The two-week gap that separates the NFL’s Conference Championships and the Super Bowl is halved by the Pro Bowl, professional football’s version an All-Star game that everybody loves to hate. (I’ve never watched one in full and I don’t think I ever will.) And yet, on Sunday, the Pro Bowl happened in Hawaii, as it typically does this time of year, in front of a half-filled stadium. The AFC won.
But did you know that there’s a halftime show at the Pro Bowl? And did you know that in 1966, it featured a marching band that goose-steps in the shape of a swastika that is swallowed by a church(?)—part of a halftime show called “The Cost of Freedom”? The good folks at Deadspin.com unearthed the following video and an article from the The San Bernardino County Sun, describing the Chaffey High School Tiger Marching Band’s “militant style…German goose-stepping” march as something that was done to “depict the cost of freedom while purchasing it during the American Revolution, Civil War, and World Wars I and II.”
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.