Agriculture plays a big part in football and all sports.

This Sunday is easily one of the biggest days for football. Millions of people tune in to watch the big game every year and this year will be no different as the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots face off in “Super Bowl 52.” Not only is this Sunday a big day for football, it’s also a big day for agriculture.  From the footballs, to the food, to the playing surface, agriculture plays a big part of the game.

The footballs that are used in all NFL games are made in the United States from cow hides. Wilson Company, located in Ohio, is the provider of these footballs. The highest quality cowhides are chosen, sewn together, steamed, and laced specifically. Wilson has 120 employees who produce 4,000 footballs a day by hand. According to NFL rules, every ball that is used in an NFL game must be a Wilson.  

Take a glimpse inside the Wilson factory:

How about all that food you eat before, after or during the big game?  Yep, thank a farmer! The most common food eaten during the game and throughout the day is chicken wings. It’s estimated that more than 1 billion chicken wings were consumed during the 2012 game. That is more than 312 million chickens! Furthermore, it is estimated that 8 million pounds of popcorn, 28 million pounds of potato chips, and 53.5 million pounds of avocados will be consumed. To grow this food for the big game you would need over 222,000 football fields worth of farmland. 

Have you ever wondered about the turf that is used? The turf grass that is used for games like these is carefully grown and cared for over the span of several months. A farmer dedicates his time to perfecting the sod in preparation. The turf has to be in perfect condition and is usually shipped to the stadium from several miles away.  

Here’s a look of the turf grown for the San Fransisco 49ers a few years ago:

Without agriculture and farming, game day would be a very different experience for everyone – players and fans.

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