John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
They’ve been painted, ripped apart, and had letters rearranged to read “SUPERB OWL.”
UPDATE 5 P.M.: Another one’s been tampered with to read “SUP BRO.”
ORIGINAL: It’s more than a week away from the big game on February 7, but San Franciscans already have pigskin fever—the kind, that is, that makes you go out and repeatedly vandalize statues commemorating the Super Bowl.
The NFL and the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee have been gradually rolling out 10 statues, which feature the number 50 and weigh more than three-quarters of a ton apiece. In turn, anonymous critics of art, football, public-transit disruption, an ever-increasing taxpayer bill, or all of the above have rolled out a campaign of destruction that shows no sign of stopping.
One of the first clues that certain people are discontent was when deep scratches appeared on a statue in Alamo Square. The same artwork also received a healthy dose of graffiti:
The local site Hoodline talked with the company that designed the statues, Bluemedia, and learned somebody had torn the solar panels off another at City Hall. (The panels are meant to power the artworks’ night lights.) And as SF Citizen notes, yesterday dawned with the Alamo Square one savaged again—metal trim ripped out and the letters rearranged from “SUPER BOWL” into “SUPERB OWL.”
Bluemedia declined to comment, and the NFL didn’t respond to an email yesterday asking how it plans to protect the statues. After all, the community isn’t going to do it by itself, to judge from all the cheerleading for the vandals:
I hope dogs are peeing on the super bowl statues. https://t.co/NcqxHKIBnW— The Yenta (@YentaRant) January 25, 2016
Remove em all and charge the NFL. Pop-up Super Bowl statues called tacky — more appropriate for Vegas? https://t.co/XwrgBjz0zJ— The Doormats (@TheDoormats) January 24, 2016
I'm proud that my neighborhood is pissed off about this idiotic statue. https://t.co/mAM511JZeG— Damin Esper (@DaminEsper) January 20, 2016
say what you will about nimby tendencies in san francisco, i appreciate that they're all get this nfl super bowl statue shit out of our city— Julia Carrie Wong (@juliacarriew) January 20, 2016