Mario Balotelli commissioned a statue of himself in his hometown

Mario-Balotelli-flexingMario Balotelli may be Mario Balotelli’s biggest fan, which is why it is no surprise to hear that he has commissioned a statue of himself to be built in his hometown of Brescia, Italy. But not just any statue — one of Balotelli striking his signature flexing pose after scoring a goal.

“I received the commission, but have never actually met Balotelli, so I am working from photographs,” local artist Livio Scarpella told Il Giornale di Brescia newspaper, via Football Italia. “I presented various sketches, but Mario wanted to be immortalised in the pose after a goal: muscles in evidence and an expression to challenge the opponents.”

Yeah, so that’s happening. Scarpella described the statue further.

“I imagined him as an athlete from ancient times,” the artist said. “The statue will be between the classic and pop style, in platinum and coloured bronze with the eyes made of precious stones.”

This isn’t exactly a shocker. We’re talking about the same Balotelli who needs his teammates to muzzle him after he scores a goal and was once benched for missing an easy goal because he was too preoccupied with showing off. A statue of himself that he is providing the funding for simply adds to the legacy.

H/T Dirty Tackle via Extra Mustard

Sculptor Angelo Di Maria conflicted about his Joe Paterno statue coming down

The fate of the Joe Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium has been at the center of a firestorm of debate since last week’s release of the Freeh Report.

Now the person responsible for creating the statue has weighed in. Angelo Di Maria sculpted the seven-foot, 900-pound bronze statue, which was unveiled in 2001, and has mixed feelings on what should become of his work.

“I have to say, I can’t be so bold, because I’m the artist, that I want it (to stay) up,” Di Maria told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “That’s what the public would expect me to think. I have to be clear with my conscience. I would go along with any just decision that is made. Not only am I compelled to take the side of the victims, but I consider also the feeling of the kids who went there (to Penn State), who have such a high regard for State College.”

Even though he said he’d support any decision, you have to understand why he might show some reluctance in tearing down the statue. After all, this is a piece of his art, and, regardless of your feelings for its subject, there’s obviously going to be some attachment to it. Di Maria is the second artist whose State College artwork has spiked in relevance in the last week.

Penn State’s Board of Trustees has said the statue will stay standing for now. A final decision on the statue’s fate reportedly will come within the next week to 10 days.

That hasn’t stopped some people from going to creative lengths to make their own threats.

H/T Dr. Saturday

Frank Thomas Gets Statue in Chicago

The White Sox are treating Frank Thomas right in his retirement. Last year they retired his jersey at the Cell in Chicago, leading to an emotional speech from The Big Hurt. This year they decided to give him a bronze statue in the left field concourse. Charles Comiskey, Minnie Minoso, Carlton Fisk, Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio (together), Billy Pierce and Harold Baines also have statues in the same area.

Thomas thanked his teammates, coaches, family, the fans, and the White Sox organization for assisting in his career during his speech. He didn’t get as emotional as he did last year, but he was no less thankful. He also cleared things up by saying there are no issues between him and owner Jerry Reinsdorf (as had been suggested many times in the past).

Here’s a video of the ceremony courtesy of CSN Chicago:

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Upset He Has No Statue Outside Staples Center

Generally in American society, we practice modesty. That’s just the way it is. Talking about your own accomplishments is usually seen as bragging or “tooting your own horn,” and that is something that is frowned upon in our culture. Why do you think people like LeBron James are so hated? Could it be because he says things like, “I’ve decided to take my talents to South Beach?” Yes, that’s exactly why.

Apparently Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would disagree with the aforementioned assesment of American culture.  Either that, or he’s so pissed off that he doesn’t care if he sounds like a jerk by bragging.  Kareem recently told The Sporting News in an interview that he has no idea why the Lakers have yet to construct a statue of him outside the Staples Center, especially considering that every person in the world of sports seems to be getting one these days.

“I don’t understand (it). It’s either an oversight or they’re taking me for granted,” Abdul-Jabbar explained in the interview. “I’m not going to try to read people’s minds, but it doesn’t make me happy. It’s definitely a slight. I feel slighted.”

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Sam Bradford the Latest Heisman Trophy Winner to get a Statue

Sam Bradford may only be 23 years old, but that doesn’t make you too young to have a bronze statue fashioned in your likeness in Oklahoma. The former Heisman Trophy winner had his statue unveiled Saturday night at the Sooner Spectacular gala, and it will go on display outside Memorial Stadium in Norman alongside Billy Vessels, Steve Owens, Billy Sims and Jason White’s statues in OU’s Heisman Park. Here’s a great shot of the statue (which looks more like a dude wearing a #14 jersey than anything else) courtesy of the Tulsa World:

Sam Bradford seemed pretty uncomfortable at the ceremony — he’s already a quiet guy — but how are you supposed to react when you get a bronze statue at the age of 23? He spoke from the heart in his reception, talking about how he was an Oklahoma fan growing up and how this is a dream come true. You can watch a video of his speech on Facebook courtesy of Mike Houck, and you can read about the evening at the Tulsa World.

I will say this: between what already happened at Alabama and Florida this spring, and what will happen at Auburn, this is a tradition I could certainly live without.

Here are a few more pictures:

Helmet knock to College Football Talk

Photo Credits: Tulsa World, Mike Houck

Nick Saban Statue Unveiled at Alabama A-Day (Pictures)

When pictures of the Nick Saban bronze statue first hit the web, we laughed that the statue looked like a milk chocolate treat or a parade float. But now that the statue was finally unveiled outside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, we have less to make fun of because it actually looks normal. Check it out:

The statue was unveiled in front of a reported 92,310 estimated crowd that attended the annual spring game known as A-Day. The crowd was about as large as Saban’s first year on campus in 2007, and barely beat the attendance last year. I guess the exception for a lack of passion amongst Bama fans was ’08 when only 78,000 people showed up for A-Day.

Back to the statue, it commemorates the 2009 title Saban won in only his second year as head coach of the Tide.The Birmingham News has full coverage of the statue’s unveiling including video and more pictures, so check it out.

Photo Credits @gbdawkins, @officiallyjustc, @kaye2496

Cam Newton Getting a Statue from Auburn

Cam Newton hasn’t even been drafted into the NFL, but that hasn’t stopped Auburn University from deciding to memorialize the Heisman Trophy winner and national champion with a bronze statue. Auburn had already ordered two bronze statues in March of 2010 for Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan, but after Newton had his fantastic season they commissioned another.

The statues will all be 1.5 times life size and weigh around 1,900 pounds, and they’re expected to be ready late October. Jackson of course will be rushing in his pose, Sullivan passing, but it has not been revealed if Newton will get the Wuerffel or Tebow treatment with his statue.

Auburn’s statue unveiling in the fall comes just after Florida released three statues of its Heisman Trophy winners and Bama unveiled theirs. As Sports by Brooks said, this cannot end well given the rivalry between Bama and Auburn.