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NCAA Football

Stanford Won The Rose Bowl, But Stanford’s Marching Band Really Won The Rose Bowl

Stanford defeated Wisconsin 20-14 to win the Rose Bowl, but the Cardinal football players weren’t really the stars of the day in Pasadena. That honor belongs to the members of their marching band, the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band, who did an amazing job of pissing off everyone in Wisconsin, and then everyone else in America who hates unconventional marching bands (which apparently is a contingent that exists).

The thing about Stanford’s marching band is that they are leagues cooler than all the other marching band nerds in the country. They dress in bright colors and kooky costumes, routinely mock their opponents (they played an “Ode to Cheese” during halftime of the Rose Bowl) and are basically an amalgam of Silicon Valley hippies who are good at playing instruments.

Shame on you Stanford band nerds, for not conforming to every convention we ever knew about marching bands. You are just the worst. According to some people on Twitter, here are some other things you are (via SB Nation):

What happens when rich kids are allowed to express themselves; the worst thing in all of college sports; a bunch of rich kids pretending to be poor; not very classy; RETARTED; make “Kenyon” professors look patriotic.

Someone should’ve alerted me when we got this serious about marching bands because I totally missed the boat.

[h/t SB Nation, Getty Images]

  • SLACker

    The REAL nastiness was when they broke into “Date Rape” by Sublime after their second touchdown. OUCH!! On THE FARM!!!

  • Steve

    The point isn’t the seriousness of marching band…A friend of mine said it well ” it’s not Funny – at a time when music education is fighting for it’s life, you aren’t helping make the argument. It stopped being funny a long time ago”

  • SLACker

    Umm… Tell your friend that it’s not 1950. “The Argument” that college bands should only comply with WW-II military standards is flipp’n stupid! Wake up in this century!

  • Observing the chaos

    Personally, I could do away with marching bands at halftime all together. That said I found Standord’s band to be an embarrassment to their school. Not for their style of dress or marching, or lack thereof, rather their arrogant mocking of the opponents fans and culture. In an age of ever increasing hostility between people they chose to set a tone by trying to insult their opponent rather than showing respect to the tradition of the game and the venue.
    While their team plays hard and lean their band sullied the good name of their school and fans by acting like chumps and then calling it art or personal expression.
    I found it tasteless and wonder why a respected institution would choose to have these children represent them.

  • http://twitter.com/JustinCrowe6 JustinCrowe

    just as Matthew responded I’m impressed that anyone able to earn $8744 in a few weeks on the cnetwork.

  • http://twitter.com/JustinCrowe6 JustinCrowe

    …..goo.gl/XagNt (Click on Home)

  • stanfordsucks

    These a**holes demonstrated how pampered they have been their entire life. I guarantee that most of the members of the stanford band have had few criticisms directed at their personal behavior by their enabling parents. This wasn’t a home game it was a nationally televised game and no one gives two s***s about your personal sense of humor. It’s frightening to think that most of these f***s will be running our industry and country one day.

  • g23

    Who’s making that argument?? It would be one thing if this band were any good. The author says they are basically an amalgam of Silicon Valley hippies who are good at playing instruments. But they’re NOT good at playing their instruments. They’re actually quite bad at playing their instruments. Because they don’t care. There is no standard of quality anywhere to be found. That is their standard: don’t care. In their minds, I guess, that makes them “irreverent.” Unfortunately, it just makes them a really bad band that comes off as clownish and stupid; the ultimate in lame. The picture used for the article is the perfect illustration of that point. The sad thing is, there is a way to be satirical the way they want to be and to be really GOOD at it, truly something special. But I’m afraid it requires caring about the little things, like say, looking and sounding good. Until they acquire that bare minimum of a standard, they’ll just be the loudmouth boor at the end of the bar, desperate for attention, convinced that they’re actually funny. But like most failed comedians who don’t know how to deliver a punchline, they don’t realize they ARE the punchline. A sad joke, and an embarrassment to one of this nation’s finest universities.

  • UW Bando

    Our band (University of Wisconsin) is unconventional. We at least show some care for excellence though. There are ways to have fun with it without looking like morons. The difference between us and them (and the reason I disregard all arguments supporting the Stanford band) is that we could do what they do any day of the week. They however, could not do what we do.

