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Bring on the Marching Bands – No More Halftime Pageants

This has nothing to do with cars or trucks, but about the halftime shows shown at extravaganzas like the Super Bowl and BCS Championship Game. Our stories about auto company and Bridgestone ads stimulated the idea.
Super Bowl Halftime Lame – Bring On the Marching Bands
I don’t know how much Tom Petty cost to entertain the nation for twenty minutes, but it was too much. And it’s not that I don’t like Tom Petty. I have just gotten sick of these extravaganza halftime shows that Bowl Games think are necessary to put on while people are getting their snacks and going to the john. At least Petty did not have a wardrobe malfunction and the manufactured crowd was on their best behavior – young and energetic.
God Wants Marching Bands: But, God intended for football halftime shows to feature marching bands. Not Tom Petty. Not Janet Jackaon. From time immemorial, marching bands have been featured at every high school and college game. Some bands are military bands. Some are pageant bands. Some do a little of both.
Military Bands – Precision and Discipline: The military bands have the toughest job. They will have an eight minute drill in which they continuously change formation from one geometric pattern to another. Countermarches. Minstrel turns. Freeze steps. Parallelograms. Squares. All precisely designed to amaze the audience. Texas A&M is a rare example of a military band. I say rare, because a military band takes a lot of practice to make look good. Lines have to be straight. Timing has to be perfect and the music has to be great. Takes a huge amount of discipline.

TAMU Band.jpg

Pageant Bands – Easier than Military: The pageant bands may begin a show with a military fanfare, but then evolve into designs and pictures that usually have the band members wandering from one spot to another. Much more chaotic than military bands. But the fans seem to like them and it’s easier to train a pageant band than a military band.

Purdue Band Pageant.jpg

National Band Contest: So, here’s the idea. Scrap these halftime concerts and have a national band contest. The national band contest would end at the Super Bowl where the best high school marching band in the country would go against the best university marching band in the country. I guess you could have military and pageant band sections. The university bands would be judged by conference – an ACC Champ, a Big Ten Champ, a Pac Ten Champ, etc. Then at the national championship game – the BCS game, the best college band would be selected. High schools would be selected on a state-by-state basis with state winners moving to regional, sectional and, finally, national.
Still have to find a way to judge military bands vs. pageant bands, but there must be a way. Just find a way to get us away from the terrible halftime shows the BCS and Super Bowl have subjected us to for the past decades.

1 Comment

  • Bill Spiers| February 13, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Wow, somebody stood up and spoke the truth. Sounds like a little nostalgia and personal experience crept in there somewhere. I’m right there with you old friend. I much prefer the precision and discipline of a military band to those that form Volkswagens, although they have their place, I guess. I doubt there are enough of us out here to sway the all mighty media, but we are here. I hope someone finds the old films at FSU. Hope to see you soon.

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