Stanford Regrets Adding Insult to Injury

September 15, 2004 | 18 comments
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I don’t know how I missed this, but apparently during halftime of last week’s Stanford-BYU game, the legenday Stanford Band’s halftime act included five dancers wearing wedding veils — a not-so-subtle dig at the opposing school’s founder. Not to worry, though, the Stanford athletic director issued an apology Monday.

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18 Responses to Stanford Regrets Adding Insult to Injury

  1. ronin on September 15, 2004 at 2:44 pm

    Yup, NPR reported it yesterday , on Morning Edition, and they also said that the Stanford Admin. had issued an apology. Now, question for our Stanford Alumni – doesnt the Stanford Band have a history of acting crazy during the halftime shows? I dont think this is the first time they have been reprimanded for doing something that was considered offensive.

  2. Kaimi on September 15, 2004 at 2:47 pm

    But has BYU apologized yet for the thrashing that they received? Perhaps things would have gone better if BYU had asked the Stanford band to come onto the field during the plays.

  3. Greg on September 15, 2004 at 2:48 pm

    Ronin,
    I think that causing offense is the raise d’etre of the Band. The site I linked to above lists some of their classic stunts.

  4. Geoff B on September 15, 2004 at 3:14 pm

    As a Stanford grad, and Stanford football fan, I have had something to say on this issue on Stanford football bulletin boards. The band is what they call a “scatter band,” which means it is purposefully irreverent and nothing like traditional bands. I believe most of the Ivies and a few other schools have similar bands. At Stanford, we consciously made fun of traditional bands for their military marching style. The scatter band concept was a late-1960s/early-1970s counter-culture response to this traditional style.

    The band has gotten in trouble with Notre Dame for making fun of Catholics and I believe even the potato famine. They have gotten in trouble multiple other times for sexual innuendo. Their scripts are now reviewed by a university official before they are allowed on the field, but, as they are a scatter band, scripts aren’t really followed.

    The band is made up of undergrads, grads and former students. There are some famous gray beards from the past who also “march” (scatter) with them. Drug and alcohol use is rampant during band performances (in my college days, there were several band members whose job was nothing more than pushing dollies filled with kegs of beer behind the band).

    I did not see the halftime performance, but apparently it was a dig at the church for opposing SSM and at the same time supporting polygamy. From what I’ve heard, the line was something like, “We support the traditional right of a man to marry a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman and a woman.” Each of the women was a Stanford cheerleader wearing a veil. The BYU supporters (perhaps one-third of the crowd of 32,000, btw) booed lustily.

    My personal opinion as a church member first and a Stanford fan second is that the routine was sophomoric and not all that funny, but relatively harmless. I get pretty tired of the people who say, “oh, you’re a Mormon, where’s your second wife?” I have taken advantage of this opportunity to educate a lot of people about polygamy (I come from a family with polygamy in its history, so I have some stories to tell). You’d be amazed to know how many educated people out there think Mormons still practice polygamy. Really. So I’ve set the record straight with many of them.

    On the PR front, my personal opinion with these types of issues is to just chuckle and remind people that we don’t practice polygamy anymore. Not much good to get all hot and bothered about it.

  5. cooper on September 15, 2004 at 3:29 pm

    Just goes to show that a person can be smart enough to get into a place like Stanford and still be as ignorant as a guy who didn’t graduate 8th grade.

  6. danithew on September 15, 2004 at 3:56 pm

    Following that link on “Stanford Band’s” in the post is wortwhile. A very interesting read.

    That game was so disappointing. During the first quarter or at least the beginning of the first quarter, BYU played quite well and Stanford couldn’t seem to score. Then suddenly BYU imploded, exploded, whatever you want to call it. What a disaster. Suddenly BYU was completely useless and the opposing team was running the ball wherever they wanted.

    BYU used to have a sort of odd pattern, where they’d be behind in the score and then would mount a miraculous effort to win at the end of the game. These days there isn’t any kind of pattern or consistency at all. It seems that they have capable players …

    What happened to the bold crazy long-pass plays we used to see under Lavell Edwards — the ones where receivers had to run a long ways down the field and then jump way up in the air to catch the ball? These days it seems the passes and plays we see are all thrown low or directly to the players body for low gains or middle gains.

    Maybe there isn’t such a difference and it’s all in my mind … but it seems that BYU has lost track of its football traditions. The only tradition I wanted to see gone was the one where it regularly took hits from multiple BYU players to tackle an opposing player.