  • HolyGuacamole

    I was honestly appalled at their performance of the national anthem, in which they were moving around, playing terribly, and just looking all out disrespectful. Wish they had picked a celebrity to sing, because at least they sound good when they mess up.

  • Ben

    It’s not about being a “traditional” marching band. It’s about striving for excellence, regardless of what style and traditions the band has. I don’t care about how unconventional they are; the band performs poorly.
    And YES, we do take Marching Band seriously in this country, just like we take Football seriously. These activities instill discipline and teamwork, skills that Stanford Band members will not be taking into the real world!

  • NC

    This band has been a bad joke for years. They have been banned at the Orange Bowl. They are a bunch of jerks that do anything for attention – and have ZERO musical ability (as well as zero class.)

    I can’t remember what they did to Ok State last year -but it was also tasteless.

    They really use their “humor” to disguise the fact that they have no real talent.

    The Stanford family would be embarrassed if they saw who represented “leland”.

  • NC

    But they SHOULD be able to play instruments and they really don’t have that ability.

    They’re just not funny and the people who think so must be about as mature as a kid in pre-school.

    Grambling is unconventional too –the difference is that the Grambling band is GREAT and Stanford is a bunch of classless kids who can’t play.

  • Footballmom

    I was at the game and all I can say is Stanford embarrassed themselves. The band was so tacky, thank goodness Wisconsin put some class into that halftime show. You could clearly hear how the crowd roared for Wisconsin when they finished. Stanford band was a disgrace haha

  • Marmaduke

    THe problem is not anything you guys have pointed out. I could really care less about what they do at halftime or in a parade. The problem is that they did not play our Star Spangled Banner with any reverence or patriotic pride. I was embarrassed that they were even invited to play it. There are many college band programs that are “unconventional”, from drum corps style to show band style and everything in between. At least they play our National Anthem, no matter how good or band it may seem, with pride and love of country.

  • gradschprof

    Stanford’s show was arrogant and smug without being the least bit original, clever, or even ironic (perhaps you Stanford kids could consult one of your hotshot professors for further clarification). Cheese?! OMG we never heard that before. Next application I see with Stanford marching band listed as an activity is going straight in the trash. It says “Know-it-all hipster who won’t have a clue how to work with anyone from a different geography or background unless he/she is as uber as me.” Not interested. Have a nice day.

  • BandGeek

    I have two words for Stanford’s band: tasteless and tacky. An embarrassment to bands everywhere. You can be “fun” without looking like a fool.

  • khawk

    but what most haters are missing is that their goal is not to be a great sounding band … maybe that is where the dissers are missing it.

  • DancesWithTrees

    A few thoughts from a Stanford Band alum:

    1) I really struggle with the notion that the Wisconsin Band is unconventional. In fact, I would argue that the UW Band is thoroughly conventional. I thought the line in yesterday’s halftime show describing the Beatles as “The pinnacle of rock and roll” exemplified this rigid adherence to convention. I am not trying to disparage the UW Band – they are a really, really great marching band (unlike, say U$C). But let’s be real.

    2) This is going to be really, really tough for you to understand, but you could actually not do what the Stanford Band does “any day of the week.” You could read the music, you could play the notes, you might even get a little swagger. But it wouldn’t be the same, because the UW Band (institutionally) doesn’t know how to be free. Free of convention, free of the fetters of what some might consider outdated thinking, free of the fear that someone would make fun of you because you don’t adhere to their norms. And because of that, you wouldn’t really be having fun – deep down, absolute fun. And by the way, if you actually think the Beatles were the pinnacle of rock and roll, then there is no way you’d have fun playing music from the Black Keys, Muse, even Kanye West. And the fact that you weren’t having fun would be clear, and so it wouldn’t be the same at all.

    The Stanford Band continues to be the Stanford Band because it manifests the non-conformist, fun-loving spirit of the institution and its student population. And believe it or not, it is the exact same spirit that powers Silicon Valley. The only difference is that when you’re so busy trying to invent the next Google or LinkedIn or Tesla, you don’t have a lot of time to practice making tight ranks or perfect chevrons for halftime shows that would in the best case only draw a pittance of applause from the opposing team’s crowd.

