January 03, 2011
[Update, Jan. 4, 8:03 a.m. ET] The San Francisco Chronicle has issued a correction to the item excerpted in the post below: "A report before the game that the Stanford band had been banned for a halftime performance was incorrect. Neither school's band was scheduled to be part of the halftime show, which featured the Goo Goo Dolls. Each band was limited to a six-minute pregame show." Obviously, then, this post (based on that report) was also incorrect. Dr. Saturday sincerely regrets the error, even more than it regrets the continued infliction of the Goo Goo Dolls on national television audiences.
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The game is going to be a good one, but even hardcore football fans had to be looking forward to the halftime highlight of the year during Monday night's Stanford-Virginia Tech showdown in the Orange Bowl: A rare national television performance by the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band, perennial standard bearer of the proud traditions of interscholastic antagonism and irreverent hijinks. Some bands are precise; some are loud; some are theatrical. The LSJUMB is genuinely fun, if you're the kind of person who considers infuriating almost every school the Cardinal have ever visited (along with at least one nationally syndicated advice columnist) "fun."
Alas, the band's reputation precedes it in Miami, where bowl officials have officially banned the band from performing at halftime, to spare a certain local resident's fragile ego:
Orange Bowl administrators, determined to make tonight's matchup between No. 5 Stanford and No. 12 Virginia Tech less entertaining, have decided to bar Stanford's irreverent band from performing at halftime.
The move comes after the band announced its show was entitled: "Recent Events in the Pro Sports World in Miami."
Apparently bowl officials were concerned that the band might mock LeBron James and hurt his feelings.
Just to be be fair, Virginia Tech's band has also been banned. Both will play a six-minute pregame show instead.
Honestly, I can't imagine why the Orange Bowl would be concerned about the intentions of a collection of overachieving mischief-makers that traditionally enjoys a pregame meal of beer and doughnuts. Just look at some of the wholesome family fun the band has generated throughout its 40-year history:
• Once mocked the kidnapping of Cal alum Patty Hearst in Berkeley;
• Commemorated the anniversary of UCLA alum Jayne Mansfield's (falsely rumored) decapitation in a car accident by playing "Another Saturday Night and I Ain't Got No Body" at the Rose Bowl;
• Was banned from Oregon for 11 years for making fun of the pending extinction of the state's spotted owl during a conservation fight;
• Received a lifetime ban from Notre Dame in 1997 for playing with a conductor in a nun's habit and a wooden crucifix as a baton during a show titled "These Irish, Why Must They Fight?" which featured jokes about the 19th century Irish Potato Famine and reportedly prompted a fan to charge the field screaming "You're all going to hell!";
• Had members skip rehearsal to play outside the O.J. Simpson murder trial;
• Employed five members of the dance team, the Stanford Dollies, to mock polygamy at BYU.
[Another marching band tradition: 'Script Ohio']
And so much more, most of it incurring some form of sanction, ban and one near-dissolution, after the Band wrecked its multimillion-dollar "Band Shak" in 2006. After a relatively quiet spell, the LSJUMB returned to its glory days as provocateurs with a raucous halftime show at the Los Angeles Coluseum honoring USC alum and "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis for his distinguished career in (and I quote) "sexual harassment, drug trafficking, tax evasion, prostitution, child abuse and disruptive flatulence." What could possibly go wrong here?
[Rewind: Rocker destroys National Anthem]
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