Rose Bowl officially frowns on Stanford band's halftime performa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rose Bowl officially frowns on Stanford band's halftime performance

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(NBC) -

Stanford’s band simply can’t help themselves, especially when they’ve been cooped up and sequestered for so long. And, at some point, that holstered u-geek-ness was going to come spilling out.

In May of last year, “The World’s Largest Rock-And-Roll Band,” as it’s self-dubbed, wasbanned from traveling on road trips with various Cardinal sports teams, including football, for an entire academic year. The ban was triggered by an investigation that found “the band had violated multiple school policies on alcohol, hazing and sexual harassment.”

That travel ban was in place for the entire Cardinal football season; with the team winning the Pac-12 and earning a spot in the Rose Bowl opposite Iowa, the band, Jon Wilner of theSan Jose Mercury News writes, “requested approval to attend the Rose Bowl based on progress in meeting expectations set by the university, according to a Stanford spokesperson, and the request was granted.”

And then, at halftime of the Rose Bowl, the Stanford band — to the surprise of absolutely no one with a lick of sense — Stanford-banded their performance:

Apparently, the theme… and absurdly unrealistic cow costume… and the subtle nod to cow-tipping (highly-underrated endeavor, from first-hand experience)… and the udder (get it?) and inexplicable lack of below-the-belt shots at corn… and, well, pretty much everything a band that tries to get under peoples’ skin, shockingly, got under peoples’ skin. There were letters to the editor and everything from irate Iowans in the aftermath.

That led to the Rose Bowl offering up a mea culpa…

"Given the fine reputations of the schools in these conferences, we have not felt the need to review in any significant detail the planned performances of their representatives,” the Tournament of Roses said in a statement, adding that it regretted if any spectators were offended.

“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."

… and Stanford, a university that wholly embraces “The Farm” moniker, doing its best to respectfully chuckle at the uproar:

"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."

I’m just so thankful this country hasn’t become a thin-skinned caricature of its former self. And that humor and sarcasm and irreverence and the like are still welcomed or, at the very least, tolerated.  It’d be such a shame otherwise.

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