Vandals Win Battle with Super Bowl Statue

Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press
Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

Crafty vandals have won the battle against a hefty Super Bowl statue in the heart of Alamo Square in San Francisco.

As the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the massive, 1,600-pound Super Bowl 50 statue was defaced multiple times over the last week, with vandals rearranging the lettering underneath the sculpture to read “”Superb Owl 50” or “Oops.”

The repeated vandalism apparently attracted the attention of the Super Bowl Committee, and the statue was reportedly placed on a moving truck Sunday morning and driven away from the site.

“We’re not giving up on the whole program,” Committee spokesman Nathan Ballard told the Chronicle. “We just want to take a hard look at where we’re placing [the Super Bowl 50 statues] and maybe re-think the locations that are getting more vandalism.”

Yahoo reports that 10 Super Bowl statues have been placed around the city, and the Alamo Square statue was hardly the only one to be defaced. A statue outside San Francisco City Hall had its letters re-jiggered to read “Sup Bro 50,” while another statue at Twin Peaks got the same treatment, only with the more inappropriate “Up R Bowel.”

The war agains the statues may be indicative of San Franciscans’ attitude toward hosting the Big Game. The city will reportedly use at least $5 million in taxpayer funds to spruce up the area, and traffic is expected to worsen considerably, points out Claire McNear at SB Nation. The city’s homeless residents report that San Francisco police are corralling them into little-traveled corners so as to remain out of sight. And what’s worse: the game is not even being played in San Francisco, but in neighboring Santa Clara, roughly 50 miles south.

Ballard joked to the Chronicle that the Super Bowl Committee was exploring setting booby traps on the statues to deter would-be vandals. But the group doesn’t have the energy or resources to tackle every instance of vandalism.

“I feel like it depends on the severity: some vandalism is so minor that it’s not worth fixing, some is just outright defacement and we need to fix it, but we’re trying to stay on top of it,” Ballard said.


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