The Pats may have been sent packing, but every play made in Sunday’s big game will still have a touch of New England in it.
In Brockton, the Super Bowl storylines will go beyond Ray Lewis’s retirement and the Harbaugh brothers’ showdown.
There, it’s all about the game ball. Next
For the past 30 years, Brockton Plastics, now called Creative Extrusion & Technologies, has manufactured the laces that go into every official NFL football.
John and Melissa Hopkins own the manufacturing company. Next
Each ball is made up of four equally sized leather panels cut at Wilson’s Ohio factory.
The panels are cut and stitched together at the factory, with an opening left for inserting its air bladder.
Pictured: a football being laced up at Wilson Sporting Goods' factory in Ohio Next
Once the bladder is in, the opening is hand-laced closed with a 46- to 50-inch strip of material made by Creative Extrusion.
“Every time we watch a football game,” Melissa Hopkins quipped, “we just pray to God that it doesn’t unravel.”
The lace used in every NFL football is still made from the original three-decade-old formula created by Wilson and Brockton Plastics, John Hopkins said.
He is guarded about the exact formula, but said the lace is made from a PVC resin compound and other materials that come together as a single, diminutive pellet. Thousands of those pellets are then heated up until they melt into a pliable substance that can be pushed and shaped through a die.
“It’s like a pasta machine pushing out a piece of pasta,” John Hopkins said. “It looks simple, but there’s a lot of complicated parts to it.” Next
John Hopkins said he still catches himself looking for a good shot of the laces on television.
“They’ll do some up-close shots, especially when the kickers are kicking, they’ll show the laces,” he said. Back to the beginning
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below