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Volume 22 No. 40
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Trophy Mission

Local influence can be found in many of the trophies that will be hoisted over the next several weeks by bowl game champions. Here is a sampling of the trophies and their designers.

■ AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Schulmerich Bells) — In a nod to the game’s Philadelphia origin 60 years ago, the trophy is a one-quarter-sized replica of the bell that rang in Independence Hall to announce the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It has the same nicked edges, foundry marks, misspelled inscription (“Pensylvania”) and even the famous crack. Cast in bronze, the bell was painted black. The game’s bell is 12 inches in diameter and 11 1/2 inches tall, including the crown. It is bolted to a handmade wooden yoke and swings on legs cast with the “filigree” design that appears on the original bell’s mounting.

 

■ Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Levy Recognition) — The treasure chest design complements Tampa Bay’s pirate history. The game itself is named after the region’s unofficial pirate mascot, José Gaspar, and is played at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Pirate traditions run deep at the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee
Pirate traditions run deep at the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee
Pirate traditions run deep at the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee
Former college and NFL player Mike Gruttadauria designed the Cure Bowl trophy.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee
Former college and NFL player Mike Gruttadauria designed the Cure Bowl trophy.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee
Former college and NFL player Mike Gruttadauria designed the Cure Bowl trophy.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee

■ Cure Bowl (Mike Gruttadauria) — The former UCF Knight who designed the trophy played seven seasons in the NFL. The Florida native was the starting center for the Super Bowl XXXIV champion St. Louis Rams. 

■ Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (MTM Recognition) — Decommissioned military hardware that was in combat at some point was melted down to create the football on top. The items: a panel from a C-130 (Air Force), a tank shell casing (Army), a piece from an Apache helicopter (Marines), a piece from an F-18 (Navy) and a bolt from the USS Fort Worth (hometown connection).

Decommissioned military hardware was melted down to make the trophy for the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee
Decommissioned military hardware was melted down to make the trophy for the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee
Decommissioned military hardware was melted down to make the trophy for the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee

■ Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl (Tom Philabaum) — The local and nationally known artist produced the glass and copper football annually from 2015-2018. Then, before his retirement last December, he crafted six more.

■ Walk-On’s Independence Bowl (Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry) — The crystal trophy received national exposure in 2011 when Truman the Tiger, Missouri’s mascot, knocked it off a table shortly before the game and shattered it. The jeweler provided a temporary trophy that day for the winning team, Missouri. 

The 200-pound Fiesta Bowl trophy is 46 inches tall and is valued at approximately $1.4 million.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee
The 200-pound Fiesta Bowl trophy is 46 inches tall and is valued at approximately $1.4 million.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee
The 200-pound Fiesta Bowl trophy is 46 inches tall and is valued at approximately $1.4 million.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee

■ PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (Molina Fine Jewelers) — Al Molina, a Fiesta Bowl committee member and internationally recognized jeweler, created the trophy to simulate the Arizona sunset, with hand-carved 18-karat yellow, green, red, peach and white gold. It boasts 2,187 pavé-set diamonds that weigh a total of 50 carats. The 200-pound trophy is 46 inches tall and is valued at approximately $1.4 million. The trophy’s foundation consists of five shades of marble and granite. Grammy and Emmy-winning producer/director Todd McFarlane created the football players. Ken Wilson, a former Disney imagineer, created the LED display inside the trophy.

■ Quick Lane Bowl (Jostens) — The Detroit Lions, who own and operate the game, display the trophy at every Lions home game, giving fans photo opportunities and providing the game itself exposure to area football fans.

■ CFP National Championship (Pentagram, Polich Tallix) — The trophy and base are two separate pieces, so the trophy may be lifted independently. The trophy’s gold brackets surround a hardened steel core. Handmade from 24-karat gold, bronze, and stainless steel, the trophy itself is 26.5 inches tall. The bronze base is 12 inches tall.

Other notable trophies:

■ The Belk Bowl trophy is made by crystal specialist Waterford, while Tiffany & Co. makes the Leishman Trophy for the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. 

■ The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Field Scovell trophy, made by R.S. Owens, and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl George P. Crumbley trophy (Jostens) each honor an important figure of the game’s past. Scovell was a longtime Cotton Bowl executive while Crumbley founded the Peach Bowl. Similarly, the Robert C. McNair trophy is given in honor of the late founder of the Houston Texans and Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, although the committee declined to share the name of the item’s manufacturer.

The trophy for the Texas Bowl winner honors Houston Texans and bowl founder Robert McNair.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee
The trophy for the Texas Bowl winner honors Houston Texans and bowl founder Robert McNair.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee
The trophy for the Texas Bowl winner honors Houston Texans and bowl founder Robert McNair.
Photo: courtesy of bowl committee

■ The all-crystal, 60-pound trophy that is commissioned by Levy Awards in Tampa for the Outback Bowl is custom-made overseas each year and incorporates the steakhouse’s signature boomerang.