Thursday, January 29, 2009

Scrap from Orange Bowl part of Super Bowl show

BY GREG COTE
TAMPA -- A piece of Miami's lost soul has turned up unexpectedly, some 280 miles to the northwest, as an accoutrement to this Super Bowl Week.

The Tampa Bay Host Committee commissioned Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation to create football-inspired steel artwork for Tampa's Cotanchobee Park -- and the scrap steel used for the project happens to have been from the famed (and recently demolished) Orange Bowl Stadium.

Smirk cannot decide whether this is heartwarming and uplifting or macabre and vaguely nauseating. It's like admiring a charcoal drawing only to learn that isn't charcoal that was used, but rather Granpappy's remains.

The centerpiece in the park is a 12-foot steel football illuminated by LED lights. Perhaps this originally was the girding that held up your section as you stood to cheer George Mira Jr. in the '60s or, a generation later, Dan Marino.

''The Orange Bowl hosted so many of football's greatest moments, we believed repurposing a portion of the recycled steel to celebrate football was an appropriate tribute,'' Gerdau CEO Mario Longhi said. ``The rest of the steel already is being used in building projects across the nation.''

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