Want political opinion with your college football? Stanford University's marching band -- whose penchant for suggestive formations and wry commentary are a far cry from the traditional rah-rah half-time programs presented at most college games -- managed to work a couple presidential candidates into the half-time show of the Stanford-University of California (at Berkeley) game.
In their first formation, band members spelled out the name "CARTER." Then, part way through a rendition of the song "Uptight," the word changed to "MARTYR." The second formation spelled out the word "BAKER" with an underline. THEN THE WORD CHANGED TO "BAKED" and the number "2" appeared under the line, forming a fraction that translated into "half-baked." The musical accompaniment: "My Cherona," which the band feels is a half-baked song, according to a spokeswoman in the university's athletic department.
A final formation took note of the historial oddity that so many U.S. presidents elected in a year ending in zero have died in office. Band members formed a circle with a plus sign, like a rifle target, as they played the song, "Only the Good Die Young."
Stanford lost the game, 21 to 14.
Footnote: One of the most controversial formations by the band occurred several years ago, shortly after heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnaped. Band members formed an empty hamburger bun on the playing field. When fans figured out the symbolism (no patty), the administration was deluged with letters protesting the band's sense of humor.