Stanford band defends farmer-trolling halftime performance at Rose Bowl
By now, you’ve likely seen what the Stanford band did at halftime of the Rose Bowl. In case you didn’t, the band attempted to poke fun at Iowa’s farming roots by tipping a giant fake cow, playing the farmersonly.com jingle and forming a corn maize.
As expected, it was not well received, especially at halftime of a game in which the Hawkeyes trailed 35-0. Iowa fans booed them off the field and ESPN pulled its broadcast of the band’s performance.
The Tournament of Roses committee wasn’t fond of it, either. They issued a statement during the week suggesting a need for change:
“The halftime performance was not in line with the values of the Rose Bowl Game, and we will be reviewing our policies and procedures with regard to future band performances.”
The Stanford band delivered a statement in response to the committee and the public’s overwhelming disagreement with the performance’s intentions (via the San Jose Mercury News):
“The Band’s halftime show has provoked a variety of reactions. The performance was intended to be irreverent fun, given Iowa’s connection to farming and Stanford’s historical nickname ‘The Farm.’ The script posted on the band’s Facebook page provides fuller context. We understand that some viewers took offense at the performance, which we regret and which will be the subject of further discussion with the Band’s leadership.”
As you can see on the script, it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Clearly, the Rose Bowl was not the right place for that, especially from a band that spent the entire 2015 season prohibited from traveling to road games. The group was serving a suspension because it “violated university policies regarding alcohol, controlled substances, hazing and/or sexual harassment.”
Perhaps the pageantry of the Rose Bowl allowed for its December reinstatement. But the Tournament of Roses committee admitted that it hadn’t reviewed the band’s script.
If nothing else, Stanford’s blunder will lead to changes in the way the Rose Bowl conducts its reviewal process.