Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Iowa State Accelerates The Marching Band Arms Race With Inflatable Dinosaur Costumes

Iowa State upset 13th-ranked West Virginia 30-14 Saturday, which is of some consequence in the landscape of college football, but who cares—look at the dinosaurs. There are so many of them!


The Cyclones’ halftime show featured dozens of dinosaurs, who ran onto the middle of the field, turned, and swayed as the marching band played the theme from Jurassic Park. They were hypnotizing:


Like the horse head mask before it—and to a lesser extent, the Philly-specific “underdog” mask—the inflatable dinosaur costume has become a popular novelty for online-savvy people looking for an easy gag. The less fart-sniffy explanation: It’s popular because it’s funny! Who can resist the sight of a big dinosaur, tiny arms flailing, its enormous head contorted at an impossible angle whenever the person within waddles too fast? It’s a beautiful homage to the eternal rollerblading Raptors mascot, without the satisfying pratfall but nonetheless with the potential for it to happen.

The costume’s also pretty cheap. SB Nation’s Alex Kirshner spoke with Iowa State band director Christian Carichner, who said that the band purchased 60 of them for roughly $3,000. They chose not to get the version that made dinosaur noises, which makes sense. Those students could do that themselves.

The students couldn’t do much more than that, though. Carichner said the band members inside those costumes had limited capabilities, so the choreography was simplified. The dinosaurs had some help:

“So the kids couldn’t really see,” Carichner says. “If you watch the video, there’s two guys; we call them the ‘dinosaur wranglers,’ wearing different dinosaur costumes, kind of poking around and making sure that they were all in the right spot.”


“Obviously, they have small arms,” Carichner says of the costumes. “So they’re limited by what they’re able to physically do, so we spent a lot of time in the costume trying to figure out what gives us the biggest bang for our buck in terms of the movement. So, being able to do the 360 and not get too disoriented on the field.”


First, there was a T-Rex made out of band members. Now, there are band members inside T-Rexes. How will the government respond when one overly ambitious Power Five school’s horde of cloned dinosaurs maims hundreds of fans at a game?

[SB Nation]

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