The 2012 edition of the USC vs. UCLA rivalry has taken an interesting turn, with five days left until the teams collide in Pasadena. According to a source close to USC’s Spirit of Troy, the Trojans’ band has been informed by UCLA officials that the school’s sword-wielding drum major will be prohibited from his traditional pregame stabbing of the grass this weekend at the Rose Bowl.
Furthermore, according to the source, the band has been told that should the sword be inserted into the turf, secruity would prevent the band from taking the field for a pregame or halftime show, as they would be limited to playing from the stands.
The push to ban the sword stabbing was vocalized on the internet through an open letter run by the controversial UCLA fan site BruinsNation.com, which encouraged the university to “defend the logo” and restrict the access of the drum major through the use of an on-field protest.
We would prefer to not have to ask our football team to defend our logo. We would prefer to have our Spirit Squad and the UCLA Band do it. We would even welcoming allowing Den members special field access for pre-game ceremonies for the specific purpose of defending our logo.
We would even be willing to do it ourselves if the consequences would not include being arrested and removed from the game for entering the field of play.
So, we are turning to the guys who make up the bulk of individuals who have field access to ask you to find a group of 5 to 10 guys to defend our logo. They can be guys who are redshirting or not playing due to injury. They could even be reserves who will not see any game action. While it doesn’t really matter who it is, we would prefer it interfere with pre-game preparation as little as possible. We do not want it to be a distraction.
The band was not informed as to whether or not Bruins Nation’s campaign has aided UCLA’s push towards banning the sword stabbing. Instead, they were told that it resulted from a Pac-12 promotional video that went viral after it outraged UCLA’s fan base for depicting the drum major stabbing the turf at the Rose Bowl as he stood over the UCLA wordmark.
As for the Spirit of Troy, it’s unclear at this time as to whether or not the drum major will stab the sword.