00-2:00 at historic Bender’s Tavern in downtown Canton. Established in 1902, Bender’s played a key role in the early days of pro football and the founding of the NFL. According to the Bender’s website…”As many regulars to the restaurant will tell you, the first organizational meeting for what later became the NFL was held in Canton, Ohio, at the Jordan and Hupmobile automobile showroom in 1920. Meetings to persuade the NFL to locate the Hall of Fame in Canton also took place in Canton (1962)…What the history books won’t tell you is where those meetings carried on at…Bender’s Tavern. There was a room in the upstairs part of the restaurant that served for a great meeting and drinking spot. In the early days, Jim Thorpe was known to frequent the bar at Bender’s. Like many business deals and great ideas throughout the century in Canton, Bender’s served as one of the great places to meet. If only we were there to hear those conversations!”

The luncheon will be held in the Hall of Fame Room at Bender’s. Cost of the luncheon is $22 per person and includes your choice of the following entrees:

Chef Salad - Julienne ham, turkey, swiss & cheddar cheese, tomato, egg, choice of dressing.

New Yorker Wrap w/ Chips - Corned beef, turkey, swiss, coleslaw & French dressing on a tomato wrap.

Linguini w/ Portabella, Thyme & Sherry Cream - Small mixed greens salad.

Fresh Boston Scrod ala Foley - Roasted red skin potatoes & coleslaw.

Chicken Marsala - Mashed potatoes & sweet peas.

Sliced Marinated Sirloin - Roasted red skin potatoes & green beans.

Dessert: Jerry's Famous Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Sundae.

All-inclusive price includes bread service, coffee, tea & soda service, tax & gratuity. Alcoholic beverages are extra.

UPDATE: Jason Aikens, Pro Football Hall of Fame Curator, has agreed to be the guest speaker at our Friday afternoon Bender’s Luncheon add on. Jason is replacing Jon Kendle, who had a conflict develop on his schedule. Jon will still be conducting the Sunday add on Behind the Scenes Tour of the Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center.



Following the luncheon, participants will take a walking tour of the recently opened Centennial Plaza and completed pieces in The Eleven, a $2.2 million multi-year project of ArtsinStark and The Pro Football Hall of Fame which celebrates the greatest moments in professional football history with a walkable series of 11 pieces of world-class art throughout downtown Canton, including the site of the founding of the NFL. Reservations for the Friday add on will be limited to 50, first come, first served. Make your reservations and luncheon selections at the Convention link on the PFRA website. Deadline for reservations is June 10. Also, if you have any questions, contact George Bozeka at sundaygolfer48@aol.com, 330-571-0112, or 330-867-1950.

The Sunday June 27 morning add on is a Behind the Scenes Tour of the Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center at the Pro Football Hall of Fame from 10:00-12:30. Jon Kendle will conduct the tour, and there is no fee for the tour. Reservations will be limited to 25, first come, first served. The deadline for reservations is June 18. To make reservations for the Sunday add on, please contact Convention Organizer George Bozeka at sundaygolfer48@aol.com, 330-571-0112 or 330-867-1950. Also, if you have any questions contact George.



Please stay tuned to The Coffin Corner, PFRA Website, and PFRA Forum for additional details and announcements. If you have any questions regarding the Convention or hotel reservations please contact Convention Organizer George Bozeka by email at sundaygolfer48@aol.com, or by phone at 330-867-1950 or 330-571-0112.



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