Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Show Has Super Mementoes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Show Has Super Mementoes

Article excerpt

Byline: Tamara McClaran, Shorelines correspondent

Art and sport come together in the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach's presentation "Making it Super: Selections from the Collection of the late Don Weiss."

Making it Super will open Saturday and run through Feb. 27.

"This exhibit is going to be like nothing else because of Don Weiss," CO-chairwoman/curator Sandy Beers said. "It's a good way to honor Don and Charlene [Weiss], and we are grateful to the Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra Beach for the opportunity to feature his lifetime of achievements. This exhibit is going to be better than anything else."

Weiss, who lived in Ponte Vedra Beach during his retirement until his death in 2003, served as the National Football League's executive director from 1977 to 1994. He was in charge in of operations for every Super Bowl through 2002.

The exhibit showcases the evolution of the Super Bowl through Weiss' personal collection of Super Bowl collectibles, artifacts and memorabilia. It shows how the game has grown from an NFL-AFL Championship game in 1967, which had 30,000 empty seats, into the world's biggest sporting event.

Weiss' wife, Charlene, who still lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, made the opportunity to view the collection possible. She said her husband was passionate about the game.

"During each game, he was up in the control booth," she said. "I can't tell you how many different telephone lines were connected to him."

The exhibit features the Lombardi Trophy, Super Bowl programs and tickets, Super Bowl and AFC Championship rings, autographed game balls, and original autographed lithographs of Super Bowl MVPs. The collection also includes photographs of many other players and personalities, including Pete Rozelle, Vince Lombardi, Jim Steeg, Joe Namath, Bart Starr, Jim Plunkett, Joe Montana and Gayle Sayers. Story boards highlighting artifacts and photographs are being professionally designed for the display.

The exhibit showcases how sport and art have come together over 39 years. Beers says one of her favorites is the story of Oscar Riedener, Tiffany's chief designer, who was commissioned to create the Lombardi Trophy even though he knew little about football. …

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