My father-in-law went with us to last weekend’s game, and as we walked into the stadium he asked me, “Who’s favored to win?” My honest reply: “I don’t even know who they’re playing. I’m just here for the band.” The best part was a young man, obviously a student, was right in front of me. He turned, smiled, and said, “Yeah, me, too!” So with apologies to those band parents who actually attend games and pay attention to what’s happening on the field before and after half-time here’s what a band parent like me sees during the game.
Football. Just a little, and the part I taped (a touchdown) accidentally got edited out. When the crowd roars I usually glance at the field to see what’s happening. I can identify a touchdown and a field goal, but other than that I’m pretty lost. I can discuss cardiovascular diseases and treatments or conjugate Latin verbs until the cows come home, but football just makes my eyes glass over.
Stick-twirling. I don’t think Aaron even realizes that he twirls his sticks nearly constantly in the stands. He makes it looks easy, doesn’t he? I couldn’t twirl a stick if my life depended on it.
Good-natured harassment of the mascot. In the video you’ll hear, “Beaker, do something funny!”, “Give ‘Em the Beak” and “Put Beaker in!” refer to the Morehead mascot, an eagle affectionately dubbed Beaker.
Lots of impromptu bits and pieces of songs. There’s the fight song after touchdowns, of course, but the rest is different every game. I like that they included a bit of Lady Gaga this game. If you listen closely you’ll hear Aaron suggesting “Flight of the Bumblebee”, but no one took him up on it.
Drummers yelling louder than both the cheerleading squads combined. I’ve been told Aaron’s commentary can be heard from the visitor’s bleachers. Sometimes the cheerleaders just give up and pick up a cheer the drummers have started.
Tubas yelling “hut” and “hike”. Is it that the students carrying the heaviest instruments are more enthusiastic than the others? Or perhaps they’re just giddy from exhaustion after practicing all morning before the game?
Tech help from the computer science majors in the band when the scoreboard goes dark. Yep, that’s what “Turn it off and back on” and “reset your router” are about
Proof that the band isn’t really watching the game very closely, either. They tend to shout, “We did it!” and play the fight song even when the refs are still deciding on a call.
Occasionally, an unexpected outburst from a youngster who isn’t even old enough for high school band, let alone college. The final “Go, Head!” in the video was from my thirteen-year-old, and I love the look on Aaron’s face when he hears a voice so close to his own yelling his signature cheer with just the right tone and inflection. Priceless.
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