December 31, 2002
Halftime controversy

The Continental Tire Bowl, one of those bowl games you've never heard of (in this case, because it's new this year), has produced some controversy. Seems the governor of West Virginia has his panties in a bunch because the UVa pep band made fun of West Virginians in their show.

During the Cavaliers-Mountaineers matchup at Charlotte, N.C., Virginia's independent pep band staged a parody of "The Bachelor,'' with a male Virginia student choosing between two female contestants.

One female, purported to be from West Virginia, had blue overalls, pigtails, a talent for square dancing and a dream to move to Beverly Hills, Calif. -- a reference to "The Beverly Hillbillies.''

Virginia officials said they plan to address the issue Tuesday. A West Virginia spokesman said school President David C. Hardesty would wait for Virginia's statement before issuing his own.

Leonard Sandridge, Virginia's executive vice president and chief operating officer, declined to say what, if any, sanctions could be imposed on the pep band. In previous years, officials barred the band from marching at halftime of home games.

"I wouldn't rule out any possible outcome, as we look more carefully at what has occurred and the reactions,'' Sandridge said. "The performance of the band was perceived as offensive by a number of persons -- Virginia fans as well as West Virginia fans. A performance that causes that kind of reaction is inappropriate.''

Boy, you'd think that given the UVa band's reputation for naughtiness, that someone might've demanded script approval beforehand, right? Well, they did:

Ken Haines, the Tire Bowl's executive director, said he approved a five-paragraph script presented by band officials before the game but decried the performance as "childish.''

"Their performance was more embellished,'' Haines said Monday from Charlotte. "The execution by the pep band was not in the same tone that we were led to believe. We were dismayed at the halftime performance of the pep band.''

He said the pep band is not welcome at future Tire Bowls.

"We'd be happy to have a Virginia marching band, if they should have one,'' Haines said. "Apparently, (the pep band) has a reputation for being rather unconventional.''

The pep band also lampooned West Virginia at halftime of a 1985 game in Charlottesville, Va. That performance, a parody of "Family Feud,'' included derogatory references to indoor plumbing and birth control in West Virginia.

School officials later apologized. Saturday's Tire Bowl, a 48-22 Virginia win, was the first football meeting between the two schools since that game.

Darn those embellishments! So what was this nasty, horrible, insulting show? Judge for yourself. Here's the script, as approved by the UVa Athletic Department and apparently this Tire Bowl guy:

Continential Tire Bowl Show (exactly as approved):

intro: ladies and gentlemen- welcome to the final episode of the
continental tire bowl's "the bachelor". and please welcome our
bachelor to the field, DUDE{insert real name here}! [guy walks out
onto the 50] DUDE has a great sense of humor, likes candlelight
dinners, and enjoys long walks on the beach. he's also a member of
the finest scramble band in the acc, The Award Winning Virginia Fighting Cavalier Precision Marching Pep Band!!!

ann: we have just two bachelorettes left, GIRL_1[insert real name
here], a sociology major from wvu [girl walks out, wearing blue and
yellow]... and GIRL_2[insert real name here], a biology major from
uva [another girl walks out, wearing blue and orange]. so who will
it be? stay tuned to the continental tire bowl's "the bachelor" to
find out.

[the three dance during the song, with each girl pulling him away
from the other, vying for his attention]

ann: well, it's going to be a tough choice for our bachelor,
deciding between these two bachelorettes. GIRL_2, from uva, will be
attending medical school next fall and plans to be a pediatrician.
After she leaves wvu, GIRL_1 will be heading to california, out to
beverly. hills, that is. swimming pools, movie stars!

ann: now the moment you've all been waiting for- who will get the
continental tire and who will go home with a broken heart? will it
be GIRL_1 from wvu? [guy walks over to where GIRL_1]... or will it
be GIRL_2 from uva? [guy walks over to GIRL_2] who will it be?!?!

[guys goes back and forth between the two girls, and during
the "singing" part of song, he runs over to GIRL_2, drops to one
kness, gives her the tire, she shrieks in joy, they hug and he
carries her off the field toward the front sidelines]

Boy, they should sure be ashamed of themselves for befouling the honored traditions of the Tire Bowl. It's an outrage, I tell you.

UPDATE: Here's what I think the apology should be, as I suggested to the Rice MOB mailing list:

"The UVa Pep Band would like to apologize to any West Virginians who may
have misinterpreted our show as being disrespectful to their heritage. We
have the utmost respect for pigtails, overalls, and square dancing, and
never meant to imply that they were in any way less than honorable. We're
sorry for the confusion."

Will someone please tell Trent Lott that I'm available for his next gaffe?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 31, 2002 to Other sports | TrackBack


Posted by: Heywood on April 28, 2003 1:13 AM