Feb 2, 2018

Football Facts

The big game is coming this Sunday, so I decided to look up a few facts about football.

The NFL League Office, is tax exempt and is classified as a trade organization whose primary purpose is to “further the industry or profession it represents.” This began in 1942 when the NFL filed an application for tax-exempt, non-profit status with the IRS. The application was accepted and it has been tax-exempt ever since.

In recent years, about 110 million people watch the Super Bowl. An estimated 98% of those viewers are from North America, mostly from the United States.

Since 1955, the official NFL footballs have been made at the Wilson factory in Ada, Ohio. Each football is handmade from cowhide sourced from Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. The hides are tanned in Ada with a “top secret football-weather-optimizing tanning recipe.” An average 130 people working at the factory produce nearly 4,000 footballs every day. Each football is made up of four pieces and a synthetic bladder, and each cowhide can usually make up to ten footballs (or hand eggs).


During 1951, the first year of night Football, footballs were white with two black stripes so that players and spectators could easily see the ball in the dark. Advancements in stadium lighting were made, making the white ball unnecessary, and by 1956 they were officially replaced with the standard brown football we have today.

The official nickname of the football used by the NFL is “The Duke,” after Wellington Mara. Mara, who was named after the Duke of Wellington, was the co-owner of the New York Giants and the son of the founder of the Giants. The nickname was used between 1941 and 1969. It fell out of use in 1970 when the AFL and NFL merged, but bounced back into play in 2006, a year after Mara’s death.