Participants let fly and over 1,000 American footballs were aloft in a single moment, establishing a new Guinness World Record - Ada Herald
Participants let fly and over 1,000 American footballs were aloft in a single moment, establishing a new Guinness World Record. (Ada Herald/Joe Schriner)

ADA — “You can now cross off setting a Guinness World Record off your Bucket List,” said Dan Lee to all the participants, just after it finished. (Lee was the primary brainchild for it.)


As scheduled, at 2 p.m. on the dot (okay, it was more like 2:20 p.m.), some 1,000 people – many of them Ada School System students – cocked their arms and let fly 1,000 footballs at the exact same moment in time on War Memorial Field.

The footballs spiraled high into the air… Alright, that’s an exaggeration. They actually all traveled about five yards on somewhat of a line to a waiting ONU student, or other community member.

But the trajectory didn’t matter. Catching the ball, or not, didn’t matter. The deal was if all the balls were in the air at the exact same moment, the Guinness people refer to this as a “mass moment.”

And this ‘mass moment,’ by far, eclipsed any other group football tosses by, by… Actually, I don’t think anyone else has ever thought of this before. Go figure.

To say the whole thing was a spectacle, would be a “mass understatement.” There was purple and orange packed together for as far as the eye could see. Or to be more specific, from goal-line-to-goal-line.

And everybody was there.

ONU’s “Klondike the Polar Bear” mascot stood side by side with Ada’s “Wilson (Wonder where he got that name?) the Bulldog” mascot. These two were actually standing side-by-side in peace, like the “New Jerusalem” had, at long last, arrived.

What’s more, virtually every village official was there.

Police Chief Michael Harnishfeger, for instance, was wearing a thick bullet proof vest, in anticipation of, perhaps, drawing AHS’s quarterback, who I’m told has a ‘rifle’ arm. (Pun intended.)

Village Administrator Jamie Hall, who played linebacker at Bowling Green State University “…back in the day,” was standing guard at the press booth ladder.

No press pass, no admittance.

This proved problematic for me, because I don’t have a press pass. (I think my editor is waiting to see if I’m going to be here, like a year or something, before I get one.)

Nonetheless, when Jamie wasn’t looking, I snuck by, went up, and got some nice panoramic shots. Jamie, ultimately, let it slide, I’m sure hoping that I, in turn, would write something nice about the new leaf vacuum truck he recently picked out for the village.

“Quid pro quo” seems to be everywhere these days!

Meanwhile back on the field, it was an absolute media frenzy, with television, radio and newspaper reporters from as far away as Lima.

Hometown Station’s Eran Hami was filming a lead-in to his segment holding, that’s right, a Wilson football. (Well, when in Rome.)

And speaking of Wilson footballs, each thrower got to keep their football, which were customized with the date and the name of the event.

Mr. Lee, who was the emcee (rhymes), thanked Wilson for this, as he thanked Liberty National Bank for underwriting some significant fees involved with registering for the “official” record, and so on.

What’s more, Mr. Lee noted that, not only were representatives there from the latter, but there were representatives from the Police, Fire and EMS (just in case Klondike and Wilson hadn’t hit it off) Departments. As there was ONU’s President & First Lady, the Ada Mayor, the Ada Schools Superintendent… and a fairly good size crowd of spectators.

I mean, when are you going to see something like this again, huh?