In an effort to inspire Bears quarterback Rex Grossman to chill out and play a better game, Channel 7 enlisted the services of Jim Nadeau, owner of Nadeau’s Ice Sculptures, to carve out the quarterback’s likeness for Monday night’s game against St. Louis.
And given Grossman’s two touchdown passes amid 13 completions without an interception, who’s to say it didn’t work.
The 600 pound ice sculpture, which featured Grossman in a passing stance, was on display in front of the news station at 190 N. State Street. According to Nadeau, a sculpture usually takes about two hours to make, and has a “show life” of six to eight hours before the details start to melt away.
“There’s a great deal of visual appeal to ice sculpting,” Nadeau said. “People like ice; it works.”
Nadeau was introduced to ice sculpture by a chef when he worked as a food production manager with the Marriot Hotel in Boston in 1978. It was then that he had the idea to start a business of his own in ice sculpture, making his the first and only company in the country to deal exclusively with such a medium. According to Nadeau, there are now between 300 and 400 businesses in what has become an industry, and he takes pride in being at the “forefront of the industry.”
“People thought I was crazy to leave my job and start a business in ice sculpture,” Nadeau said.
Some of his customers have included Pepsi and Starburst Juice Bars. The company employs a support staff of designers and a handful of sculptors, who use power tools and high-speed computer devices that record programmed instructions to carve the ice. Nadeau collaborates with designers and customers to produce the desired sculpture.
“The company is Jim’s baby, his brainchild,” said Joan Nadeau, his wife.
Chicago’s ABC station carried the national broadcast of Monday night’s match up against the Rams to viewers here in the city. As of late, Grossman was struggling for completions and threw more interceptions than touchdowns. Against their division rival the Minnesota Vikings, the Bears managed to eke out a win despite Grossman’s passer rating of only 1.5.
To the relief of Bears fans throughout the city, only one of the life-size Grossmans had a meltdown Monday night.
“We’re hoping the sculpture will inspire him to complete more passes,” said sculptor Armand Ramirez. “And we also want him to know that we’re all still behind him 100 percent.”