Band Geek? I Don’t Think So.

13 Oct

The drum majors strut out onto the field, tooting their whistles as the rest of the band follows.  The drum line begins, the drum majors rock their bodies to the beat as each section takes its cue and joins in.  Ahhhhhh. . . I love the sound of band in the morning.

It’s a sound that has come to represent my high school years.  One that every morning, as I trudged into the building, bellowing from the band room below.

It’s the one thing about high school that I loved—my school’s sole claim to fame.

Four years later, I’m still enamored.

I’m not alone.

Three weeks ago, a crowd of 40,000 fans piled into the Dallas Cotton Bowl, unfazed by rain, wind or the rowdiness within.  The occasi on?  The 19th Southern Classic, an annual cat fight between arch-rival football teams, the Prairie View Panthers and the Grambling Tigers.

The match is hardly competitive: Year after year, the Tigers send the Panthers scurrying home after dominating them on the foo tball field.  Yet year after year, despite predictable end of game results, both teams and their fans return enthused.

What makes this game the most hyped of the year for black Dallasites?  What keeps the Tigers intere sted and the Panthers resilient enough to annually endure this uneventful re-run?

The bands, of course.

For the true battle of the Southern Classic occurs when the teams are guzzling Gatorade from the sidelines, when the game clock has been paused, a time normally reserved for bathroom breaks and hotdog runs.

Not this in game.  Here, the half-time show is what everyone has come to see.  Both bands play the latest party hits, reveal the hottest dance moves and aim to  woo the crowd with the new and unexpected.

Once the half-time show is done, most abandon their seats and head for the nearest exit.


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