    So I guess there’s one place we agree – the Stanford Band isn’t about excellence on the field. It’s just about having fun and playing music. We’ll save our excellence for the classroom, the lab, the Valley, and beyond, and we’ll leave excellence on the field to our phenomenal athletes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ewadams Ernest W. Adams

    That’s beautifully put. The LSJUMB just doesn’t begin with the same assumptions about what they are there for. They’re there to have fun and make music and DANCE. They aren’t really concerned with what other people think about them, but with expressing their joy of music.

  • BadgerCaniac

    A few thoughts from a UW Band alum :

    The UW band is quite unconventional and irreverent – it’s just that you will not see most of that behavior on the field. What makes them unconventional on the field is the difference in marching style from most ‘marching’ (read walking) bands. This is quite athletic and requires a great deal of discipline. Mike Leckrone is a marching band genius but has never enjoyed all the ‘additions’ that many bands use – twirlers, flags, etc, etc – it is just the marching style and the music on the field. His music may be ‘old’, by your standards, but classics nonetheless. Stanford may take great pride in their ‘irreverence’ and nonconformity, but as a former band member it seems to me just an embarassment to your great institution. The UW band saves their irreverence and ‘nonconformity’ for other venues – most those not on national television. Do not forget that this band has also been suspended by the university for this same type of behavior and ‘irreverence’, as it were.

    The UW band was the main ‘attraction’ during the ‘dark days’ of Wisconsin football in the 70′s and early 80′s – during my tenure there. Thus the evolution of the ’5th quarter’ which is filled with the same types of behavior that the Stanford band put forth during their performances. This band is filled with exceptional musicians – I sometimes wonder how they let me in their ranks and exceptional athletes – one has to be to be able to play after that 3 minute run-on.

    To say that the Stanford band ‘won’ the day just shows how little people know about what makes an excellent band and an excellent performance.

  • Disgruntled”BandNerd”

    Band Nerds? What are you? A Highschooler?!? Stick to a subject you have any remote knowledge of Jordan.

  • Steve Lucas

    Please tell me you don’t really believe that. If it’s all about having fun and making music and dancing and not caring what others think about them, then what’s the point of their lame attempts at satire? Let’s face it, this is an organization that is OBSESSED with what people think of them. They go out of their way to try and provoke and they get off on the criticism. They don’t care about making music. That’s a very convenient excuse to go on the field, play badly, act like a bunch of clowns (who aren’t funny), and then when people call them out for their act, they run and hide behind “we’re only trying to have some fun and you just don’t get us.” This nonsense about “we’re the only ones who know what it means to truly be free” and “no one else could possibly understand how to express their joy of music and have as much true fun performing as we do” is beyond laughable. That they don’t even comprehend what a joke they’ve become doesn’t surprise me. They haven’t known how to deliver a proper punchline in years. Then of course, being funny requires timing and discipline and, you know, caring about what you’re doing. If they understood that caring about being great at what you do is actually tons of fun, they might actually be relevant at the satire they attempt (and are currently failing miserably at). They might also discover a new level of freedom and what having fun performing can really be about. Otherwise, they’re just inventing excuses to suck.

  • paul

    They are an embarrassment to the University

  • Bando II

    The thing is the UW band does know how to have fun on the field, we do it during the 5th quarter (after the game) This lets us still have two excellent shows and then goof off and do stuff like the Stanford band.

  • Anonymous Z

    If Stanford band was so “free” and unconcerned with what other people think, why do they consistently perform in a manner that would be considered “outside the conventional norm.” I think, if they only did what they wanted, eventually they would put together a show that was enjoyable and also conventional. So, let’s call this what it is. The Stanford band has made its name by being outlandish, crazy, and often offensive, and that’s what motivates the ideology behind their performance, and dictates whether or not the show is good. Most of the time, it’s not.

  • Steven Perry

    Also at the game and felt the same. S was boorish, poor playing, and I quietly hoped the T.V. feed was cut through some act of benevolent intervention. People around me kept saying “I don’t get it.” People did not have fun, watching them. W instilled pride, showed athleticism and it was entertaining (FUN) to watch their precision showmanship.

