A former NFL quarterback says he’s been told by current NFL quarterbacks that the balls featuring a breast cancer awareness logo that the NFL is using this month are slippery and difficult to grip. But the NFL says the balls are the same as the ones used the rest of the year.
Tim Hasselbeck, who bounced around the league with several teams from 2001 to 2007, said today on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning that as he was watching Monday night’s Vikings-Jets game, he could see that the combination of the breast cancer awareness footballs and the rain was affecting the game.
“No one’s talking about this,” Hasselbeck said. “They’re playing with these breast cancer awareness balls. These balls are brand new, right out of the bag. Now they get slick — I texted a couple quarterbacks during the game. They all said, ‘These balls have been a disaster.’ So I think that’s something to note.”
The NFL, however, says it’s simply not true that the breast cancer awareness logos have affected the quality of the balls.
“They are not different,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT via e-mail.
The small pink ribbon on the ball doesn’t look like it would have much of an effect on the way players grip the ball. But the quarterbacks talking to Hasselbeck apparently think that ribbon makes a big difference.