DALLAS - Seeing mascots around town in the days leading up to a college bowl game, but the mascots at the Omni Hotel in Dallas aren’t your everyday mascots.
Blake McFarland created the USC and Ohio State mascots -- the two teams playing in the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 29 -- completely out of tires.
He says the creation of the USC Trojan and Brutus the Buckeye took 375 total hours over 17 days, and required more than 400 tires and 2,300 screws.
“My forearms are dead,” said McFarland, who is a minor league pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. “They’re all hand-cut tires. I personally cut, by hand, all these tires with poultry scissors.”
It’s no surprise McFarland calls himself a finesse pitcher.
He’s played sports since high school, according to his website, but has always been the artistic type. His art career started with acrylic paints until, one day, he ran across a new idea.
“In 2012 I drove by a playground with a bunch of tractor tires stacked up into a serpent," he said. "That sparked my idea in a material that isn’t used today, and that I could possibly transform into something unique and creative."
This year is the second time he’s done the mascots for the Cotton Bowl, which is sponsored by Goodyear tires. He “sculpted” the Wisconsin badger and the Western Michigan bronco in 2016.
McFarland said the process required the help of three crew members for this year’s creation.
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