  • BoredOutOfMyMind

    I was at the game Tuesday and can state with first-hand knowledge that the Stanford band put on a dismal performance. Above all, the ‘music’ was terrible. If these are, in fact, good musicians, it doesn’t come across in their performance. A band is on the field to put on a good show for the audience, both in attendance and watching at home. A band is not on the field to be selfish by being non-convential and doing what THEY think is funny and entertaining. People seated around me said things such as, “I don’t get it,” “Are they trying to be funny?” and “Are they trying to be cool?” Maybe it will take being banned from every college stadium and/or bowl game before they realize that their antics aren’t progressive, intelligent or humorous but offensive, stupid and boring.

  • Anonymous

    As a former member of the Stanford Band, I actually agree with some of what you say. The Band is obsessed with what people think of them – or at least, obsessed with not caring what people think of them, which basically amounts to the same thing. Part of the problem is the reputation the Band built during its halcyon days, which has attracted an element who is weirdly self-conscious and preoccupied with image, as opposed to music and genuine fun.

    But at the core of the band is a group of extremely talented musicians (many of whom perform in a variety of other local and professional musical groups) who are all about what Mr. Adams said above. Having played in conventional marching bands before attending Stanford, I can tell you I had a lot more fun in LSJUMB than I did sweltering in a polyester pseudo-Prussian dress uniform playing poorly arranged medleys from Top 40 radio.

    If it makes you feel better, a lot of higher-ups at Stanford share this board’s general disdain for LSJUMB. Every field show and performance has to be approved by the AD (part of the reason the funniness/comprehensibility of the field shows have been on the decline), and any infraction typically results in ever more rigorous surveillance. If they had their way, I’m sure LSJUMB would be replaced by a more conventional band. I think the world of halftime would be a little poorer for it.

  • John

    So, summary of the comment board:
    Wisconsin band = musicians who actually play well and take themselves seriously
    Stanford band = a bunch of crazy hippies, some of whom can play but most of whom just want to party on the field

    My vote goes to Stanford. At least they look like they’re having a good time lol

  • Anonymous

    Once in a while their ‘shows’ are amusing. But, over the years, the whole mystique has grown well, old, predictable, nay I say, even commercial. Like Old Hippies Ben & Jerry, the Stanford Band antics have grown corporate and rather silly….the surprising has gone the way of profitable Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia……

    I have always enjoyed the tree since the proud Indian was cast aside for poltical correctness, and the name Cardinal. The tree seems rather proud and happy and Redwood-esque….

    Alas, Stanford, all those brilliant minds, wealthy minds, Chelsea Clinton-ites mixed in with the Condi Rice-wannabes, and the John Elway-to-be fellows…..the band has lost the ‘cool’ factor. It’s more Saved By The Bell…..than Mad Men these days.

    Cheese? I don’t know, Occupy Pasadena, A Salute To Flora & Fauna, A Salute To Men Named Barry, A Salute (Or Protest) of Chick-Fil-A & Bovine, A Salute To Party Central U of W, A Salute To Majors In Dairy Science & Agriculture & Poultry Science may have been more challenging & entertaining………
    I miss the red sport coats & cool white hats …..

  • Rank 1 has fun

    Your argument is basically saying that Stanford’s band doesn’t have time to put together spectacular halftime shows like my band does. By that logic, how does a top-20 worldwide university like UW-Madison out together our shows? Ohh wait…we put our academics first and still manage to put out impeccable pregame performances/halftime shows week in and week out. Nice try, but we work just as hard as Stanford does academically, and work infinitely harder on the band field. Eat a Rock!

  • Another UW Bando

    As a current member of the Wisconsin band, I can assure you we had a hell of a time on the field along with tears from many of the elder members, who have put their hearts on the practice and game fields for four or five years. Regardless of who is better, a marching band is supposed to provide entertainment. We may look like we don’t have fun but we are and we can entertain the shit out of any audience, even the opponent. That is more than can be said for the Stanford Band who, barely audibly, attempted to offend half the audience.

