ARLINGTON,Texas — Goodyear has officially unveiled the latest installment in one of its more creative Cotton Bowl traditions: tire art statues of both participating teams’ mascot.
The bowl sponsor created statues of Penn State’s Nittany Lion and Memphis’ mascot, Tom the Tiger, out of its own tires as part of the celebrations prior to Saturday’s Cotton Bowl Classic between No. 10 Penn State football and No. 17 Memphis.
According to a press release, each sculpture weighs more than 200 pounds and is comprised of more than 260 Goodyear tires. Completing both sculptures required the use of 450 hidden screws — which is why they look as good as they do — and more than 400 man hours of work.
Photo by Matt Strasen | Associated Press for Goodyear (Courtesy 9f Niko Burton)
Goodyear commissioned artist Blake McFarland, who played minor league baseball from 2011-2017, to create the tire-based representations of both teams’ mascots. He was given this task for the fourth consecutive year. Each tire art sculpture will be displayed in and around AT&T Stadium throughout the weekend, and Goodyear will give each piece of art to their respective universities once the Cotton Bowl wraps up.
“Goodyear’s annual tire art build has quickly become a beloved tradition for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic,” Rick Baker the Cotton Bowl Classic’s President and CEO, said in a release. “Our ongoing collaboration with Goodyear continues to enhance the Cotton Bowl Classic experience every year for players and fans alike, and we look forward to creating more memories together.”
Photo by Matt Strasen | Associated Press for Goodyear (Courtesy of Niko Burton)
If you’re in north Texas for the game and want to see the Nittany Lion in tire form, it will be on display 7-11 a.m. CST on Saturday at the West Plaza of AT&T Stadium.
Penn State and Memphis kick off at 11 a.m. CST/noon EST Saturday. The game will air on ESPN.