Nintendo's R&D department can be called many things, but no one can rightly label them as boring.
The inflatable horseback riding peripheral revealed a few weeks ago made Nintendo look like it was on the brink of insanity, but this new patent (also discovered by Siliconera) seems to indicate that they're taking at least half of their prescribed anti-crazy pills: it's a squishy American football shell.
Multiple versions of the peripheral are covered, including one that uses the remote only and one that integrates the nunchuck, even one with MotionPlus support.
The patent outlines possible implementation of the controller, too. For running, the football would sense body motion by the player jogging in place. Moving left and right would enable a dodging action and raising the ball could make your digital player jump. Gamers could strap their hand to it and make a throwing motion to pass, with the force and angle of the throw determining it's trajectory. Like we need more people flinging their remotes into the screen by accident.
As always, just because Nintendo has filed a patent doesn't necessarily mean that the item in question will ever see the light of day. Still, if this is the first sign of the company developing a football game, things might get interesting.