  • DawgByte

    Are you kidding me? The phony anti-hero play by Stanford’s band is clueless and sophomoric. There’s nothing cool or humorous about their “individualism” approach. If you really want to poke fun at other marching bands, don’t have one… opt out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.stables.54 Andrew Stables

    In regard to the comments below, Wisconsin is definitely an unconventional band when comparing it with other marching bands, especially in Big Ten Country. Its eccentric pageant style pregame is one of the most physical there is. As a Spartan Marching Band member, on the other hand, we have a more military-style tradition similar to The Best Damn Band in the Land (OSU), Penn State, and Purdue. These bands live by conformity in sound, march, and dress. However, this does not mean we don’t have true fun and or freedom. It’s just freedom in a different sense. There is a sort of pride we feel when functioning as a cog in a well-running machine.

  • Ali

    Isn’t it possible to enjoy your band and a less conventional version of band performance? I don’t pretend to understand the offense many claim to take with the Stanford band. I also think it’s pretty classless to ascribe bad parenting, flawed values, and a lack of patriotism based on a band performance. But that’s just me. I didn’t for one moment believe that Wisconsin band members were bad people because they looked ridiculous singing and prancing during part of their halftime show. I even can believe that it took a lot of rehearsal and was impressively in synch. It looked stupid to me, but to each his/her own. I’m glad you enjoyed your performance, though, and have obviously learned such superior entertaining skills.

  • BG

    They looked like and played like a poor high school band. No talent what so ever.

  • Not a western cowboy

    Guess I thought that
    pot smoking gay’s from San Francisco were above stereotyping Wisconsin as Cheese
    (while simultaneously insulting the British with a really stupid accent). By the
    way, California has more cows than Wisconsin.

  • WWBW

    I consider myself a connoisseur of marching bands. I love ‘em; I can watch them for hours. All of them.

    I was at the Rose Parade and the crowd LOVED the Stanford Band. They also LOVED the Wisconsin Band. Marching band traditionalists will always detest the Stanford Band’s style (after all, it’s making fun of marching band tradition). But there’s a large segment of the population who aren’t traditionalists and find the Stanford Band refreshing. To each their own.

    You may not like them, but a lot of people look past the lame jokes, disorganized movements, and less-than-stellar musicality and see college kids having infectious fun through music. Their instruments are channeling something different than other bands, but it’s no less pure.

    The world of college football is big enough to include something like the Stanford Band.

  • CPA

    1. Have you ever noticed how really high IQ’s are often really socially stupid?

    2. Anytime I watch a show where I could perform at least well as the performers, I rate the show as awful, because I have little musical talent!

  • Scott

    Nearly everyone who has posted on this is missing the entire point. The members of the Stanford Band are there primarily to have fun and to support the athletes. What you see in the Stanford Band is a genuine reflection of Student Life at Stanford University, perhaps of college life in general. Just a bunch of students having a good time and cheering on their sports teams. They’re not *trying* to be anything other than that, so comparing them to a “traditional” marching band is like comparing apples and oranges. And *expecting* them to be comparable to a “traditional” marching band is an unfair comparison.

    Take it as what it is – just a bunch of kids having a good time. I do suspect though that the main reason so many Wisconsin fans are peeved at the Stanford Band is that they lost…I mean, their shows were so tame at the Rose Bowl, especially considering some shows from the past.

  • BadgerCaniac

    Well – let’s think about the ‘point’.

    If the ‘point’ of a marching band is to entertain – then I guess both bands do, but since I was not at the game and only saw the TV coverage, I would debate the entertainment value of Stanford’s antics and the musical value. I guess one could do the same with the Badger Band, if what they do isn’t your cup of tea.

    I don’t think the ‘point’ of the band is to be mean-spirited toward the other team or its fans. In this I think the Stanford band fails miserably. You can be thought-provoking and witty without being mean – I now live in ACC country and many of their basketball fans (and bands) acheive this very well.

    If the ‘point’ of a band is to rev up the crowd and if the crowd is saying “I don’t get it”, then the band is failing miserably.

    BTW – Wisconsin was the underdog and most of us knew what the eventual outcome of the game was going to be. Most of us were proud that our team did as well as they did against the #6 team in the country after their difficult season, so to say we don’t like the Stanford band because our team lost is just confusing the discussion and flat-out wrong.

