I can’t remember a year in my life when football didn’t play a major role. As a young kid, I was brought up to root for my family’s college team. Later, as a pre-teen, I’d play two-hand-touch football in the street in front of my house until it got too dark to see the ball. One very unsuccessful year of playing ball in high school and then it was off to college to root for my own team. Later in life, I’d even return to the sport as a high school football referee for 10 years, helping a new generation of players to find their connection to the game.
To this day, I can’t see a football without all those memories racing back through my head as if the streetlights in front of my childhood home were perpetually illuminated. Find your love of the game again with one of these footballs.
Any given Sunday
Nicknamed “The Duke” after the late New York Giants owner Wellington “Duke” Mara, this Wilson ball features NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s signature. It has a leather cover, three-ply bladder, and double lacing for added strength.
Raise the flag
It’s almost too pretty to get dirty, right? This youth-sized football is available for every NFL franchise – even the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets. It offers five times the grip of most other youth-sized footballs. Bring it to the tailgate party or let the kids have fun in the backyard.
Easy to catch and throw
Let your kids dream of taking the field every Saturday afternoon to the sounds of a crazy college crowd and the tunes of a marching band with this NCAA-branded composite ball. The composite cover will keep it fresh season after season.
Okay, so nobody is going to confuse the Grip-Rite 100 for an “official” football. But this option still has the characteristics of a great football, including pro-style raised rubber laces and a waterproof covering that will endure year after year. We still love it for tailgating and backyard pick-up games. Remember – football is still a game!
Buy: Grip-Rite 100
For any day
Save the pigskin balls for the big time. This ball is so bright, you ought to wear shades when throwing it around. It’s perfect for a day at the beach, lake, or park, and its bright design will make it easy to find when you accidentally chuck it into the woods. It has a special grip pattern so you can throw spirals to your heart’s content.
Be true to your school
The Wilson GST is the perfect ball to grip – especially in wet game conditions. Its pebbled surface provides nearly double the grip of competing footballs. When you see your local high school teams battling it out on Friday nights, chances are this is the ball they’re using.
Buy: Wilson GST Football
Steve Spears is editor of Florida Travel & Life, an online brand that inspires active, affluent travelers, providing them with insider information on discovering the best of Florida. Informative and engaging, the website showcases travel destinations, arts and cultural venues, vibrant dining scenes, recreational activities, the great outdoors and the revitalized real-estate market. He is based in Orlando and counts St. Augustine, Key West and the Gulf Beaches among his favorite destinations in the state.