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Ranking The 8 Best Footballs To Play Backyard Football With

It's been a beautiful week here in Indianapolis. Mid 70's, cloudy skies, it's the perfect weather to make you go find a football in the garage and toss it around the backyard with some friends. Unfortunately all of my friends are either out of shape or have a kid on the way. I got friends having kids at the age of 23! Shit's wild. Anyways, after finding this very rare NFL Street ball that I've kept in my Mom's garage for years, it made me think of all the footballs I've played with during recess, at school parking lots, and all of my neighbors backyards. Without further ado, here are my rankings of the Top 8 best footballs designed for backyard football.

8. Franklin Grip Rite 100

I hate this football so much. It's just a safety hazard to people like me who have small hands and bad eye coordination. Of course the Franklin Grip Rite has grip like none other, but it feels like a dodgeball was morphed into a football and you're objective as the QB is to drill a defensive player in the face. This juggernaut has always been one of my biggest fears and I have no intentions in concurring it. I'd rather catch a ball 40 MPH from a Jugs machine than play with the Grip Rite. 

7. The Foam Football

The most boring looking football ever created, but surprisingly not the worst. When it comes to launching rockets at my friends' skulls, this is my favorite football to use. Very soft, a last resort choice when it comes to tossing something around, but is a terrible ball to use if you are in the pool. If this thing falls in the water, you have to squeeze the hell out of it to soak the water before throwing it back. If you own a dog, this ball is 100% getting chewed through. Not the best but not the worst.

6. The Nerf Vortex

The torpedo! I don't think there was a football you could throw farther without even trying than the vortex. You could sling this puppy into another area code and could line up your Mom's flower pots and have a little target practice in the house. This shit was so fun to throw. If I have a deformed kid, this is going to be the first thing he/she will hold. 

5. Nike Vapor Brown


I always thought the Nike Vapor Brown was underappreciated. I think it's as good as an NCAA ball but I rarely knew anyone who owned this ball. The only time I'd see this ball being tossed around was when I worked at Dicks Sporting Goods and 4-5 kids would walk in and go straight to the football pile to pick one of these up and start creating chaos. This did not only make my job harder, but it also made me want to launch a Vapor Brown in between their eyes. As the kids say these days, this ball gives me "bad vibes" even though there's nothing wrong with it. 

4. NFL Wilson Ball

I have to be honest, the NFL Wilson might be the most overrated football ever. Think about it. People like you and me weren't built for the league. Why should we use a ball designed for freak athletes when our friends are the size of a junior varsity quarterback? My friend's don't have Megatron hands, we don't have an Aaron Rodgers arm, this ball is too much for us! It's a great ball to have an NFL player sign after training camp. It's just not a fun ball to play backyard football with. But hey, if you and your friends are straight up athletes, then the Duke is perfect for you. 

3. Wilson NCAA Football

Simply a classic football. Tailgates, backyard football, you name it and this ball will be there. Just a guess here but I'm assuming 99.8% of the people you play or played backyard football with are NOT going to the NFL, which makes this football the perfect size for everyone. I think the NCAA football should be the official regulation size ball for backyard football. Reliable, durable, and just feels right. 

2. Nerf All Weather Orange Football


Let me tell you something about the Nerf All Weather Orange Football. I've thrown my arm out countless times, I've dove on the ground countless times, and I've given all of my stamina and athletic ability to this boy throughout my childhood. I would die for this ball. I don't care if you call me a baby but this ball was a staple to backyard pickup games. Because of the way I look, I was always picked last or not picked at all during recess. Instead of letting this physical discrimination continue, I bought this ball, stuffed it in my backpack, and brought it to school everyday just so my classmates would pick me. Everyone wanted to use this ball. I felt like Einstein during these times because you all know the rule. If you want to use the owner's ball, you have to let the owner play. I felt on top of the world until some asshole would launch the ball over the wall and get it stuck on a roof. Shoutout to everyone at Harrison Parkway Elementary. This might be my favorite ball ever created but sadly, I don't believe it's the best one.

1. NFL Street Ball

I know the term "different" gets thrown out all the time, but that's exactly what the NFL Street Ball is. It's just different. It's better than any ball ever created. It's a rugby ball and football combined. It makes you feel like you are playing a real life version of NFL Street! Just like Tisch said, the durability of this ball is everlasting. I've had this ball for over a decade and it still looks and feels brand new. This is what a backyard football should look and feel like. If only there was a new NFL Street game for the PS5 and Xbox XY whatever. I'll never get the experience of tasting a Krabby Patty, but I'll die happy knowing I lived the fantasy of playing with a football that was designed for one of the best football video games ever created. Also, NFL Street 2 is > NFL Street 1. 

I feel like you guys will say the best football is either the NCAA or NFL ball, which is fine. But I'm telling you, the NFL Street Ball is amazing. I'd love to know how many people in the world played with this growing up because it's truly an honor to use it. Whatever ball you choose, there's just nothing better than playing some good old backyard football. Am I missing any other footballs?