Why is NFL football called the duke?
NFL and Wilson Sporting Goods Co. is said to have the longest partnership in the history of sports. NFL has been using Wilson made footballs since 1941 until the present. And it was right then that NFL called their official game ball The DukeÃ¢â‚¬ in honor of the most iconic and significant personality in the world of American football, Wellington Timothy Mara.
Wellington got his name from the Duke of WellingtonÃ¢â‚¬ which was given to him by his father Tim Mara, who was the founder and administrator of NFL’s team New York Giants. The Giants player then nicknamed the young Wellington The DukeÃ¢â‚¬ after learning its history. And now, the same nickname is used to call the Wilson made football which is also the NFL’s official game ball for 70 years and counting.
It was 1941 when NFL first used to call its game ball as The DukeÃ¢â‚¬. George Halas, who was said to be the most influential leader among the NFL’s ownership, first came with the idea in giving a name for the league’s game ball during the 1941 NFL owners meeting. It is to give credit for the assistance that Tim Mara, Wellington’s father, provided in the arrangement of NFL’s collaboration with Wilson that inspired Halas in naming the ball The DukeÃ¢â‚¬, which was derived after the nickname of Wellington. Since then the DukeÃ¢â‚¬ became a popular name for the football but was stopped in 1969 because of the merging that happened between NFL and AFL. Although both NFL and AFL carried on using Wilson football, the ball that was used during those times were nameless and with a new design. In 2006 however, NFL rebranded its official game ball and called it once again The DukeÃ¢â‚¬ that happened after Wellington Mara died in 2005 at the age of 89.
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