continued "What they've already landscaped into this site is what they call a plinth, which is a raised circle with a grove of maple trees on it. When we went to the first meeting, they said, 'We can see you have the qualifications, but maybe tone down the football a little bit.' They had this grove of trees planned, and they didn't want us to change their whole plan by crashing a football into it. They wanted it a little more subtle. So we took our original football idea, but we thought about the river idea, and we got this image about things embedded in a stream. So we decided to keep the football, but it's embedded in the ground now. And instead of these other materials we were thinking of -- copper, concrete -- Ante, being a master stone carver, said, 'I think it should be marble.' Colorado has a very famous marble quarry. The Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknowns were both made from this Colorado marble. It sort of adds a great story to the proposal because it's Colorado marble. And Ante has the actual skill to manage the carving of it."
The team envisioned the embedded football for a triangular area near the circular area for which they had originally planned the giant football. For that area, they worked up an alternative proposal. "Basically, we took the same idea of embeddedness," Smedley explains, "and we started to focus on all of this equipment that goes with football -- the pads, the helmet, that's what football's about. That's what differentiates it from other sports. It's like armor or military hardware. That really interested us. And the forms did as well. In this proposal, we're drawing attention to a certain beauty in this that maybe people haven't thought about. We bought some cleats and some secondhand pads, and we were really taken by the forms of the stuff.
"So our approach is to take fragments of these pieces of equipment, enlarge the scale, and create a series or array or forms throughout a landscape. And it will be a gradual process of discovery for the viewer, a kind of playful archaeology. Maybe some of them are big enough that you can sit and have your lunch on it, but it's really a neck guard, or a piece of a helmet. We're trying to heighten that discovery process and call attention to the 'cladding,' as Mathieu calls it, of a football player. Because of the large scale, all the details of the equipment will be noticeable in a way that people haven't noticed them before. There's a real Alice in Wonderland effect that these will have."
Smedley, Gregoire, and Marinovic presented models of their dual proposals August 1 in Denver "as an either/or. And a good thing about this proposal is, just in case they have some more money dropped into their lap, they can have both because they really go together."
Presently, they await word of acceptance. Should they win the contract, they will receive $325,000 for the project. Out of that sum all the materials, labor, and any other costs will be paid. The marble alone figures to be upward of $50,000. Asked if there will be any left for her, Gregoire, and Marinovic, Smedley answers, "I certainly hope so. It may be vulgar to say, but that was one of my main interests in doing it. My artwork has been fulfilling in every other way besides financial. My interest initially was, 'Hey, let's jump in this game and see if we can get some money for what we do.' So we've written some compensation for ourselves into the plan. But it's modest. We're giving ourselves $20,000 each."