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Coach, The Footballs Are In

Posted by Andrew Walker on May 25, 2012 – 3:43 pm

Ever wondered exactly how an NFL-model football is manufactured?

That’s what crossed my mind today when, as I exited team headquarters at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va., I saw a recently-shipped stack of Wilson NFL footballs sitting at the front door.

I found an interesting video about this process (see below), but was surprised to find out that the process of making an NFL football really isn’t too complicated.

A few facts, according to the video: The NFL footballs are made at the Wilson Football Factory in the small town of Ada, Ohio — and they’ve been made there for more than 40 years.

The leather Wilson uses to make the football is their own exclusive blend, too.

Here’s how the process breaks down:

– First you butcher the cow and cut the hide down the back.
– Then you cut the hide into four panels and stamp the leather, which presses the logo/wording into the ball in black and gold foil.
– Then the leather is split to get the proper weight.
– The football is then is sewn together, turned inside out manually to get the ends consistent, which is “one of the most stressful jobs in the factory.”
– After the ball is turned inside out, the carcass goes to be laced. The worker inserts the bladder and laces each football up by hand.
– The ball is then molded in 120 pounds of air pressure, which shapes the ball. After about a minute, the air is taken back down to 13 pounds and the mold is re-opened.
– After the ball is measured around both ends and weighed, it is ready to go to the NFL.

Here’s a video (via MediaCabin1) that shows this interesting process:


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2 Responses to “Coach, The Footballs Are In”

  1. By Kevin on May 27, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks for this. I appreciated it. My boys loved it!

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  2. May 26, 2012: Saturday Slop : Josh LeRibeus Compared to Russ Grimm; Vegas Sets Redskins Over-Under for Wins | Hail to the Redskins

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