It’s that time of year again when I feel drawn to write a little post about Ada, Ohio.
Ada is many things.
It is a palindrome.
It is a village.
It is home to Ohio Northern University where Chris and I met and graduated.
It has a population of just under 6000.
It has a set of train tracks that divides the downtown in two pretty equal halves.
It has the charm of a small town complete with small town festivals complete with the local high school marching band sharing their talents.
It is where my grandparents retired and had a house for many years on Johnson Street just down from the fraternity house where Chris lived.
It has a cemetery where my grandparents and my Daddy are buried.
It has the Wilson Football factory where the footballs that are used for the upcoming Super Bowl are made.
Ada’s claim to fame gets highlighted every year at this time and far be it from me to let this opportunity pass without giving a shout out to the cutters, the stampers, the sewers, the turners, the lacers, the molders, the inspectors and the packagers. Each of these people doing these jobs in this small town factory but their mark on each and every ball that comes down the line.
There is pride in this factory. A lot of pride. Small midwesterner pride that makes that person stand just a little bit taller when his/her job is done and the ball is passed to the next station.
On game day I can imagine that all of the employees of this plant gather around in their homes, in bars or restaurants to watch those balls that they created be put into action. Even if they have no love of either of the teams that make it to the big show down I have to think that each one feels like it is their baby out there being kicked, punted and passed around on that field.
So as you enjoy your nachos and wings on Sunday think about Ada, Ohio and the good people who make the day just a little bit better.
Thank you, good people of Ada, for your continued love of the game and dedication to making those balls be perfect.