Battle Of The Bands: Stanford Just Doesn’t Compare To USC
Whenever USC and Stanford face off, you know you’re in for a great match-up – and not just between the football teams.
The Spirit of Troy Trojan Marching Band is known for its grandeur and tradition. The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band, on the other hand, is known as a random group of individuals who act really weird. Both bands are well-known in the college football sphere, but which one is really the best?
In recent years, it has become somewhat of a tradition for these bands to use their halftime shows to make fun of each other.
This year, the Stanford drum major dressed in a Trojan-looking outfit, complete with fake armor plates and a Trojan hat. And in this year’s halftime show, “Timmy Trojan,” as he was called, led the Stanford band onto the field, mocking USC’s marching style. They even played USC’s famed “Fanfare! Tribute to Troy.” The rest of their halftime show was full of disoriented marching and a random plot that made absolutely no sense.
Instead of attacking Stanford in their own house, the Trojan Marching Band showed some respect, and just played a field show featuring Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Sia’s “Titanium.” Even the people in the Stanford section were getting into it.
USC definitely gets points for producing an entertaining show, and moreso for respecting the home team. Stanford doesn’t seem to think the same way as USC. Every time they come to the Coliseum, they put on some kind of show that pokes fun at USC. While they have guts for mocking a team on their own turf, it’s incredibly rude. Thankfully, USC doesn’t take this sitting down – when they play Stanford at home, they usually come up with something to counterattack the Farm.
Here are some of the highlights over the years:
Every USC home game: USC does the “Stanford countermarch.” The band gets in many lines, plays a monotone song and marches past each line. Then, one section of band breaks out into random dancing and playing.
The late 90′s: As a child, I remember having a fascination with the Stanford tree. I remember one halftime show in particular, where the tree was a villain. Superman couldn’t stop him. Batman couldn’t stop him. But then, the Trojan came along, and slayed the evil tree.
2007: Instead of doing the “Countermarch,” USC opted for something else. Members of the USC rugby team were dressed in Stanford and Cal uniforms, and with the help of the band, re-created the historic 1982 game between the two rivals – Stanford was up 20-19 with 4 seconds left, but ended up losing after a series of Cal laterals. The Stanford band thought the game was a done deal and was already on the field. One of the tuba players was even clobbered by a Cal player.
2009: Stanford created a halftime show in “tribute” to one of USC’s greatest alums…Joe Francis. The whole halftime show was devoted to sarcastically talking about the amazing people that USC produces.
The Spirit of Troy Trojan Marching Band has been on Glee, performed a promo for Hawaii Five-0, played at shows at the Hollywood Bowl, played with Radiohead at the Grammy’s, had a rally in Times Square when USC played Syracuse – the list goes on and on. What has the “Incomparable” Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band done? Based on their website, not much.
Is it any wonder that we’re the “Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe?”