A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 20, 2018
Long Island Frankfurter (long, thin AFL football)

When the American Football League (AFL) played the National Football League (NFL) in the Super Bowl in the 1960s (before the two leagues merged in 1969), each league would use its own ball on offense. The AFL ball was longer and thinner—more like a dachshund or a hot dog.

Green Bay Packers (of the NFL) coach Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) said of the AFL ball in January 1968:

“It looks like a needle. A Long Island frankfurter. I guess that it would be easier to throw.”

Lombardi’s Packers won Super Bowl II on January 14, 1968, in Miami, Florida, with the score of Green Bay 33, Oakland 14.


Wikipedia: Vince Lombardi
Vincent Thomas Lombardi (June 11, 1913 – September 3, 1970) was an American football player, coach, and executive in the National Football League (NFL). He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls at the conclusion of the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons

Wikipedia: American Football League
The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football league that operated for ten seasons from 1960 until 1969, when it merged with the older National Football League (NFL).

11 January 1968, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Lombardi Feels Packers Little Sluggish, Rusty” (AP), pg. 17, cols. 4-5:
Lombardi said his club had practices some with an AFL football, which will be used when the AFL has the ball on offense.

“It looks like a needle,” said Lombardi, “A Long Island frankfurter. I guess that it would be easier to throw.”

Actually, the AFL ball is a college type ball and is more pointed than the NFL ball. The lacing on the AFL ball is slightly longer.

11 January 1968, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “Vince Headed for Last Roundup: To Stay in Front Office” by Dick Clemente, pg. 48A, col. 2:
He (Vince Lombardi—ed.) said, when asked to compare the more slender AFL football Oakland will use on offense to the fatter NFL ball Green Bay will use on offense, “Theirs is a longer, skinnier thing. It’s like a Long Island frankfurter.”

26 February 1972, The Louisiana Weekly (New Orleans, LA), “Time Out” by Jim Hall, sec. 2, pg. 6, col. 4:
The Super Bowl is one of the few games that is played using two different footballs. The NFL uses a ball that is larger and more rounded. THe AFL’s version is narrower and longer, described once by the late Vince Lombardi as resembling a “Long Island frankfurter.” Each team uses its own ball on offense.

Google Books
Nitschke
By Edward Gruver
Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade Publishing
2002
Pg. 160:
When the Green Bay was on offense, the Packer used the NFL ball “The Duke.” When Kansas City went on offense, the Chiefs used the Spalding J5-V, which was longer and thinner than “The Duke” and was said to be easier to throw.

“Is it easier to intercept too?” Lombardi quipped to reporters before the game, and went on to compare the AFL ball’s shape to “a Long Island frankfurter.”

Lancaster (PA) Online
Change is the the name of the game at annual L-L Football Media Day
ED GRUVER | Sports Writer Aug 12, 2016
(...)
Just one year after switching to a Rawlings ball, the PIAA has gone back to the Wilson ball L-L teams favor for its sleeker, more aerodynamic design. It’s similar to the difference in the old debate between the NFL and AFL footballs. The latter was longer and thinner — “like a Long Island frankfurter,” Packers boss Vince Lombardi once said — than its NFL counterpart and thus more suitable for a pass-oriented league like the AFL.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Sunday, May 20, 2018 • Permalink