The history of the Official Football of the NFL - "The Duke" (from Wilson website)
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.
A Minha "The Duke"
Procurei, procurei ... e consegui uma "The Duke"!
É a bola oficial usada em todos os jogos da NFL, uma modelo F1100, fabricada pela Wilson,
em Ada, Ohio; é feita à mão, em couro, e possui, além do logo "The Duke", o brasão da NFL
e a assinatura do Roger Goodell, comissário da National Football League.