Before I even begin writing this, I want to make a note saying that I am not saying the other sports team don't work hard or they don't deserve any less recognition, but I am writing this as something I experienced myself and I know a lot about. This is to simply say that marching band does not get the recognition that they deserve.
Marching bands as a whole are usually treated as a joke. People think it's lame and boring and "band kids" are often categorized as "weird" and "different" and a whole bunch of other terms.
For all 4 years of high school, I marched for the high school competition band. Our school was consolidated so we not only went from 3 schools into 1, but also 3 concert and marching bands into 1. This made our first year or two kind of difficult because we pretty much literally starting from scratch.
I know first-hand how a marching band is treated by not only the student body but the entire school as a whole. Not only are we underfunded as a program, but we're also treated as lesser than any other organization on campus.
I remember when we won a trophy for placing in our division at a competition a couple years ago. The football team also had a game that night. When school was in session the next morning, they congratulated the football team for a great game (even though they lost) but mentioned nothing about the competition we just competed at. It almost felt like a knife to the heart because we worked so hard for months perfecting this show only to be belittled by our entire school. We got 0 recognition for something we were all excited about, but a football team who lost their game got congratulated?
Marching band is not what many think it is. It isn't just walking around on the football field. It's memorizing an entire 8 minutes show worth of music. It's memorizing your dots and internally counting every single count so you make it to your spot on time. It's practicing in the sweltering heat (and sometimes even the rain or the snow) on the even hotter pavement and turf only to perform that night in your entire uniform which feels like it can be rung out with sweat. It's us conditioning JUST LIKE the other sports teams (because, believe it or not, we also do stretching and sometimes even run laps before practice). It's us practicing for months for an 8 (or more) minute show to play during half-time that practically nobody in the stands paid attention to, anyway.
Don't belittle us because you don't understand what we do (or did, in my case). We work just as hard (if not harder) than most teams and we deserve recognition just like the rest of the teams on campus. We're so underappreciated for what we do and it's time for that to change.