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12/20/2010

Steel yourself: World's largest belt buckle to be on display at ESPN party

In keeping with the "Everything is bigger in Texas," theme of Super Bowl XLV, ESPN has commissioned Fort Worth sculptor Kelly Graham to create the biggest belt buckle in the world. How big, you ask?

Well, not even a nose tackle is big enough to wear it. The goal is for Graham to create the belt buckle out of stainless steel and other metals.

The buckle will be 8 feet wide by 6 feet tall and weigh more than 500 pounds. The theme reflected in the design will include the state of Texas, ESPN the Magazine and "festivities taking place" on Super Bowl weekend.

In order to document the belt buckle as the largest in the world ESPN is bringing a representative from Guinness World Records to Fort Worth to confirm the ESPN/Super Bowl belt buckle as the largest of its kind.

A day and time for the unveiling have not yet been decided, but an ESPN The Magazine spokesperson said that a rendering of the belt buckle and the reveal will be made in January.

The belt buckle will then be on display at the "NEXT Ranch" at the magazine's "NEXT Big Tailgate" on Saturday, Feb. 5, at River Ranch in the Fort Worth Stockyards.

The NEXT Tailgate will feature interactive games and other activities and is open to the public at no cost.

The spokesperson said a permanent site will be chosen where the belt buckle will be on display.

This won't be the only steel structure created especially for Fort Worth and Super Bowl XLV.

Gerdau Ameristeel, a steel mill company based in Tampa with several facilities in North Texas, is making a 16-foot tall sculpture paying tribute to the popularity of football in Texas.

The sculpture is being made of recycled steel from Texas Stadium and from contributions from high schools across the state.

The sculpture will be in the shape of Texas. An oil rig will form part of the base and a football will burst through the center of the state.

It will weigh up to 7 tons and the inscription will read "Cradle of Champions."

The sculpture will be displayed in the Chisholm Trail parking lot during Super Bowl week, which will be the location of ESPN's main stage during its broadcasts from Sundance Square. It will then be relocated to a permanent site in the city that is yet to be determined. 

www.kellygraham.net

-- Pete Alfano

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City leaders did all that work to get ESPN to come to Fort Worth and what do they do? They make fun of us. Make ESPN go somewhere else.

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