Diagram of the 1903 football from patent by Jacobs

Did you know the NFL returns this weekend?

Like fans from coast to coast, at The Wright Brothers™ we are ready for some football! We’re ready for the same reasons fans of your favorite team are, and for a few other reasons, too.

Let’s start with professional football’s birthplace: Ohio. Dayton, of course, was home to Wilbur and Orville Wright, who flew the first airplane in 1903. That very same year the Ohio League, the first professional football league, was formed. This league went on to become the American Professional Football Association in 1920, and the National Football League in 1922.

Yes, pro football and flight were born in the same year, and they’ve remained close. Roughly 200 miles from the multiple Wright brothers museums at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, fans can visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. All are remarkable facilities delighting visitors of all ages.

There’s even a language connection between flight and football. Of course there is the “flight” of the ball itself at the opening kickoff. And you also hear about a receiver “soaring” to make a catch, a defender “flying in” to make a tackle, a quarterback “lofting” a pass into the end zone, the time “in the air” or “hang time” on a punt, and players “launching” themselves over obstacles. Last but not least, when a player reaches the end zone it is called by the same name as a plane landing: “Touchdown!” It’s enough to make you wonder if the same words an announcer uses to describe a successful field goal weren’t running through Orville and Wilbur’s minds in 1903 when they completed the first flight: “It’s up… and it’s good!”

These are some of the reasons football is extra special to us. Oh, we also like it when there is a “fly over” right after the National Anthem. Gives us chills. You too?

So get ready, and keep an eye out for us at your next tailgate party. And remember, each week of football season is another chance to Invent yourself.

Related Posts

Subscribe to our email newsletter for updates from The Wright Brothers Store