We Texans tend to be a good-natured lot. We laugh off visitors who are surprised to learn we don’t travel everywhere on a horse. We even allow some ribbing about our accents (heck, we’re even fond of making fun of that ourselves). But there is one thing guaranteed to get our dander up —and that’s taking jabs at Whataburger.
But that’s just what the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band did Thursday night during the Valero Alamo Bowl's halftime show. The band, billed as the “The World's Largest Rock and Roll Band” (forgetting that the only time a marching band came close to earning that distinction was in 1979) introduced their program as a series of fun facts “sponsored by The Onion and the White House Press Office — everyone’s favorite source of definitely not made-up facts,” before taking aim at several targets near and dear to Texans' hearts.
Of rival TCU’s Horned Frog mascot, one Stanford announcer said, “Explain that one, evolution.” (As if the Stanford Tree — the disturbing love child of a sequoia and The Mighty Boosh’s Old Gregg — is somehow an example of genetic superiority.) Another called queso “the popular sports drink that Texans use as a refreshing alternative to Gatorade." (Um, that would actually be the margarita.) And in a joke stolen from the Big Book of Lame Puns, the band patted themselves on the back by claiming “we all know and love waterburger — a fast food chain that apparently only serves water.”
Needless to say, the crowd wasn’t exactly enthused, greeting the performance with a chorus of boos. Social media joined in, taking offense at several of the political references in the show (you can see the full script here), the potshots at state pride, and especially at the idea that Texas’ favorite burger joint was not treated with the reverence it deserves.
Of course, the San Antonio-based chain got the last laugh, proving that burgers aren’t the only thing they serve. “Maybe if the Stanford band had some Whataburger they wouldn’t be so unhappy,” the restaurant tweeted.
For the record, TCU beat Stanford, 39-37.