Texas Connects Us: Big Game Footballs - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Texas Connects Us

Texas Connects Us

Celebrating the people and stories that make Texas unique

Texas Connects Us: Big Game Footballs



    Big Game Football Factory Supplies Balls for High Schools

    Big Game Football Factory supplies nearly 90 percent of all college footballs and the vast majority of Texas high school footballs. They're not just your average footballs, they're custom tailored for quarterbacks and teams.

    (Published Friday, Nov. 17, 2017)

    As the playoffs get underway, high school football teams across Texas are relying on everything they can to give them a competitive edge.

    That doesn't always start with the players and coaches.  Some would argue, the equipment is just as important, especially the footballs

    "I wish you could develop a machine, where you just pull a giant lever and make them, " said Chris Calandro.  "But it's not that easy."

    Calandro started the Big Game Football Factory nearly 25 years ago.

    Watch: Deputy Sees Color for First Time

    [DFW] Watch: Deputy Sees Color for First Time

    A sheriff's deputy in Eureka, California, sees "a different world" after his colleagues and patrol partner of eight years pitched in to purchase enchroma glasses, which allowed him to see color for the first time. Deputy Jeff Dishmon said being colorblind has sometimes been a frustration over the years.

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018)

    His idea was simple. "Talk to the quarterbacks and decide what kind of leather they like, what kind of laces they like, which shape they like," he said.

    Calandro called some of the biggest names in the sporting goods industry.

    "They all told me 'no,'" said Calandro. "One of them sort of poked fun at me a little bit, like 'get out of here Sparky, we don't do that.'"

    So Calandro did it himself. And now?

    "Darn near 90 percent of all college footballs used on the field are made right here and the vast majority of the local high schools across the state, and across the metroplex, use footballs that are made right here," Calandro said.

    He was told it would never work.

    Officer Gives Permanent Home to Injured K9

    [DFW] Officer Gives Permanent Home to Injured K9

    Police Officer Dustin Miles was told his K-9 partner, Alex, was to be used as a tool and not looked at as a pet. But, once he found out Alex was going to need his leg removed after a severe injury, he took the pup as his own - regardless of any setbacks for him in his career.

    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018)

    "I don't know where that guy is who poked fun at me, but I'm thinking about him everyday," Calandro said.

    Calandro isn't just making footballs, he's living out a dream.

    More: Big Game Football Factory

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