  • Megan :)

    I am in marching band myself, and to me the Stanford band disgraced marching bands all over the country. My in structure teaches us respect and professionalism. I know they are just trying to have fun, but they can still have fun and set a good example.

  • JEGS

    So Stanford knows that they are not a good band? Thanks for clearing it up.

  • khawk

    It’s not their priority …

  • Anonymous

    how can you support those dead-baby-eating field-pooping drum-major-conducting-with-a-nun’s-femur monsters?

  • Anonymous

    how can you support those dead-baby-eating field-pooping drum-major-conducting-with-a-nun’s-femur monsters?

  • Fred

    You folks do know that the Stanford band is NOT part of the Stanford Curriculum. Therefore, unlike places like Wisconsin, no school credit is earned by these students and no one goes to Stanford to take their high school marching band experience to the next level. This means, as a club, 100% of the time students spend with the band is their own and the only incentive and the only goal is to have fun (marching in straight rows like pretend soldiers from the 18th century just doesn’t seem be to quite as much fun, especially if no credit is earned). Also, it’s the AYSO of bands; everyone plays, as the band is open to anyone at any time including alums and musical ability is simply not much of a requirement.

    Furthermore, because the number of participants can vary greatly from week to week, precision drilling is simply not practical and is therefore not a priority. This is solved by scattering instead of marching. The lack of conformity, made clear by foregoing precision marching, is further enhanced by allowing band members to individualize their attire. Additionally, the show themes, whether tame, lame, or meant to enflame, are just another way in which the band achieves it’s top priorities, namely having a little fun and making the statement that they’re not like other bands; most of whom are indistinguishable from each other at a distance.

    Does all this add up to a weaker “marching band” performance with regard to both precision and musicality? Sure, when measured against serious and official school supported bands, but the Stanford band doesn’t care because precision and high level musicality are simply not among their objectives. The bottom line is that their goals and priorities are different than that of “serious” marching bands and they really ought to be judged against those criteria instead of the criteria that some other band might use. It’s like like saying Duck Soup is a bad movie because it doesn’t measure up to Ben Hur.

  • http://twitter.com/jfinley26 John L.S. Finley

    Just so y’all know more about the LSJUMB…the announcer is actually British, that’s not a joke, he’s just a member of the Band. Everything the Band does is strictly scrutinized and evaluated by the University, which pretty much removes any ability for real, free humor from the equation. Also, the Band is not supported officially by Stanford University and it’s a 100% student-run club. Additionally, those of you who are saying the LSJUMB has no talent must not have listened to them, they’re VERY good musicians (particularly the audition-only “Red Vest” group that plays at basketball games) and the entire Stanford community loves them, they’re just also very open and they allow kids who aren’t musically gifted to run around on the field with them. Lastly, the Tree is NOT the mascot of the school, it’s the mascot of the band, and EVERYONE loves the Tree. Stanford Cardinal athletic teams have no mascot. So even if you don’t like their style, at least understand what they’re bringing to the table.

  • Sir UW Bando IV

    I believe the whole conversation is straying from what we are really getting at here. Conventionality isn’t what is in question here nor is it the concept of freedom on the field. I find it particularly insulting that “DancesWithTrees” accuses the UW Band of not knowing “how to be free.” Our band simply has a different goal. This speech about “Stanford really winning the Rose Bowl” is a load of crap. Our band works to show we have determination, we strive to stand out, and we can create a higher standard for marching bands (from a physical and organized execution perspective). Stanford band takes a less intense approach and gives a very loose feel to their show, a more free show as some would call it.

    What you guys are doing here is comparing two bands with different agendas, which makes no sense. Being in the UW Band I would say we work much harder. Our practices are physically demanding and we never let up in order to deliver a show that shows a level of passion and intensity that can’t be delivered by any other. Stanford also works hard, and shows passion. However, this is in a different sense of those words. A final point (no negativity intended): I didn’t actually see Stanford’s band march at all so… are they a “marching band?” Another article called them a “Scatter Band” which seems more accurate.

  • RUkidding

    Seriously, this
    chicken got a free ticket to the Rose Bowl while playing a dollar store
    instrument? Must have known somebody. Didn’t get in because of her looks or
    musical talent!!

  • http://twitter.com/esoj1211 Jose Rodriguez

    We are quibbling over Stanford when the CSU schools probably have “bandas” by now.

  • westcoaster

    Seems like “parody” is just a dirty 4-letter word to Konservative Amerurka.

  • Yo Mama

    As a former member of The University of Texas Longhorn Band, I’ve been part of the Best Collegiate Band in the World, The Show Band of the Southwest..
    But in the Stanford league, only a Silly-Off could determine the Silliest in the land, and My contender is The Rice Owl Marching Band – the MOB!

  • That’s One

    Hip-Hop sucks. So do Leland Stanford’s outhouse residents.

  • FormerProfessionalMusician

    Wow! A lot of comments trying to compare Yo-Yo Ma with Lady Gaga! The styles are different. Get over it.

    As another poster mentioned, the Rice Band performs halftime shows similar to Stanford’s, as does the University of Virginia. I am sure there are other schools that have marching band clubs instead of a faculty run organization.

    Many years ago, I attended Ohio State and worked during the summer as a musician with a couple members of Ohio University’s marching band. The OU band (The Most Exciting Band in the Land) has a much different style than the OSU band (The Best Damn Band in the Land), but they are both good and entertaining. However, they did tire of being in OSU band’s shadow, and as a result they tended to have chips on their shoulder about their band being better. I think they did themselves a disservice by trying to enforce some kind of superiority over the OSU band. The bands’ styles are different. I see similar issues with the title of the article.

    Who would win in a battle of the bands between Lady Gaga and Yo-Yo Ma?

  • Former SMB Bone

    Let me begin by saying that the UW band is not at all traditional as fars as big ten bands go. As a former member of an actually serious band, the display that the Stanford band put on in front of a national audience was sophmoric and absolutely horrid in every sense of the word. When you put on a uniform you represent your university, and should take every thing you do seriously. You wouldn’t show up and march drunk, would you? And neither should you ridicule your opponent, or do anything to indicate this isn’t a serious thing. Leave that to the student section. It’s called class, and the Stanford band needs to find some.

  • SMB

    I understand that the sole purpose of the Stanford band is piss people off. That being said I think that they are a disgrace to Collegiate marching bands or even music in general. As a college musician listening to them “play” the National Anthem was just as bad as having _______ (insert pop star here) sing it will all the crap they do. This is a plea to any network, please don’t encourage the stupid antics of stupid people. That way college bands can begin to rebuild some respect that these fools destroyed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kathryn-Matheny/1345134650 Kathryn Matheny

    The pa guy personally attacks the school they are visiting. It beyond crosses the line
    I once was at USC game why was there a need to bring up kobes rape trial?
    The pa Guy is horrible!

  • Stanford Indian Bando

    I realize I’m really late to the party with this comment, but I’ve read through all the comments that were left shortly after the Rose Bowl, and, as a former Stanford Band member in the early Sixties when Prince Lightfoot (a really great human being) was both our companion and the university’s official mascot, I have a different and I hope balanced perspective concerning what LSJUMB has turned into lately.

    (I don’t want to get off-topic with the whole Indian/Tree thing, but I just want to take a long sentence so that Timm Williams – a Yurok chieftain – receives national recognition for his couple decades of selfless service to the university and the Stanford Family, his love for Stanford and his own heritage, and his willingness to travel at his own expense from his tribal lands near the Oregon border to the Bay Area and beyond as a representative of SU without his ever having been a Stanford student — before that was all wiped out by the PC transition.)

    Now to the point:

    When I was there I played tenor sax in both the marching band and the Red Vest band (mentioned by a prior poster to be the basketball pep band that is now audition-only in its membership as opposed to the totally auditionless marching band). Actually, the Red Vest band was an 18-piece stage band that then played big band jazz charts mostly from Count Basie’s book (as well as Stanford pep songs) at both basketball games and in concert performance. I don’t recall any auditions. Those who had the chops for that sort of playing just found their way to it. One who did during my time was the now world famous jazz trumpeter Tom Harrell when he was a student.

