High Notes, 2013 Week 2

Saturday evening provided two notable games, for both similar and differing reasons.

Both of the prime time games this past Saturday - West Virginia at Oklahoma and Notre Dame at Michigan - were Band on the Road matchups featuring a pair of Sudler Trophy winning bands. Particularly notable was WVU's trek into the heart of their new conference, the first, to my knowledge, since joining the Big 12 last year. Both bands sounded great in what I caught of this game, and despite an Oklahoma victory, I don't even recall an unnecessary abundance of Boomer Sooner.

The second game, Notre Dame-Michigan, already came with acclaim, being both the host of College Game Day and subject of my own Band on the Road Game of the Week. I didn't expect to be disappointed by this game, but I was, to the fault of neither of the bands. I'll explain. I don't think that tradition needs to be the enemy of innovation, and I honestly think it's cool that Michigan has started the "Under the Lights" games that to this point have featured Notre Dame. I'm not alone at giving the side eye to the SEC-style shakers they've adopted, but to me that's a minor transgression. It's deciding to play Seven Nation Army over the loudspeakers with two Sudler bands in attendance that I cannot excuse. Apart from the slight to the bands, it's just such a - dare I say it? - NFL thing to do. Bands or no, if you can't get 100,000 people to make some noise without the most hackneyed jock jam this side of Zombie Nation, you're doing something wrong.

Woo pig sooie?
In the spirit of the expanded playbook for High Notes, I'd also like to recognize the East-West BBQ Fest that took place this past weekend in downtown Greensboro. I had some great ribs from Porky Chicks out of Arkansas (pictured above), but I found the real treasures among the vendors.

I typically enter marketplace areas intentionally tight fisted, and I'm sure my budget thanks me, but I'm actually looking back at two things I should have picked up and may still yet. The first was Delwood's BBQ, from right up the road from me in Summerfield. I may have previously told you I don't particularly care for Eastern NC BBQ, or at highest praise it sits well below Lexington style, which I've grown accustomed to here in the Piedmont. But Delwood's sauce was determined to make a believer out of me, and his sauce is one I'll pick up without hesitation the next time the opportunity presents itself. The second was Covington Vodka, made in North Carolina from yams. I'll admit I was both skeptical and intrigued, so much so that I made it a point to get a wristband and come back around for a tasting. While they were selling shots, I opted for simply the tasting, and while I'm not typically one to sip vodka, I'd gladly nurse a glass of Covington.