Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Stanford Grad's Perspective

Subject: Bad fans, bad band, good stadium (Stanford Daily)

Bad fans, bad band, good stadium

September 19, 2006

By Glenn Truitt

It¹s been over a year since I was last on campus, since I wrote for the

Daily and since I publicly proclaimed my hatred for the Band. Saturday, I

had the opportunity to see my two Alma Maters meet on the football field, an

occurrence rare enough to justify the six hour drive to see the game, and an

occasion which also coincided with the opening of Stanford¹s new stadium.

And while you have an AMAZING new stadium ‹ certainly, the class of the

Pac-10 ‹ you still have the worst football fans at any major university and

a band that remains an embarrassment to your school. At least you¹ve finally

gotten the cheerleaders right.

What kind of band is so screwed up that it misses an event like Saturday¹s?

And don¹t tell me that it¹s not the Band¹s fault. You mean, you couldn¹t see

this coming? It¹s an isolated incident? The fact is, the Band has been an

increasingly annoying eyesore for years, and now it¹s the subject of

national ridicule (See the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Indianapolis Star,

the San Francisco Chronicle, etc.) Looks like I may have been the rule and

not the exception after all, (see my column 3/1/05) to which I¹m certain the

band will respond that we¹re ALL now fascists. Listen, that response is even

more tired than the Band¹s act. Just stop, you¹re only making it worse.

What fills me with joy is the fact that the world¹s worst fans and

corresponding band, got a chance to see what real fans and a real band look

like, right in the middle of their own brand new house. Because, amidst

Navy¹s sound beating of a stronger, faster and more experienced football

team, they also came with louder, more excited fans, a rowdier student

section, and a band that doesn¹t suck. There it is Stanford, that¹s the best

look you¹re ever going to get.

I overheard one Stanford fan lamenting ³We¹re stronger and faster than all

these guys, how can we possibly be losing?² I¹ll tell you something that I

learned while still a freshman at Navy: it¹s all about ³heart.² None of the

Navy players will play in the NFL, and none of them were likely recruited by

the major conference schools. They go through the same grind as all the

midshipmen at Navy, they get no special favors ‹ they stand

shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the Brigade. After graduation, many of

them will go to war ‹ a place where their touchdowns and tackles mean

nothing. So why do they play? Perhaps for love of the game, for pride in

their school, perhaps for the crowd who they know will stay to the end of

the game and cheer them, win or lose. For whatever reason they play, they

play; and they play hard. They play with HEART. And that¹s why I cheer for

them. There are very few pure things left in college football, and Navy is

one of them.

The Stanford football team has little reason to dig down deep. I¹ve seen

more excitement at a knitting convention. And at the first sign of

adversity, the so-called ³fans² filed for the exits like rats on a sinking

ship. That¹s right, in the THIRD QUARTER of the home opener in a BRAND NEW

stadium many cardinal-wearing spectators were already headed home. Better

things to do I guess. What¹s worse, when it came time to sing Stanford¹s

alma mater (after Navy sang theirs to a packed house), there wasn¹t even an

identifiable section of fans for the Stanford team to stand in front of to

sing ‹ the student section had long since gone off to their own parties.


For the men of the Stanford football team, here¹s something you might not

hear enough from your own crowd: Great game; you played hard; and better

luck next week. You guys deserve that great stadium.

As for the ³fans² and the Band, you don¹t even deserve to be let inside.

Glenn Truitt, Stanford Law School Class of 2005, USNA Class of Œ97 is now a

practicing attorney in Los Angeles, and still, even from a distance, hates

the Band. He welcomes comments at


Post a Comment

<< Home