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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Georgia. Southern.

It seems the Human Jukebox has a habit of going back to back, and this time it's going on here. Southern will making the trip to UGA this weekend, and they're bringing the 'Box. In fact, they're contractually obligated to. In a move not mirrored anywhere else on the Dawgs' schedule, the contract with Southern specifically includes the Human Jukebox's halftime performance, for which UGA has allotted nine minutes, a princely sum for a road band.

While contracts don't always include the bands, it's not unheard of; FAMU and Oklahoma may have revisited the negotiating table a few years ago when the Marching 100's suspension prevented a matchup of the two Sudler Trophy-winning programs in Norman. While Southern hasn't hoisted the statue - yet - there's no question that there will be two bands at the top of their respective games between the hedges this Saturday.

The game brings forth a few anomalies. Despite their home in Baton Rouge, Southern has never played an SEC team. UGA, on the other hand, has never played an HBCU, despite being surrounded by them. It may seem peculiar, but you'll recall Delaware never played DelState until 2007. I don't know how Southern is traveling to Athens, but whether they're bussing or flying into ATL, there's a good chance they'll make a cameo in Atlanta's fertile recruiting ground to make some SWAC inroads in the east. And who knows - maybe there's a collaboration in store, a la A&T/UNC.

Monday, September 21, 2015

High Notes 2015 Week 3

I missed y'all on the front end of this college football weekend; while I didn't give you a game of the week, I'm here on the back end for High Notes.

For those who want a peek behind the curtain, some work obligations - followed by some quality time with family that said work obligations had made more precious - kept me both from the preview post and from seeing much football this past Saturday. A welcome 9:15pm both allowed me to catch Ole Miss-Alabama from its start and prevented me from lasting until its conclusion.

High Notes this week, though, comes from a bit to the west of that particular tilt. the Human Jukebox of Southern University invited all comers this weekend: First, taking on Talladega College in the Midnight Madness battle, then turning right back around and going back to back, taking on their rival Jackson State's Sonic Boom of the South in the BoomBox Classic the next day.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

High Notes, 2015 Week 2

I was largely spoken for this weekend, but luckily, the internet came through with one for the ages, virtually under my nose. The Blue and Gold Marching Machine of North Carolina A&T State University traveled relatively down the road as the Aggies took on UNC in Chapel Hill. While there, they connected with the Marching Tar Heels. I've gone on the record as not being a big fan of mass bands, but in this case, I'll make an exception.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

BOTR Game of the Week 2015 Week 2

Once again, the game of the week features a major intersectional matchup, this time between the Big 12 and the SEC. As the Pride of Oklahoma travels to Knoxville to meet the Pride of the Southland, two of college foodball's most ubiquitous tunes will clash in Boomer Sooner and Rocky Top.



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Amazing Happens Every Saturday - 2015 Opening Weekend

: causing great surprise or wonder : causing amazement (via

Just had to make sure I was still fitting the definition, because one of today's entries takes it to a, um, different place.

First: Some dogs bite, some Dawgs bite it. You haven't seen a Redcoat fall like this since the American Revolution. a UGA sousaphone player takes a mighty spill at the band takes the field. Watch the bass drop here.

And then: Kansas State's Pride of Wildcat Land boldly goes... well, I'll let you decide for yourself. At some point on Saturday night, I saw this:

I chuckled and gave it a favorite, thinking the humor was in them calling the Jayhawk mascot offensive. I didn't get the other part, but who knows? It was the next morning my cousin shared with me the piece from Deadspin outlining the controversy: a drillset that was intended to depict archrival Kansas' mascot encountering the Starship Enterprise of Star Trek fame appeared to many to be the Jayhawk performing fellatio. For reference, the chart vs. the on-field execution:
When I first saw what had been done, my initial response to the denial and apology was "we don't believe you, you need more people." Seeing what was drawn up, however, the defense seems a little more plausible, if not unlikely. My rebuttal is this: The Pride of Wildcat Land is the Sudler Trophy's most recent recipient. While it's possible they rested on their laurels a bit, the flawed execution that made the Enterprise appear all the more phallic seems suspect. Further, in a show that they likely installed during band camp and spent all of game week cleaning, it seems strange that no one would see this set, especially if it was executed thus, and say "hey, you guys..." Instead, I offer a few alternate theories: The bit was an intentional double voir, or a few of the clarinets making up the hangar deck seized the opportunity to make up the *ahem* cockpit. The Pride's director has issued an apology, but if there was any malice aforethought, someone's quietly saying to themselves, in the parlance of the internet's latest iteration of "Deez Nuts" from Dr. Dre's the Chronic: GOT 'EEM!

