Style Guide

Dear major conference bands and conference networks: Your excuses are invalid.

I've argued before that a conference- or team-specific network would do well to create a marching-related show for all of the time they need to fill with a narrow focus. While far from a crusade, I'll admit it's something I've mentioned more than once. At least one of these times was within social media earshot of the Big Ten Network who offered the reasoning that getting reproduction rights to some of the band's music was a barrier to being able to do this sort of program justice.

Enter Bama State Style.

Debuting on Friday, April 17 on the Lifetime Network, Bama State Style follows the Alabama State University Marching Hornets. While music is certainly played, it is far from the focus as the show thus far as chronicled drum major auditions; the band's two dance squads, the Stingettes and the Honey Beez; and tree shaking in the percussion section. The show does deftly what was said couldn't be, while also chronicling the band's relationship in the social strata of an HBCU. And it's not the first.

Frankly, it has been HBCUs who have gotten this right. ESPNU aired two seasons of The Battle, focusing first on the Grambling's World-Famed Tiger Marching Band and then on the Marching Wildcats of Bethune Cookman. The Marching Wildcats continued on their own, producing Beyond the Fifty for YouTube. And now, despite there being plenty of players in the sports media game, it's Lifetime that brings us halftime through Bama State Style.

Your move.