Oh Boy, Jim Rome

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Well, this guy is a blowhole, everyone knows this.  It is unfortunate that he makes the comments about marching bands in the way that he does, as it makes him look like a complete moron, and somewhat less of a professional, as he can not speak intelligently of the band thing since he knows nothing more of it than the stereotype. Why he even bothers to chime in on this is beyond me as well. Get some background…Jim Rome’s Rant...

I see his point.  Marching band is not the same as playing a Div 1 sport.  Marching band is not even a sport.  NOR SHOULD IT BE.  The most you can get me to admit to, is it is an athletic activity, much the same as cheerleading.  As a matter of fact, I think cheerleading and band are more similar than they are not.  The point Rome is trying to refute, is that bands do provide an athletic experience that is significantly more diverse than the average Joe might think, and people should be aware.  The Rome totally bags on it.  Man, he really does not know.

I have a lot of experience working with high school marching bands, and when bands are in their summer workout camps, they work harder than the football teams, minus the hitting.  I have personally been on the field with the band during camp, watch the football team come out and practice, then go back in, then come back out and go back in again, all while the band chugged away out in the heat.  It was even more funny that the local TV News was there to do a report on football players and heat exhaustion while the football team practiced outside for two hours, and the band, seemingly unnoticed by the TV people, practiced the whole time on another field.

Band kids are smart, usually the smartest kids in a school.  You woul NOT expect them to be the greatest athletes, although there are plenty of jocks that are in band.  However, these kids do manage to achieve in the athletic arena in band.  You would not see these kids on the football team, or the baseball team and such.  Does that mean they should not have an opportunity to be athletic, simply because they are not a superstar athletic kid?  Of course not.  band provides them an outlet, too.

The simple fact of the matter is this… Don’t bag on something you can not do.  Band students support the football team, and rarely get that support back.  Football players can not do what the band can do, and therefore should shut up about the band.  I have always wanted to get hold of a football team for a day of band camp.  The mental challenges of learning a band routine are possibly more than a football player can handle.  The easiest part for them would be to learn the marching technique, assuming they can keep their feet in time, and have the mental capabilities to consistently do the technique.  After that half of the day is done, we could teach them some drill sets to see if they can memorize the counts, paths and guide points.  I feel we would struggle to get this down…and would barely be able to teach 5 sets to them.  even if they could do that, there is one little thing we left out… Oh yes, they have to learn how to pay a musical instrument, memorize the music and play it while they are doing the dril they struggled with.  Walk a day in the band’s shoes before you bag on it.  They deserve more respect than they get, for sure.  ON a side not, I worked with the Green Hope band for eight years.  In those eight year, the football team had two winning seasons.  Green Hope is known for BAND, not football.

Marching band is a great activity for young people.  I can not think of many things that force you to use as many cognitive thought processes at one time as marching band.  It is very intellectual, and it is very physical. It can also be very artistic and emotional. These kids get as much, or maybe even more out of marching band than jocks get out of football. It has value, and deserves respect, especially form jocks.

The band bashing going on in the media is silly. Imagine going to a college football game, your team scores, and you hear…nothing. Nothing but cheers. You can not tell me that part of the trill of scoring a touchdown at Notre Dame is hearing that band rip their fight song. Peyton Manning loved the UT band and always showed respect. Maybe that’s because he is a class act all around (despite the fact that he went to Tennessee, ick). Take it all away. You lose an element to the game that keeps it more fun than going to an NFL game. I have personally experienced being in the band and getting the crowd so fired up that the football team got fired up and came from behind and won. The rally was not started by the team. It was started by the band, and it spread to the team. Bands have a place, and add to the flavor of the experience. I would love to see a BAN on BANDS in college athletics for one Saturday. Enjoy your game day experience, fans.

It’s simple, folks. Don’t bag on what you don’t know. I am more than happy to take Jim Rome to a camp with me so he can see what happens so he can speak of it in a more informed way. Bands are not Div 1 athletics, but they don’t deserve what he gave them. Bands still require talent!!!

One thought on “Oh Boy, Jim Rome

    Drew Fennell said:
    June 23, 2009 at 8:30 am

    I agree wholeheartedly, Tony. Speaking of the effort required to march and play, I have a friend in a local community band who plays both the bass drum (when needed) and trumpet. he says the trumpet is far more difficult, even in consideration of the weight of the bass drum. The reason? I’d guess it’s because you can breathe whenever you like when playing the drum, but when playing a wind instrument, you have to regulate your breathing in relation to the phrasing of the music. This makes it a very difficult thing to to when you’re marching down the street or the football field in high temperatures – with a heavy uniform not designed to shed body heat. Jim Rome is a horse’s arse. He always has been, and apparently he always will.

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