Posts Tagged ‘Super Bowl’

This is, of course, the weekend of the Super Bowl. While other business sections might focus on advertisements, the Chicago Tribune takes a hometown angle and talks pigskin — or more accurately cowhides since that’s what footballs are, in fact, made of (Chicago’s in the Super Bowl: Local firms team up to make big game’s football, Feb 2). The footballs are made by Wilson, which is based in Chicago, but the balls are made at a factory in Ohio. The leather, however, all comes from Horween Leather which has processed hides in Chicago for over 100 years.

Here’s a description of just what they do for the leather:

For 24 hours, hides are treated with an acid solution that removes the hair. To make leather used in sporting goods, hides get a first round of tanning in large drums where fats and oils are stripped away and chrome is added to strengthen the material.

Employees then take the “wet blue” hides — named for their pre-dyed tint — and assess quality. Every hide will get another round of tanning, but the process depends on the final product. Football leather emerges with a grippable tackiness — part of the reason Nick Horween is irked when announcers blame flubbed passes on slippery balls.

Bone-colored football leather is dried in an oven on the tannery’s top floor, glued to glass plates to keep it from shrinking. A pebblelike texture — Wilson’s pattern includes tiny W’s — is stamped on with heated steel plates. The leather then is sprayed with dye until it’s that recognizable reddish-brown hue.

The whole article is worth checking out and features a video of the Horween plant.

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I promised Gady that I would post something about the Super Bowl. (I had assumed that Jan wouldn’t know about the game.) I had though of revisiting how pizza parlors prepare for the game since there has been much in the news about the volume of junk Americans will consume while watching the Giants and Pats. Instead, we’re taking a problems of the rich angle. Apparently, an influx of private jets is expected to cause significant delays at the Indianapolis airport (Super Bowl Jet-Setters Face Tarmac Gridlock, Wall Street Journal, Feb 4).

About 1,100 private planes are expected to ferry in corporate chieftains and other bigwigs to see the New York Giants face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. That’s one of the largest fleets of luxury planes in the Super Bowl’s history, flying into one of the smallest cities to ever host the game.

Combined with additional commercial flights, the FAA expects an overall increase in the Indianapolis area of nearly 3,500 arrivals and departures for the festivities. That’s about eight times the uptick in air traffic for a typical Indianapolis 500 car race.

Here the author discusses the problem:

Vodpod videos no longer available. (more…)

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