Today, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company welcomed The Ohio State University’s Brutus Buckeye and the University of Missouri’s Truman the Tiger to its elite lineup of larger-than-life tire art sculptures handcrafted annually for the 88th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
Collectively, these intricate, Goodyear tire-fabricated sculptures stand between six and seven feet tall and weigh 385 pounds. It took Blake McFarland, Goodyear’s commissioned tire artist and former minor league baseball player, 392 hours in just 19 days to handcraft these one-of-a-kind sculptures from more than 280 Goodyear-branded tires and 24,000 hidden staples.
This will be the first time Mizzou’s Truman the Tiger will be immortalized with a tire art sculpture commissioned by Goodyear. Brutus the Buckeye will be featured for a second time, with his first tire art appearance occurring at the 82nd Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in 2017.
“We look forward to honoring both the Missouri and Ohio State football teams through tire art sculptures for the eighth year at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic,” said Ryan Waldron, president, North America Consumer for Goodyear. “First introduced in 2015, these tire art sculptures quickly became a fan-favorite tradition that celebrates the hard work and dedication that drove each team’s journey to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.”
The larger-than-life Truman the Tiger and Brutus Buckeye will serve as the centerpiece for many Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic festivities, including photo opportunities for fans, leading up to the game on Dec. 29 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The sculptures will be donated to their respective schools following the game for display on campus.
Goodyear has a rich history in college football dating back to 1955 when the iconic Goodyear Blimp pioneered aerial coverage over the Rose Bowl. Nearly 70 years later, Goodyear remains an iconic part of the college football landscape. The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic hosts marquee matchups as a member of the New Year’s Six, the top bowl games included in the College Football Playoff semifinal rotation. The 88th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic marks Mizzou’s fourth appearance in the Cotton Bowl Classic and Ohio State’s third appearance.
“Mizzou is proud to return to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic after an incredible regular season for Coach Drinkwitz and our student-athletes. It’s been an eventful year for Truman the Tiger, who earlier this fall jumped out of a plane and parachuted onto Faurot Field before kickoff against Tennessee, creating another magical moment for our 2023 season. We can’t wait for fans to arrive in Dallas and see Truman’s life-size tire art sculpture before we play the Buckeyes,” said Desiree Reed-Francois, director of athletics at the University of Missouri.
“We are excited and honored to be a part of this year’s Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, and we look forward to seeing the one-of-a-kind tire art sculpture of our Brutus,” Carey Hoyt, Ohio State executive associate athletic director, said. “The Cotton Bowl experience is second to none and something that our team and fans will appreciate. Most of all, we’re looking forward to a great game against Missouri and the opportunity to finish our season strong.”
The No. 9 Missouri Tigers and the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes will compete against each other for the first time in a bowl game when the 88th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic kicks off on ESPN on Dec. 29, at 8 p.m. ET.