These Cotton Bowl mascots are crafted from car tires

Game sponsor Goodyear created these colorful characters

Obviously, the question we all asked about the life-sized tire art sculptures that showed up at Friday’s Ohio State-Missouri football game was … why?

Because they’re made of Goodyear tires, which sponsored the 88th Goodyear Cotton Bowl contest.

Second obvious question: Just how long did it take to create these seven-feet-tall, tire-fabricated mascots that weigh more than 180 pounds each? Glad we asked: Blake McFarland, Goodyear's commissioned “tire artist” and former minor league baseball player, devoted 392 hours over 19 days to handcraft these one-of-a-kind things from more than 280 Goodyear-branded tires and 24,000 hidden staples.

Goodyear didn’t indicate if the tires that were used were low-profile models, snows or run-flats.

Goodyear had decided to give each school playing the game its own bit of art. Friday’s event at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, marked the first time Mizzou's Truman the Tiger was immortalized in rubber, while OSU’s Brutus the Buckeye was featured for a second time; his first tire art appearance occurred in 2017 at the Cotton Bowl.

“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 sculptures were to be donated to their respective schools following the game for display on their campuses.

Oh, yes, there was also a game. The ninth-ranked Missouri Tigers and the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes compete against each other for the first time in a bowl game, at 8 p.m. Eastern tonight. The 88th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic marks Mizzou's fourth appearance in the Cotton Bowl and Ohio State's third.

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