The Passback Football was invented by Mike McGonigle in 1993.
While watching a football game at a friend’s house on Halloween, McGonigle noticed a goofy looking pumpkin staring down at him. The pumpkin’s wide smile seemed to be daring him to pick it up. Without giving it a second thought, he chucked it at the wall and it came back to him in a slight spiral. McGonigle returned home and began lopping his old nerf balls into flat footballs. These, like the pumpkin, came spiraling back when he tossed them against a wall. Thus, the Passback was born...
McGonigle originally licensed his patent to Hasbro, the manufacturer of Nerf products in the mid 1990’s. Hasbro introduced a nerf version of the ball under the name Turbo Blast-Back and marketed the product over a 2.5 year licensing period. In a concerted effort to improve the design and make it more pertinent for actual football training applications, McGonigle went back to work and re-engineered the design to create the modern, air filled, rubber and composite footballs sold today.