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Monday, October 28, 2019

Band Together

This past weekend, following Kansas State's defeat of Oklahoma at K-State's Bill Snyder Family Stadium, a unit from the Pride of Wildcat Land crossed the proverbial aisle to offer protection to their fellow bandsfolk in the Pride of Oklahoma and escort them from the stadium. It was a beautiful showing of bandsmanship.

It should also never have had to happen.

Ironically, there's a good chance the plan was formulated with a different outcome in mind. Oklahoma, then the #5 team in the country, was the favorite in that game, and it was foreseeable that Wildcats fans, upset with the outcome, may have set upon the visiting band. Instead, with K-State pulling the monumental upset, there was similar concern that overzealous fans may have been at careless or at worst hostile in their revelry.

Unfortunately, there's precedent from this year of fans taking things too far with the band. In Week Zero, as the University of Florida band attempted to depart their matchup with Miami in Orlando's Camping World Stadium, Florida's band director was attacked. Following the Cy-Hawk game between Iowa and Iowa State in Ames, both schools began an investigation into the reported verbal and physical harassment of the Hawkeye Marching Band.

Often, in opposing stadiums, the marching band is the largest contingent in the opposing teams colors, and as with everywhere they go, they are a representation of their school. Unfortunately, this also makes them a likely target for any classless jerk that would do them harm.

Penalties, whether through the student code of conduct or court of law, need to be swift and strong for those found responsible. In football parlance, the band is a defenseless receiver, even if a wallop with a trumpet or a mallet is what one's action warrants. In lieu of that, I'm glad bands are protecting one another - even if they shouldn't have to.

Monday, October 14, 2019


I might just have a new hobby.

I went to Wake Forest's home opener this year. Winston-Salem isn't far by any stretch of the imagination, but it's off the beaten path enough that I tend to make plans to do something else when I'm out there. I also found myself in a predicament of circumstance; My car had been idling hot, making parking in stadium lots and the subsequent wait to get out not only inconvenient, but hazardous. I hatched a plan: I'd check out one of Winston-Salem's newest breweries - Incendiary Brewing - and then Uber from there to the game, for not too much different from the cost to park on site, with a fraction of the headache.

It worked out exactly as planned. So when I had occasion to be back in Winston this past weekend - this time for a Sixers-Hornets preseason game - I figured I'd repeat the feat. It just so happened that they were urging folks to get to the arena prohibitively early because the game, coupled with the Dixie Classic Fair, would cause considerable traffic delays. And while I'm typically down for fairgating, I already had fair plans with my family the next day, so I figured I'd reprise the brewery plan. This time it was Fiddlin' Fish Brewing Company. Looking back, I followed the same blueprint during my Belk Kickoff and Belk Bowl trips to Charlotte last year with the short walk to Unknown.

I'll still always opt for a tailgate when it makes the most sense, but when it doesn't, brewgating is the move.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Amazing Happens Every Saturday (And Sometimes Friday)

But here's the thing: Amazing happens every Saturday on football fields throughout the country, and a lot of it happens when the game clock isn't running. Amazing happens in a variety of marching styles, with a variety of musical offerings, and it happens largely out of the view of television cameras, and sadly, also out of the view of live spectators who take the opportunity to grab a beer instead of watching what's going on on the field. October 11, 2011

I Got (8 to) 5 On It

The Pittsburg High School Marching Show Band from Pittsburg, CA in the Bay has gone viral for their rendition of "I Got Five On It." Admittedly, folk around my age are inclined to ask, "what y'all know about that?" as though no one's ever played music that predates them, but reportedly the Pirates have been playing this tune for quite a while. Of course, it also got a resurgence with the horror film Us released

Coming from a band that marched bells, I think the glockenspiel has reached self actualization with this song.

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