Kansas State really messes up a halftime show

A marching band formation Saturday during a halftime show at Kansas State University, intended to look like the Starship Enterprise attacking a Jayhawk, the mascot of its University of Kansas rival, instead resembled, according to some accounts, a sex act being performed against the Jayhawk, the Kansas City Star reports.

The performance immediately drew sharp criticism of the Kansas State University marching band, a one-game suspension for its band director, and a self-imposed fine of $5,000, to be paid to the Big 12 Conference, for the utter lack of sportsmanship.

But other people, including Starship Enterprise Captain James T Kirk himself (William Shatner), arguably the one person who possesses the most intimate knowledge of what the Starship Enterprise looks like, entered a strong opinion in the matter, saying the marching band’s formation was a good approximation.

Well, marching band directors, when they write shows, know what they want and sometimes don’t take a step back and look at their designs with fresh eyes or consider how other people might view their formations. The rivalry between the University of Kansas and K-State is deep, with Kansas usually winning on the basketball court and K-State dominating on the gridiron. But it appears there was no intention to offend anyone, despite appearances.

“There was absolutely no intent to display anything other than the Enterprise and the Jayhawk in battle,” Kansas State band director Keith Tracz was quoted as saying. “If I am guilty of anything, it would be the inability to teach the drill in a manner that these young people could have succeeded. I do apologize for the misrepresentation, and I assure you that I meant absolutely no disrespect.”

He won’t be allowed to accompany the band to the Sept 28 game against Kansas.

Furthermore, representatives from the school’s office of student life and athletic development have to give their approval for any formations and designs used in future halftime shows.

“At Saturday’s home football opener, Kansas State University fell short of its obligation to conduct itself in a consistent manner with the principles of sportsmanship,” K-State President Kirk Schulz said in a release announcing the penalties. “Good sportsmanship is part of the Wildcat way; we do not want to do anything that takes away from the tremendous efforts of our student athletes and the award-winning pride of Wildcat Land marching band.”

(PS. This is not an Onion article. It happened just like this.)

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Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more biographical information, see the About page.