  7. Kingsley on September 15, 2004 at 4:01 pm

    I think it’s hilarious. I would love to see maybe 60 women, all in wedding gowns and veils, doing a unified high kicking can can with a Brigham Young lookalike in the middle, his skinny black slacked legs kicking high and vigorous, his beard trembling. Talk about a good halftime show.

  8. john fowles on September 15, 2004 at 4:04 pm

    Kingsley: and for good measure, behind the can can line of BY wives, you could have any random rapper and all of his sexual liasons in a parallel line. Sure, the gangsta wouldn’t be married to BY, but he would likely have fathered more kids anyway.

    Oh wait, nevermind–that wouldn’t be shocking at all. A guy can sleep with as many women as he wants, as long as he’s not married to them. . . .

  9. Kim Siever on September 15, 2004 at 4:07 pm

    Greg,

    That’s what you get for not reading a Soft Answer.

    http://www.asoftanswer.com/blog/2004/09/14/insult-to-injury

  10. john fowles on September 15, 2004 at 4:08 pm

    Sorry, that should have said that the gangsta wouldn’t be married to those women like BY, but he would have fathered more kids anyway.

    To all leftist readers: this is not a tongue-in-cheek comment in support of reinstating polygamy; rather it is a tongue-in-cheek statement criticizing the way our society accepts/encourages having multiple sex partners (there’s nothing wrong with it!), but at the same time ridicules and recoils the idea of LDS polygamy before the Manifesto.

  11. Greg on September 15, 2004 at 4:18 pm

    Kim:
    I actually did a google search to see if this was already around the bloggernacle, but I didn’t see the Soft Answer post. What is most disturbing is that we both lighted on the same worn cliche as our headline.

  12. Gordon Smith on September 15, 2004 at 6:35 pm

    Scatter bands are as cliche and uninteresting as the multiple wives jokes. They were funny and clever in the 1970s, but that was 30 years ago. C’mon! Have an original thought, students!

  13. Mike on September 15, 2004 at 10:47 pm

    John, although I do agree with you about a bit of a society double standard- I don’t think that it really applies here in the Stanford band case. In fact- I think the double standard you point out and the irony of the criticism actually supports the statement made and makes it seam less outrageous. The band wouldn’t have done this a few years ago. They aren’t critical of polygamy- they are critical of a church that says- only traditional marriage is ok and that the government should enforce that through legislation but has a history of non-traditional marriage and was oppenly critical of the government doing the same thing to us that we are encouraging be done in relation to homosexuals.

  14. Dan Richards on September 16, 2004 at 3:49 pm

    Does anybody remember the last time Notre Dame came to Provo (4-6 years ago, I think) and some male BYU fans came to the game dressed as nuns? There was some hand-wringing about offending the Catholics, but most Catholics seemed to think it was funny.

  15. Kaimi on September 16, 2004 at 3:57 pm

    No no no, Greg, that’s not how you do it. Try this:

    Official reply from the office of Greg Call:

    Any similarity between my post and the Soft Answer post is purely coincidental. Either that, or it’s the fault of the graduate student who has been ghost-writing my posts. Or I meant to correctly attribute it, but my pernicious editor cut out the attribution, for space reasons. Or it’s Kaimi’s fault, because the new blog software doesn’t allow for attribution.

  16. went to Stanford John on September 16, 2004 at 4:13 pm

    I was actually in the Bay Area last weekend and I wanted to go to the game just to see what the band would do. I was at the infamous Notre Dame game in which the “Stanford Cardinal” battled Satan and the idea of “Fighting Irish” was examined. Classic line, “Oh Irish, why must ye fight?” There was then a reference to the “Blighting Irish” since that was the other thing they were famous for. Catholics were outraged. At a game a few years earlier the band leader (who always is dressed in some zany costume) came out dressed as a nun or something and a woman from the stands (this was in Notre Dame) came out of the stands and attacked him.

    Just be glad that they didn’t do some research into why last year was the first time BYU and Stanford had ever played, which isn’t due to polygamy, btw. They could have really offended people then. Why is it off limits to make fun of polygamy anyhow?

  17. Greg on September 16, 2004 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks Kaimi. I may have a spot for you when you’re done mousing around with that little fly-by-night outfit you’re currently with.

  18. went to Stanford John on September 16, 2004 at 4:17 pm

    Geoff,

    I never saw any band member pushing the Dollies. Also when I was there one of the Dollies was LDS, and I can assure you that there wasn’t a keg of beer in her.

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