View Full Version : The Duke Anyone Know?

05-13-2006, 08:56 PM
Hello guys and gals. In the 1950's and up and until 1969, the NFL used "The Duke" footballs. The official game ball had "Thorp Sporting Goods" on one of the panels. Anyone out there know the history behind "Thorp Sporting Goods" and why it was applied to the NFL footballs?


05-13-2006, 10:07 PM
No answer to your question, but the NFL is putting "Duke" back on the ball this year. Anyone know if this is a permanent change or just a one year deal?

'The Duke' football salutes Wellington
Newsday Staff Correspondent
March 28, 2006

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The NFL will honor the memory of Giants co-owner Wellington Mara by bringing back the football named for him. "The Duke" will be written on all game-day footballs, as it was from 1941-69.
Mara, who died last October at 89 after a long battle with cancer, was named after the Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815.
The late George Halas, the Bears' former coach and owner, made the original suggestion to call the ball "The Duke." The idea of bringing back the name was brought up by outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who was a close friend and confidant of Mara.
"My mother and our family are grateful to commissioner Tagliabue and the rest of the league for the return to 'The Duke' football," said John Mara, the oldest of Wellington Mara's 11 children and his successor as the Giants' president.
"My father treasured his association with the game. He loved his relationships with the players, the coaches, the scouts, the equipment people, the trainers, all the people who make our game possible. 'The Duke' football is a fitting acknowledgement of those relationships and my father's devotion to our league and our sport."
"The Duke" ball was discontinued prior to the 1970 season, the first year of the NFL-AFL merger.
"I got my first 'Duke' football when I was nine years old from the great Steve Van Buren at the Eagles' training camp in my hometown of Hershey, Pa.," Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi said.
"Now it's back. I can think of no tribute that would have pleased Wellington Mara more, because what Mr. Mara was most passionate about was the game and the playing of the game on the field."

05-14-2006, 08:07 AM
Hi, it's my understanding that ithe change back to "The Duke" will be a permanent one. Thanx so much for the update. By the way, check out eBay item 8809473260.

Thanx again