Featured, Media, Sports

Media Fail: Stanford Band Not Actually Banned At Orange Bowl


It’s never fun to ruin a good story with the truth, but it seems that Stanford’s band was not actually banned from the Orange Bowl halftime show as reported by numerous news outlets this week.

The story apparently started with this post from MSNBC which reports that neither band will be performing at halftime while noting that “halftime is reserved for a high-production musical act,” and then goes on to list some of the great Stanford band hijinks of the past.

The San Francisco Chronicle then took the story and rehashed it with a bigger emphasis on the planned performance entitled “recent events in the pro sports world in Miami,” and used this flashier headline:


Once the story was live from San Francisco it was picked up broadly across the internet and reported as fact.

The Chronicle did not use an eye catching headline when they printed their retraction of the story as part of their post-game notes:

Band on the run? A report before the game that the Stanford band had been banned for a halftime performance was incorrect. Neither school’s band was scheduled to be part of the halftime show, which featured the Goo Goo Dolls. Each band was limited to a six-minute pregame show.

Turns out that to accommodate putting in a stage and having a full performance by the Goo Goo Dolls meant there truly was not time in the halftime program for either band to perform regardless of the content.  Worth noting no actual Orange Bowl officials are quoted and there is no indication in the story they were contacted as to why the bands were not performing and, just a guess here, but I bet NBC and the SF Chronicle are the kind of outlets that could get an official answer to that question.

While there is no reasonable defense for the decision to subject innocent college football fans to the Goo Goo Dolls it seems the blame does not go to the Stanford Band.