why do nfl footballs say the duke

Grab onto a piece of history with Wilson's official NFL game ball--The Duke--which is dedicated to football legend Wellington Duke Mara. More than just a piece of memorabilia, The Duke is designed with the serious competitor in mind, with genuine hand-sewn, Tanned in Tack leather for superior playability and grip, and 3-ply VPU bladder for maximum durability and air retention. Other features include double lacing, the official NFL seal in gold, and Commissioner Roger Goodell signature stamp. Wellington The Duke Mara passed away in October, 2005 at the age of 89 after dedicating 81 years to the New York Giants as an administrator, owner, and unwavering booster.


In 1940, heeding the advice of influential team owners Tim Mara of the New York Giants and George Halas of the Chicago Bears, the NFL selected Wilson as the league's official football supplier. The following year, Wilson introduced a redesigned football and named it The Duke in honor of Mara's son, Wellington. The Duke stayed in play for nearly three decades until the NFL and AFL merged in 1969. About Wilson At the heart of sports history for almost a century, Wilson has been influential and intimately involved in shaping the games of tennis, golf, baseball, and American football.


As the originator of breakthrough technologies, Wilson has produced legendary classics and earned world-wide legitimacy in each sport it participates in. The world's leading manufacturer of ball sports equipment, Wilson's core sports include tennis, baseball, American football, golf, basketball, softball, badminton, and squash. A division of Helsinki-based Amer Sports, Wilson is headquartered in Chicago.
I thought the question was going to be why is it called the Duke? which is something I have always wondered myself.


I decided to find out anyway. It s a tribute to late Giants owner Wellington Mara. In honor of the late New York Giants owner, Wellington Mara, one of the most beloved and respected figures in professional sports history, the Official Football of the NFL is called The Duke. Wellington Mara, who spent 81 years with the New York Giants and made numerous contributions to the NFL, was named Wellington by his father, Tim Mara, after the Duke of Wellington. He was given the nickname The Duke as a youngster by Giants players.


The NFL first used a ball in honor of Wellington Mara called The Duke in 1941 at the suggestion of George Halas, as Tim Mara (Wellington s father) had helped him arrange for Wilson Sporting Goods Co. to become the league s official supplier of game balls. The Duke ball was used through 1969 but was discontinued prior to the 1970 season, the first to be played post NFL-AFL merger. The NFL and AFL continued using a Wilson football, but with a new design and no official name. In 2006, the NFL returned the name of The Duke to the ball after Mara s passing in October, 2005.

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