Mom and daughter get first look at Hall of Fame

by Bradley Hartsell

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The helmet collection is a big draw at the newly opened College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in downtown Atlanta. 


Kim Coggin of Newnan recently wrote a 250-word essay on her passion for college football and submitted it for a contest.

She wrote the essay, sent it off and thought no more about it – until she got an email announcing her as one of the winners, earning her the chance to attend the new College Football Hall of Fame’s Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in downtown Atlanta. The 100 winners of the essay contest were selected to be the first to enjoy the museum of college football. The winners were allowed to invite a guest so Coggin took her daughter, Lauren, an equally obsessed college football fan.

Together, they got a full 12-hour treatment, including an overnight stay at the modern, interactive museum. Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy even joined the guests throughout their 12-hour tour. The guests were supposed to feel special, and, according to Coggin, the College Football Hall of Fame delivered.

“All of us that were winners, we all got Home Depot gift cards and two tickets to the Chick-fil-A kickoff classic between Ole Miss and Boise State,” said Coggin. “And we got all kinds of gifts. And we all got free Chick-fil-A for a year.”

In addition to the warm welcome the Hall showed its first 100 guests, Coggin raved about how terrific the fan experience was in the interactive museum. Visitors were given interactive badges that could be read electronically so that all the interactive stations could call guests by name, know their favorite team, and provide interesting tidbits and videos about the teams.

There was even an announcing station where a key play by the viewer’s favorite team was played, except the announcer’s voiceover was removed in order to allow the guest to record their own commentary. Lauren Coggin, who, like her mom, is a “huge” Auburn, pulled up last year’s “kick six” game-winner against Alabama and provided her own commentary. “It was awesome, they did an awesome job, and the College Football Hall of Fame is beautiful,” Coggin said.

The Hall of Fame was previously in South Bend, IN, before closing in 2012 in preparation for the move to Atlanta. Construction on the new building began in January 2013 and was opened ahead of schedule, according to AL.com. The building is three stories high and more than 94,000 square feet, fully equipped to entertain college football fans with a celebration of the sport’s rich history. As Auburn fans, the Coggins say they couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

“I was in high school in the ‘80s when Bo Jackson was there, and I started watching and I’ve stuck with them every since. I love football. I’m always involved with it,” the elder Coggin said.

“I’m an only child and I’m a girl, but I have always loved football,” she joked. “My daughter has always watched football, and my son and husband played football. While they like it, as far as being fanatical, it’s me and my daughter. In fact, my daughter had to get what they call ‘Bo Jackson’ surgery – a certain type of hip replacement – and she thought that was so awesome.”



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