Not everyone can tell the
difference between a good football and a bad one.
"Balls that are not
passable, the average fan would say, ‘What's wrong with this?'" said Dan Riegle, site manager at the Wilson Football Factory.
Pam Clark knows what's
wrong. Her keen eyesight has earned her the job as football inspector at the
Wilson Football Factory in Ada, OH. For 36 years, she's the last line of
defense, the person who decides which footballs will play at the Super Bowl and
which ones wind up on collector shelves.
"I like to be perfect,"
she said. "Inspect like they're supposed to be."
But that isn't always easy
to do, considering they still make all the balls by hand. From the sewing to
the stuffing to the lacing - they've got it down to a science.
"People are amazed when
they come here, how all the things go into a making a football," said
There are 150 people working
together, pumping out up to 4,000 balls a day, and all those balls have to go
through Clark. Her days consist of holding footballs, weighing footballs, and
of course, measuring footballs.
"We make sure the
pebble's good, and the tact, because they don't like it when there's no
As you can imagine, Pam is a
real stickler for details. One ball didn't make the cut because of water marks near
"That's my job. I want to make sure all the teams
that get the ball get the best," she said. "I take a lot of pride in it."