Anatomy of a Football

  1. Leather Carcass. The leather carcass is the part of the football that lasts the longest. the leather will last seemingly forever.
Unbladdered football

2) Polyurethane Bladder. The bladder is the interior of the football. The bladder has the shortest lifespan of the various parts of the football. Bladders wear out from pounding on the football (kickers/punters), general wear and tear, and age. I replaced bladders in several footballs from the 1980’s, and when I opened the footballs, the bladders had disintegrated into shreds.

Deflated Bladder
Inflated Bladder

3) The Laces. The laces close the leather over the bladder. They also provide a grip to throw or snap the ball. Laces are made from a PVC based plastic. Some laces are ”pebbled” for a better grip. Laces tend to last much longer than the bladder, but usually not quite as long as the leather.

Worn Laces
New Laces

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