**Disclaimer- This is a blog entry that speaks highly of the value that the Michigan Marching Band adds to Michigan football games. Do not read any further if you have ever lived South of Fingerle Lumber and West of State Street; I am well aware of the noise violations occurring at all hours of the morning that were overlooked by the AAPD, owing the musical noise to that of “school spirit.” I know you’ll never get those hours of sleep back, so do yourself a favor and don’t even bother reading below because it will just conjure up those ugly memories.**
To all you U-M football fans out there- traveling to the great state of Texas for the Cowboys Classic on September 1st,or remaining in one of the country’s best cities— imagine cheering on your men in blue while they stifle the Tide from rolling. We score a touchdown in Cowboys Stadium and the U-M faithful erupt in cheers, Denard and Co. chest bump and Coach Hoke gives a red-faced, aggressive cheer of encouragement from the sidelines as we nail the extra point. Now imagine this scene without the Michigan Fight Song playing in the background. Where’s the Michigan Marching Band? Virtual silence. Why imagine this scenario? Because it may become a reality. The U-M Athletic Director, Dave Brandon, is saying, “No” to forking over the $400k to transport the band to Arlington, Texas, despite the $4.7 million Michigan stands to make from playing in the game.
A game without the musical stylings of the Michigan Marching Band just seems ludicrous. As U-M football enthusiasts, we are all so used to seeing these men and women on the field, on the sidelines and throughout the Big House (and other stadiums in the Big Ten… and Bowl games!), so it is easy to simply assume that it is all part of the M football Saturday tradition— which it is. The only catch is that we often fail to consider the amount of hard work, time, sweat and long practices that these band members put into creating the ultimate football experience every week and that they are just as integral to the Michigan football experience as the Big House version of the wave, kettle corn and the cheerleaders desperately trying to get the aging alumni in section 23 to spell out M-I-C-H-I-G-A-N with them. The point I’m getting at is that the band helps to make the game day experience, and I’m pretty much 100% positive the team and staff want the band in Arlington,TX with them come September 1.
As one of the NCAA’s most prosperous athletic departments, Michigan’s budget will not suffer if they choose to appease the fans, players, and the spirit of Bob Ufer by sending the band to Texas. I can’t imagine the team taking the field at Cowboys Stadium without being surrounded by the band members in a divided block M formation as they play the Michigan fight song, pumping up the fans and inspiring the players. Is there really any other way to start a game? Answer: no. Help support the cause of getting the band to the game by clicking on this link and signing the petition. We need all the help we can get so that we Wolverines, Masters of Tradition, can keep this one alive outside of the Big House!