The NFL sure is mighty excited to be holding the Super Bowl in the Bay Area. San Francisco residents appear less than excited to have them.
As part of the festivities, 10 one-ton sculptures hyping Super Bowl 50 have been set up around town, and, were almost immediately set upon as symbols of the NFL as occupying force.
At city hall, “SUP BRO”:
At Twin Peaks, “UP R BOWEL”:
But no sculpture has faced as many indignities as the one at Alamo Square has over just the last week. First, “SUPERB OWL”:
Then a few days later, the lettering was changed to “OOPS” and the statue pushed over.
SF Citizen has more photos of the carnage.
The sculpture was quickly righted, then almost immediately set upon again. Just 90 minutes after being re-erected, the Alamo Square sculpture was again toppled, causing officials to just give the fuck up and truck the thing away.
Victory for the resistance!
So why is San Francisco so dead-set against the existence of these things? (I mean, other than the obvious fact that they are ugly-ass advertisements for the NFL, paid for by taxpayer dollars, hyping a game that won’t even take place in the city.)
This post does a good job of breaking down many of the factors in play, but the biggest one is that San Francisco is paying to host the festivities ahead of the Super Bowl, even though the game will be played in Santa Clara. The cost to San Francisco is at $5 million and rising, and it’s all coming out of the general fund. Meanwhile, all of Santa Clara’s costs will be reimbursed by the Host Committee, with money from the NFL and private interests.
The run-up to the game has been actively disruptive for residents, with multiple streets downtown closed, and traffic and transportation rerouted around “Super Bowl City” at the foot of Market Street and the Embarcadero. Massive, unsightly ads are being wrapped around buildings downtown. The homeless population has been ejected from the area, being corralled in a four-block area away from the eyes of visiting VIPs. The Host Committee even requested that the city temporarily take down overhead wires providing power to mass transit, at a seven-figure cost, a plan that was nixed amid loud opposition.
More than that, the sculpture vandalism is a natural outcome when the NFL’s insistence on being the biggest thing in town comes to a city like San Francisco—with a deeply ingrained mischievous streak, and the confidence to know it doesn’t need a damned football game to have civic pride.
So the war continues. There’s a week left, and nine of the Super Bowl 50 sculptures remain standing. They won’t go down without a fight: