It looks like the good times might be over. I want to draw attention to one quote:
Perhaps most famously, in a 1991 game against Notre Dame, a Stanford band member dressed as a nun conducted the band using a crucifix for a baton. The Fighting Irish indefinitely suspended Stanford from their stadium.
I was there. Notre Dame doesn't send it's band to all of it's away games. About half the time, it calls in Catholic Highschool bands who quickly learn the Notre Dame fight song. And for this particular game, I was playing tuba on behalf of Notre Dame.
I had been to gay pride the first time the summer previous. (This can't have been 1991, memory is funny.) It was the first time I ever really felt validated as a queer person. So when Stanford band came marching in, it looked a lot like gay pride, and I felt a surge of pride myself. The drum major, who I think was probably a man, was indeed dressed like a nun, in the flamboyant style of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. S/he was holding a crucifix on a long stick and using it as a baton. Behind, s/he was leading a man on a chain, who was carrying a small sign that said "boy toy." They were trying very much to look as queer and as pride-like as possible. It was awesome.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame was sooo heteronormative. All the cheerleaders were all clean cut, the girls all had long hair. The male cheerleaders were manly, even. They did pushups every time Notre Dame scored. How does that fire up the crowd? Notre Dame's cheerleaders sucked.
When half time came, a ton of band alums were there due to some sort of anniversary. They stood around the edges, but the rest of the band scrambled to form various shapes. The one that really pissed off Notre Dame? It wasn't the drum major, as that's a standard of pride events. No, they were enraged because the Stanford band formed a coat hanger.
I fucking love Stanford Band for that. They played for groups oppressed by the Catholic Church and it's organs like Notre Dame. Not only that, but all us highschool kids were chafing under the restrictions imposed upon us. We wanted to be cool, like Stanford. We all wanted to be more like the band that was so so so GAY!
I fucking love the Stanford Band.
I was there, too. Good times. Seeing them march on the field that day made me want to go to Stanford just to be in the band. I remember our conductor (you know who) looking out unfavorably on the riotous marchers, but I thought it was grand. I didn't even know that the game was contraversial until I went to Cal.
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