No harm in Raiders' long-snapper using personal football on sideline

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Sure, ESPN's cameras spied Jon Condo warming up a football on the Oakland Raiders sideline Monday night in frigid Philadelphia.

And yes, there was speculation that the long-snapper was breaking rules by altering the condition of the ball.

But Condo said it's something he's been doing for "as long as I can remember."

Besides, he told ESPN, it was his personal football he was warming up and not one that was to be used in the game.

"I don't even have access to the game balls, or the K-balls [used for kicking]," he said.

The reasoning behind Condo heating the ball? He wanted to practice with a warmer ball on the sideline to better mimic what the K-ball would feel like on the field, should he need to snap it for a PAT or field goal.

The K-balls used for practice are not the same ones used in the game. Those K-balls used in a game are kept in a sleeve next to a person, so they attract body heat, Condo said, and are warmer than the balls sitting in the elements on the sideline.

"I'm not going to practice with a ball that's as hard as a brick and then go snap one in a game that's warmer," he said.

Condo said even when the Raiders do drills with a wet ball in anticipation of a rainy game, it does not replicate the conditions he will face.

Not when the ball he will snap is essentially dry, and not water-logged as one might think. Condo said, if you notice, "umpire brings the ball up under a towel. So the only time it gets wet is in the few seconds between the umpire placing the ball down and me snapping it.

"There's a lot of little details there," he said.