High Notes 2011: Week 1

Another year, another crop of High Notes recognitions. Week 1 for me is pretty easy to call, both because they performed excellently and because I spent most of the day Saturday on one game. The Band of the Fighting Irish was excellent, though they got jobbed out of their halftime performance by the weather. I was pleased to learn that their halftime show for all home games is broadcast on NBCsports.com, further proof that Notre Dame's TV contract > yourn. I was similarly pleased that Notre Dame didn't go All 80 though; good to see that their football team couldn't get it done against my Bulls.

That said, this past week brought to light a couple of low notes as well. One was courtesy of ESPN who I've railed against ESPN and their horrible band coverage before. I understand they're under no obligation to show the bands, but here's where they really got on my nerves (and, judging by Twitter, many others): At halftime of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, they mentioned heading "Back for the Battle of the Bands". What followed was commercial-length snippets of both the Bethune-Cookman and Prairie View A&M bands, complete with horrible camera angles and unflattering portions of their show. Luckily, the internet came through with feeds of both performances, linked above.

My last low note comes from the NFL. I was looking at the schedule of the Ohio University Marching 110, and this entry jumped out at me:


Bengals Performance CANCELLED:  "Due to league-wide initiatives...the NFL is beginning to go a different route with halftime and using a NFL RedZone show instead.  Besides contractually obligated deals with the Bengals, we (Bengals) will no longer be having any halftime performances."

I wish I could see the entire text of this communique, but the way it reads sounds like the NFL will be shutting out high school and college marching bands left and right. Certainly a sad development. I don't know what the "RedZone Show" is, but something tells me it will solidify the NFL as the only type of football where I actually go to the bathroom or the concessions stand during halftime.