To help promote next weekend’s Super Bowl, which will be played at the 49ers’ stadium in Santa Clara, the NFL erected huge, 1,600-pound sculptures at ten landmarks around San Francisco. Each has a giant number 50 with a different theme: One has Super Bowl rings depicted inside the numbers, another has images of footballs on it, and so on. The statues were designed with a graffiti-proof coating to prevent vandalism, but they were apparently also designed in such a way that the characters spelling out “Super Bowl 50” on its base could be rearranged. And since they’ve gone up, locals have been having some fun with them.
A few examples, via Deadspin:
The “Superb owl” sculpture at Alamo Square was eventually fixed, but then it was knocked over and its letters rearranged again, this time to spell “oops.”
The mischief wasn’t just related to the letters and numbers at the bottom. The sculpture at City Hall had its solar panels (which allowed it to light up) torn off.
The Super Bowl can be a disruption to those who live in the city that hosts it (or, in this case, in the city represented by the host team, even if the actual venue is elsewhere). This year, that’s meant street closures and rerouted traffic and transportation in San Francisco. And so perhaps locals wanted to show their frustration with the annoyances caused by the big game. Or maybe the ability to rearrange the letters presented an opportunity for mischief that was simply too good to pass up.
A security guard has since been spotted keeping an eye on the sculpture on Market Street, in an apparent attempt to prevent any further damage.
Meanwhile, the statue in Alamo Square was up and removed altogether, preventing any further vandalism once and for all.