    Even in my day the marching band was less formal than the OSU-style drill bands. We wore red sports jackets, gray slacks, and gray Tyrolean hats instead of shakos or military hats. We didn’t high step or have intricate geometric formations. We sort of flowed into them but they were rehearsed. But whether stage band or marching band the musicianship was at the individual player’s highest level. I mean if you are going to publicly perform music of any nature what’s the point of taking your horn out of its case if it’s not done at the highest level of which you are capable? I was proud to have been on the field in October 1963 when Dr. Arthur Barnes’ arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner was debuted — silent stadium, solo trumpet for the opening joined quietly by the band at the bridge, building to a powerful crescendo at the end. It was spine-tingling and has become Stanford’s signature version from then to now. I agree with the critics who have said the 2013 Rose Bowl performance was sub-par. View the 1972 Rose Bowl performance on YouTube starting at 1:55 of the recording compared to the 2013 Bowl. The broadcast sound quality starts off spotty but improves. (I’m new here and don’t know whether linking is allowed. If not, go to YouTube and search “1972 rose bowl national anthem.”)

    When LSJUMB first turned to total freedom during the Seventies at the time the Tree appeared — itself a good-natured poke at the whole internal mascot brouhaha — much of their efforts were truly inspired and funny (if not everyone’s cup of tea). Over the intervening decades, as the critics within and without the Stanford Family have pointed out, it has worn pretty thin. When a great TV series reaches a point where it has nothing more to say but continues on they call it “Jumping the Shark.” I think LSJUMB has probably jumped the shark at this point.

    I have no problem with LSJUMB being iconoclasts, irreverent, controversial, silly at times. Poke fun at your opponents (we did in my day). But don’t be mean-spirited and nasty. Don’t do things simply for shock value. Don’t do or say things that both your supporters and your critics think are not funny in the belief that they are (or simply not caring whether they are). Whether you are university-affiliated or not, you DO represent the university. Above all, you’re musicians. Be that, first and foremost.

  • Curt Kraft

    SLACker I saw the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band at the Rose Garden next to the L A Convention Center, and their music was Superior

  • Jack

    And I know I’m very late to the party, but I agree with much of what Stanford Indian Bando says.
    In addition, being edgy, hip and cool is something that should come naturally. For me, the Stanford band, whether organized through the school or not, tries too hard and is way too contrived at this point to be edgy, hip OR cool. They’ve become almost a caricature of themselves, and in my opinion when you are trying to be hip and edgy, you no longer are.

    It’s like the intelligence argument, Intelligence should speak for itself. When you have to run around telling everyone how smart you are, it seriously loses something in the translation. Besides, having a higher IQ, a higher GPA, or higher SAT scores have never been an automatic indicator of superiority as a human being. Some might believe it is, but there are many examples throughout history that prove otherwise.
    But that’s another topic for another day.
    Some of the band members have said the AD monitors them now so they can’t be as funny as they used to be. Well, “funny” is in the eyes of the beholder. In the eyes of most, insulting or offending others is not funny. They may see their “wittiness” of the past as a mark of their intellectual manner, but one can still be funny without resorting to insults. There are many comic geniuses who have proven that.
    As an alum of Stanford’s chief private school rival here in CA, I’ve never been insulted by their antics.
    Sure, in years past they’ve mocked USC with outdated stereotypes of how getting into USC is only reliant on daddy’s money. And that’s fine. Whatever.
    Have I found them tasteless though? Yes.
    Their reenactment of the OJ freeway chase wasn’t insulting to me. but It may have been insulting to the victims’ families. And that story was a tragedy, with victims involved. At some point some things should be off limits.
    The fact is, anyone, if they allow their mindset to be taken there, can find a way to insult or offend others. That is not a trait that is reserved only for those who have the abilities necessary to gain admittance to top universities.
    Stanford is a great school. I have friends who attended Stanford. And to be honest, I have had no problems with the Stanford fan base at games or anywhere else.
    I just don’t find their band to be as clever as they think they are. Like the previous poster, I like a band to represent music. I’ll go to a comedy club if I want humor.
    And if I want social commentary or satire, I’ll find that in its own venue as well.
    My opinion.

  • Carson brattebo

    Stanford’s band sucks and so does their football team. Losing Michigan State! Barely beating a 7-6 Badger team without a quarterback and head coach. Got lucky not playing a better team last year

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