Workers at Ohio factory take pride in their important annual rol - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Workers at Ohio factory take pride in their important annual role in the Super Bowl

ADA, OH (WTOL) -

Sunday will mark the 52nd annual Super Bowl in Minneapolis featuring the perennial power of the 21st century, the New England Patriots, and the Philadelphia Eagles, looking to return to glory long ago glory.

In 52 years, the Super Bowl has come from being considered merely an exhibition championship to America's biggest sporting event.

While much has changed since 1966, one thing remains constant. Every NFL ball, from the Hall of Fame exhibition to the Super Bowl, is produced by Wilson at their Ada, Ohio plant. 

"The process is something you have to see to believe," plant manager Dan Riegle said. "Beginning with a slab of cowhide, it's cut and stamped and sewn into the finished product. Like in a game, it takes a team."

Riegle, along with the 130 other workers at the Ada plant, take pride in their work.

In the past week, Wilson produced thousands of Super Bowl 52 balls to be used in the game and for retail use.

Riegle says he plans to retire in the spring, meaning this will be the last time he will have a hand in produce the official NFL balls used for the big game. 

"[I will miss the] people I work with. [They] care about what they do, work hard," Riegle said. "There's a mutual respect for each other. I really respect them. They're the ones that make the balls. I'm gonna miss them."

What makes the team work so hard?

It might be due to their own passion for the game of football and they proudly represent their team at the factory.

Come Sunday, there is little doubt that the 130 workers at Wilson are split on who they want to win. But they will cheer in unison the beautiful piece of work they produce every year for the biggest stage in American sports.

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