Texas A&M University created an architectural award this year, the Spirit of Place medal, "envisioned as becoming one of the world's premier built-environment awards," according to a press release from the school.
The university wants its new award to be "viewed in the same light" as the Stirling Prize, awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Recent winners of that award include the Museum of Modern Literature in Germany, the Scottish Parliament building and the Gherkin, a skyscraper in London.
So to cement its place in the world of high-brow architecture, A&M has awarded the inaugural Spirit of Place medal to Jerry Jones. Yes, owner of the Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones, for his "significant contributions to the built environment" with the "design and construction of Cowboys Stadium."
"The idea of doing an award like this has been floating around for a long time," Lane Stephenson, a spokesman for Texas A&M, tells Hair Balls. "Bryan Trubey, a graduate of our university [Class of 1983], was the designer of the stadium. That kind of put the stadium on our radar."
Others haven't held the stadium in such high regard. A critic with the New York Times said the stadium was "a somewhat crude reworking of old ideas, one that looks especially unoriginal when compared with the sophisticated and often dazzling stadiums that have been built in Europe and the Far East over the last few years." Deadspin.com has also been particularly harsh -- shocker -- to the new stadium.
Add that to reports of near-riots at the opening game, along with a man and woman defiling the sanctity of football by having sex in a bathroom stall, and you get a less-than-stellar opening for the greatest thing in the world, according to NBC, since the Roman Colosseum.
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Still, you could argue that this is a football stadium, not the Sistine Chapel, and who cares what a commie critic has to say about anything in Texas. But, A&M, really? You really want to create the world's premier architectural award by giving the first one to Jerry Jones?
From the university's press release:
Texas A&M Interim President R. Bowen Loftin and Texas A&M Director of Athletics are scheduled to present the medal to Jones during the Southwest Showdown game between the Aggies and the University of Arkansas Saturday (Oct. 3) at Cowboys Stadium.
Because nothing says genius like the Southwest Showdown.