The concept of "The Game" dinner event, sponsored annually by the Warren Sports Hall of Fame, emerged early in 1999 during a meeting between Judge Don Ford and other committee members. The purpose of this meeting was to develop a system of attracting outstanding sports figures as speakers for luncheons and dinners to be held by the Hall in Warren. In addition, the topic of fundraising for the Hall of Fame was discussed during the meeting.
After some deliberation, it was decided that a dinner event would feature the intense rivalry between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines, and would occur annually shortly before the season-ending contest between the two great juggernauts. Specifically, the Hall of Fame would invite outstanding former gridiron greats from both universities who would share their memories and vignettes of the games in which they were involved, including the friendships that developed between team members from their participation in what has been characterized as the greatest rivalry in college football. This has become the only fundraiser event in support of the activities of the Hall.
The first "The Game" dinner was held at the Packard Music Hall in Warren. Five great former players appeared from each team. It was evident that this resulted in a program which was too lengthy. The itinerary of the event was altered, and the number of guest players was reduced to three from each team, streamlining the evening. These changes caused the attendance for "The Game" to skyrocket to 400 to 500 patrons each year.
"The Game" has had the honor and privilege of having over 60 renowned players such as Howard "Hopalong" Cassidy, Ron Kramer, Randy Gradishar, Elvis Grbac, Dick Schafrath, Jamie Morris, Jim Otis & Butch Woolfolk just to name a few.
Since then, "The Game" has enjoyed outstanding success among Ohio State and Michigan enthusiasts in the Warren area and surrounding communities as well as other college football fans in general. It enjoys the reputation of being the most outstanding sports banquet in Trumbull County. In addition, the funds received from the event has enabled the Hall of Fame to continue to honor the multiple sports legends from our local community.