According to NFL lore, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice honed his football-catching skills by snatching bricks out of the air. His dad was a mason and would take him and his brother to work every day. And if you can catch bricks all summer long, the story goes, catching footballs is a breeze come September. Of course, not every future pro wide receiver has the luxury of breaking in their hands with heavy clay projectiles. Which is why one Pennsylvania-based company built a Nerf football-throwing machine for kids instead. It’s called the Ball Cannon, and it plays all-time quarterback.
The brainchild of a dad who wanted his 6-year-old son to be able to practice catching passes any time (even when he wasn’t home to throw them), the Ball Cannon is a professional-grade Nerf throwing machine that’s designed for recreational use and can be operated by a single person ⏤ specifically, one kid.
All users have to do is wheel it out to the yard (it weighs 28 pounds and has a front handle), tweak the distance/speed/delay/angle settings (go deep!), and snap the ball. Or more likely, yell in their best Eli Manning voice “Omaha, Omaha, hut, hut, hut!” before slapping the big red button and running a quick corner route. The machine then launches the Nerf Pro Grip football with a perfect spiral. The Cannon is actually designed to work specifically with the soft rubber Nerf ball, so it’s both realistic and safe.
The machine is battery powered, so there’s no need for an outlet, and the rechargeable 12V battery can throw the deep ball (up to 100 feet) for two hours before it needs Gatorade (a charge). The angle also adjusts down to 30 degrees so it can short range bullets at future slot receivers cutting across the middle. It’s designed, obviously, for both serious players who want to practice drills or just as the all-time QB for afternoon 1-on-1 games in the backyard. Either way, it’s available online and costs $500 ⏤ or the price of 700 bricks.