This year’s Fiesta Bowl was a great game, and being an Oklahoma State fan I was very glad to see the Cowboys prevail in the seesaw battle. The only blemish on the game, other than my stress level all the way to the end, was the behavior of the Stanford band. They looked like they were having a lot of fun, but some of their behavior went beyond fun and I felt compelled to write a letter to the Stanford athletic director.
I’ve pasted a copy of it below and if anyone one else feels the same way you should write him and publicize this in any way you can. I know this isn’t a national issue or a big deal to most people. To me though it goes beyond any disrespect shown to the Oklahoma State football team, the state and the family of those killed in the tragic plane crash recently. The band’s actions showed a disregard for common decency to other people that in my mind is too prevalent in our society right now. If they are not held accountable in some way then it will just continue like business as usual.
You can contact Mr. Bowlsby via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at 650-725-8642.
Bob Bowlsby, Athletic Director
Department of Athletics
Arrillaga Family Sports Center
641 East Campus Drive
Stanford, CA 94305-6105
January 9, 2012
Dear Mr. Bowlsby,
I am writing to you because I want to convey my thoughts about the behavior of your band at the Fiesta Bowl this year. I am a fan of Oklahoma State, and while I am glad OSU won, I thought that Stanford played a hell of a game that could have gone either way. It was a great back and forth battle and both teams should be congratulated for giving it their all.
Before watching the game, I did not have any idea about the reputation of the Stanford band. All I knew about Stanford was that they had a very good football team and that my cousin’s son got his PhD recently there and thought it was a great school. Plus, it’s in a great part of California and having just taken a bicycling tour with my wife in the area north of San Francisco, you are all lucky to live in that part of the country.
Having said all that, I found some of the behavior of your band to be beyond the line of simple decency and respect. Trash talk about the football team, Oklahoma, Okies, Oklahoma State University, etc. is to be expected and I guess is just part of the experience. We could all probably do without it on both sides, but it is not something that I let bother me.
However, when your band stayed in place after the game and continued to play during the Oklahoma State alma mater and during the time when the presentation of the Fiesta Bowl award was to take place that was very inappropriate. I am surprised that no authority from Stanford stopped them from playing after the game was over. I hear that a Fiesta Bowl official(s) finally had to get them to stop playing so the presentation could go forward.
I was not at the game myself, but in talking to people that were, some say that members of the band mimed a plane crashing during the halftime show in reference to the tragic plane crash that recently took the life of the Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach among others. If that is true then someone needs to be held accountable for that behavior which any decent person would find offensive, disrespectful, and way out of line.
I would like to know your thoughts on the band’s behavior after game when they played through the Oklahoma State alma mater and their disruption by playing during the presentation by Fiesta Bowl officials of the trophy to Oklahoma State. I would also appreciate it if you could tell me if any member of the band or administration has been held accountable and disciplined for those actions.
Second, I would like to know if in fact you are aware that any members of the band mimed a plane crash during the halftime show or at any time at the Fiesta Bowl. If so, then I would like to know if any member of the band or administration has been held accountable and disciplined for those actions.
Your band seems to have a lot of fun and that is good to see. However, they crossed a line at the Fiesta Bowl and if they are not held accountable for their actions then I have to ask you what kind of message you think that sends to them and everyone else at your university and across the country.
I look forward to hearing from you.