ADA, OHIO (WTOL) - At the Wilson Sporting Goods' factory in Ada, Ohio, about 80 people are responsible for the footballs, including two individuals whose relationship started at the factory more than three decades ago.
Call it a match made in football heaven.
Donna and Mark Conley play key roles in the production of each of those footballs.
They have their hands on hundreds of them a day. The amazing thing is, they’ve each had this job for more than 30 years.
Most of those years have been spent at workstations right across from one another.
Among the dozens of employees, hundreds of machines and about thousands of footballs, you’ll find Mark and Donna Conley, hard at work.
“I always joke with them as I go by. Is one giving one a hard time versus the other, you know," said Andy Wentling, the plant manager.
Mark and Donna formed a relationship at the station in the late 1980′s. The story of how they fell in love is simple, but memorable nonetheless.
“We met washing the autographed footballs and it just went on from there," said Donna.
The plant that manufactures every last Super Bowl football tends to get its own special spotlight around this time of year, but it isn’t lost on Mark or Donna. Neither is the rare idea of working across from a loved one.
“It’s just natural. I mean, we’ve done it for 32 years so it’s nothing strange," said Mark.
“People who have worked here for 30 or 40 years, it tells you something. The commitment and loyalty and pride and passion that we have," added Andy.
Admittedly, working with your spouse can have its challenges, but the love of the game, will never supersede the love of one another.
“We talk, but once we leave out of here, we don’t discuss the shop.”