Monday, September 7, 2015

High Notes, 2015 Week 1

As Ohio State-Virginia Tech nears its conclusion, every halftime show of this glorious five day stretch is behind us. There were a lot of high notes this weekend, but I'm going to give credit to one that spoke for a good deal of my Saturday afternoon.

It was simply inertia that had me watching Penn State-Temple yesterday afternoon. I took the kids out and about in what the Solid Verbal has dubbed the "Window of Opportunity," and when I returned, the TV was on ESPN, where I had left it on College Gameday hours prior. I expect much from it, but as a Philly area native, I figured it was worth keeping on for at least a bit.  But all of a sudden, a game that should've been little more than a speed bump for the Nittany Lions was continuing its push forwards Temple's first win against Penn State - or any current Power Five conference team, for that matter - since World War II.

While a contingent of the Blue Band made the trip to Lincoln Financial, the soundtrack was dominated by Temple's Diamond Marching Band. I had the pleasure of seeing them live a few years ago - also a victory for the cherry and white, sadly over my USF Bulls that time - and they didn't disappoint then either. Like their football team and especially their defensive front on Saturday, the Diamond Band brought the house this Saturday.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

BOTR Game of the Week: 2015 Week 1

College football and marching have returned! I've been counting down to last night for at least the last 80 days, and we're now on the second day of this weekend's football binge.

I hope you've all seen this year's iteration of Band on the Road, which takes on a streamlined format. And like Band on the Road itself, the Game of the Week is in its fifth year.

This week, there are a few major Band on the Road matchups, including some neutral site games and Power Five conference bands visiting group of five schools. I'll give the nod to the Advocare Texas Kickoff in Houston, matching a pair of Sudler Trophy winners in Arizona State and Texas A&M, and through them two of the strongest divisions in college football in the SEC West and the Pac-12 South. The Sun Devil Marching Band will cover quite a bit of ground to get to Houston, while the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band can sleep in their own barracks and get up for the quick trip from College Station.

Texas A&M:

Arizona State:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


We're less than 48 hours from the start of college football at the FBS level. Just enough time to get some HOT TAKES in!

ACC: The Atlantic Coast Conference will be won by... not Florida State. For all of the dumb stuff Jameis Winston did off the field, he insulated the team from dumb stuff on it. They're still stacked with talent, but this is a team I've seen lose to Wake Forest. Clemson fans will point out that FSU Clemsons better than them, and the division may be the Tigers' - or Louisville's - for the taking.

Big Ten: There's a new man calling the shots in a Big Ten East program, and he could very well challenge the throne upon which Ohio State currently sits. His name? Greg Drane, the new director of the Penn State Blue Band. Oh, you thought I was talking about someone else?

Big 12: Baylor. TCU. It's all we've heard for months, and it just seems far too perfect to be that cut and dry a two team race. Someone's going to jump up, and it's not even going to be one of the traditional powers. My call is Oklahoma State.

Pac-12: COLORADO TAKES ALL. OK, I can't really back that up, but I'm bullish on the Buffs because Jim Leavitt is their new defensive coordinators. The Pac-12 South is still formidable, but Ralphie'n'em make it to a bowl.

SEC: In addition to their permanent crossover rival Auburn, Georgia gets Bama in the regular season for the first time since 2008. A few possibilities stem from that. The first is that Georgia drops both, and somehow misses the East championship - again - with at least two conference losses. The second is that Georgia splits the two, and the loser wins the Iron Bowl, going on to a rematch with Georgia in the SEC championship game. making for a really interesting decision on the committee's part, assuming the aforementioned losses are the only ones for each team. 

Notre Dame: You get no HOT TAKES, Notre Dame. Join a conference and you can play.
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