It's Time We Gave Collegiate Bands The Same Respect As The Football Team

It's Time We Gave Collegiate Bands The Same Respect As The Football Team

Collegiate bands are unfortunately overlooked and under-budgeted by their universities. They receive little appreciation, despite being such an important aspect of a college community.

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It's a beautiful day in the middle of October, and you're at a college football game. You see the sun shining down on a sea of fans, everyone wearing the home team's colors. The smell of hot dogs, pretzels, and other greasy food drifts through the air, as a cool wind blows against the back of your neck. But what is it that you hear? Overpowering every other sound in the stadium, the band is blaring their brass horns and beating their drums. Invisible but everywhere, the music fills the stadium when the team scores, excites the crowd when the game intensifies and provides the soundtrack to your favorite college traditions.

Now, imagine that game without the band. No one is there to play the fight song when a touchdown is scored, or play a victory tune when your team wins. Yes, there would still be music, but it would only be generic pop stuff playing over the speakers. It wouldn't be the same, because you don't get to experience that special kind of energy that comes from live music. Unfortunately, the band does not get enough credit for what they do. Compared to an athletic team, the band is typically overlooked and under-budgeted — especially by the universities themselves.

While the university is busy pouring all money and attention to athletics, the band is left to scavenge for support. Athletic teams receive millions upon millions of dollars, while the band gets next to nothing. My university's band has resorted to requiring each member to raise money on their own and selling $1 chocolate bars, because they receive so little funding. Just a small cut from the athletic budget would make such a vast difference in the lives of the band members. And it's not like the band doesn't deserve it - they most certainly do, with how much they add to a college community. A college without a band is like a belt with no buckle. With no band, you'd be missing a key piece of unity during a game.

The band and athletic teams work just as hard as the other, and both spend so much of their lives committed to their craft. Just like a football team, the band devotes several hours of their day to practicing. Similar to a basketball team, being apart of the band requires precise coordination. Like a soccer team, it is necessary for the band to have high endurance. And as it is with any type of athlete, it is obligatory for each member of the band to value hard work and determination. And must we not forget, the band is at nearly every sporting event, plus more. Unlike several sports, band is a year-round activity — there is no "off-season."

So you might ask yourself, with such similar characteristics to an athletic team, shouldn't the band receive at least some benefits? But here we are, athletic teams receiving all the money and perks, and the band seeing none of that.

The band is such an important aspect of sporting events and pep rallies and is greatly responsible for the fans' emotions and entertainment throughout a game. Unfortunately, most universities fail to see this and don't appreciate how much a band adds to the atmosphere and energy of a college community. Instead, the band continues to be brushed aside, no matter how talented or entertaining they are. I can only hope that in this day and age, with fine arts starting to gain more recognition, that the band will finally receive the respect they deserve.

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Warriors' Fans May Need To Be Concerned About Stephen Curry

The six-time All-Star point guard's PPG has dipped over the past few games.

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The Golden State Warriors have been the most dominant NBA team over the past five years. They have claimed three NBA championships in the past four seasons and look to pull off a three-peat as they currently hold first place in the Western Conference more than halfway into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been one of the primary reasons for their sustained success and is regarded by many around the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time and one of the best point guards in the league today. However, his points per game (PPG) total has dipped over the last few games. Should this be concerning for Warriors fans?

Curry got off to a hot streak early in the season and has had a few notable games like every season. He scored 51 points in three quarters while tallying 11 three-pointers against the Washington Wizards in the fifth game of the season and has delivered in the clutch with high-scoring games against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 23, 2018 (42 PTS) and Dallas Mavericks on January 13, 2019 (48 PTS).

However, Curry's consistency and point total have slipped over the past few games. He only put up 14 points and had a generally sloppy three-point shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 2, and only 19 points four days later against the San Antonio Spurs, who were resting two of their best players, Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge due to load management. In addition, he only managed 20 points against a hapless Phoenix Suns team who made an expected cakewalk win for Golden State much harder than it should have been.

Perhaps Curry's numbers have dipped because he is still adjusting to having center Demarcus Cousins in the offense, or maybe I am simply exaggerating because Curry's standards are so high. The Warriors have won fifteen of their last sixteen games and are currently in cruise control heading for the top seed in the Western Conference. Perhaps the Warriors will ask more of Curry if the situation gets direr.

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