By Michael Precker, page 4F
Football field is fertile ground for pranks of halftime hooligans
And now, let's check out some halftime
highlights around the country:
* At the Colorado School of Mines, band
members wear flannel shirts, jeans and hard
hats. The drum major carries a toilet
plunger. Between numbers, players toss
Frisbees as they scramble to the next
One hallowed tradition, says director Ross
McClure, is the Splitting of the Atom.
As the band forms a giant atom and plays
Also Sprach Zarathustra, sousaphones attack
the nucleus. This liberates three other
sousaphones, disguised as free electrons,
to break off from the atom and spin around
If you're a physics major, Mr. McClure
promises, this is absolutely hilarious.
"There's no greater prestige than to be one
of the senior electron breakers," he says.
* Among the Columbia University band's
exploits in recent years was a halftime
tribute to Sen. Edward Kennedy, at Harvard
The band formed a bridge on the field and
drove a car off it.
* At Stanford University, says band manager
and trombonist Josh Schiller, "We like to
call ourselves equal opportunity offenders."
One recent show featured an ersatz Jackie
Chan, the martial arts film star, beating up
homeless children and the Amish. Mr.
Schiller says it was funny, though he can't
really explain why.
The band was banned from Oregon a few years
back for making fun of spotted owls and
loggers, which prompted the athletic
department to demand script approval.
Nevertheless, the following year the drum
major marched onto the field at Notre Dame
dressed as a nun.
"He was jumped by an angry fan," Mr.
Schiller says. "So he changed costumes
and came out as a Hasidic rabbi.
"That got us banned from Notre Dame," he
* During the baseball strike a couple of
years ago, the Harvard band formed a
baseball and began playing Take Me Out to
the Ballgame - then in midsong, abruptly
re-formed into a dollar sign and switched to
Money, That's What I Want.
* The Yale band's repertoire this year has
included a debate between Bob Dole and Helen
Keller, moderated by chicken magnate Frank
Perdue. Tasteful or not, the idea was that
this was one debate Mr. Dole could win.
"We made a chicken on the field and laid an
egg that said `GOP,' " says Thomas Duffy,
Yale's director of bands. "Then we played
The Old Grey Mare She Ain't What She Used to
The band has formed "YER OUT" twice to honor
two distinct personalities: Yankees
outfielder Darryl Strawberry and Madonna's
* The Marching Lumberjacks at Humboldt State
University in Northern California wear work
pants, suspenders and orange T-shirts
proclaiming "Kiss Our Ax."
The annual highlight is the band's
performance at the nearby Clam Beach Run,
says Andy Fiddler, the band's ax major.
"Our marching theory is `follow the ax in
front of you,' " he says. "One year the ax
major marched straight into the ocean, and
everybody followed him. So now we do it
"We got in National Geographic for that," he
* At the College of Wooster in Ohio, the
150-member Scot Marching Band all dress in
kilts. Before each game, the football team
lines up single file on a hill near the
stadium. Then, as the band plays, the
bagpipers appear and lead the team in
charging down the hill onto the field.
"It's straight out of Braveheart," says
college publicist Jeff Hanna.