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NFL Official Ball


bifford64

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I was at the Pro Football Hall of Fame the other day and was in their store. I was looking at the Official game ball. Now, I know the ball was renamed "The Duke" for this year. The ball I saw was "The Duke" but it had Tagliabue's signature on it. Was there a timing issue for manufacturing these balls and when Roger Goddell was named Commish?

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The NFL game ball was known as "The Duke" from 1941-69. The league first named the gameday ball "The Duke" in 1941 to honor New York Giants owner Tim Mara at the suggestion of Chicago Bears owner George Halas, who with Mara, helped to arrange for Wilson to become the league's official supplier of game balls. Use of "The Duke" was discontinued prior to the 1970 season, but last season (2005-06), the NFL brought it back after the death of Mara's son, Wellington, who took ownership of the Giants after his father's passing. Wellington Mara spent 81 seasons with the Giants, and is known as one of the NFL's most influential figures, thanks to several contributions to his franchise and the league. His father, Tim, named him "Wellington" after the Duke of Wellington. Wellington Mara was later given the nickname "The Duke" as a youngster by Giants players.

In reference to Paul Tagliabue's signature on existing "The Duke" game balls, every team in the NFL donated the balls to Football USA, a youth football program which works in conjunction with the NFL to promote the game of football. Teams receives 840 game balls per year, and must purchase more if they desire/need.

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I was at the Pro Football Hall of Fame the other day and was in their store. I was looking at the Official game ball. Now, I know the ball was renamed "The Duke" for this year. The ball I saw was "The Duke" but it had Tagliabue's signature on it. Was there a timing issue for manufacturing these balls and when Roger Goddell was named Commish?

I think they used "The Duke" balls with Tagliabue's signature on it for the pre-season games since he was still commish at that point.

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