The Goodyear Cotton Bowl will kick off on Saturday and will feature the Memphis Tigers and the Penn State Nittany Lions. When fans arrive to see their team play in the final game of the season, they will be in for a special treat. With the help of Goodyear, the Cotton Bowl will unveil two life-sized mascot statues that were created by former minor league baseball player Blake McFarland.
The statues, which are Penn State's mascot and Memphis' mascot, are unique as they are made completely out of Goodyear tires. In fact, the statues were made " from more than 260 Goodyear-branded tires, leverages approximately 450 hidden screws and took 400 hours to complete."
"Goodyear’s annual tire art build has quickly become a beloved tradition for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic," Rick Baker, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic President and CEO, said in a press 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."
The two statues will be the centerpiece for the Cotton Bowl which is one of the top bowl games in college football. But this is not the first time the Goodyear as worked with McFarland as he been creating statues for the last three Cotton Bowl games.
"Goodyear is incredibly proud to be a part of one of college football’s most revered bowl games," Todd Macsuga, Goodyear’s general manager of brand marketing said. "The teams who compete in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic worked hard all season long to reach this point, and these tire sculptures marry the commitment to excellence and performance that the teams exhibit and that we demonstrate in our tires."
According to McFarland's website, it takes him up to three months to complete a sculpture like the ones fans will see in at the Cotton Bowl. Along with the Cotton Bowl, McFarland's work has been displayed at Notre Dame University, University of Southern California, Ohio State University, Clemson University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and The University of Alabama.
McFarland played in the minor leagues from 2011 to 2018. He was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays organization and he was named an all-star in 2013. He was added to the Blue Jays 40-man roster in 2015, but due to injuries, he was never able to make it to the major leagues.
The Cotton Bowl will air on ESPN and the game will kick off at noon ET.