Posts Tagged ‘OSUMB’

Band Saves Day

November 14, 2010

The low point was the illegal wedge on a kick return.

I didn’t even know what an illegal wedge was.  I’m still not really sure.  This article about banning it in the NFL helped a little, but still, I’d thought kick offs were the one place the old flying wedge lived on.  Or so I thought.

Ohio State had started great.  The first drive included a bomb that covered half the field in one long ranging arc.  It dropped into the receiver’s hands, inches from the defender.  But that was it for highlights for a long, long time.  With a first down at Penn State’s 11 yard line, the Buckeyes would only net two more yards before kicking a field goal.  Penn State would go on to score twice to take a 14-3 lead, having moved the ball seemingly at will, and where driving late in the second quarter.

Having converted one fourth down on the drive already with a quarterback sneak, the Nittany Lions faced another fourth and one at the Ohio State 20 yard line.  Finally, there was a spark of life from the Silver Bullets and Penn State’s running back was dropped for no gain.  Buckeyes football.  There was 1:41 on the clock and momentum was with the home team to try and score some points before the half. 

But it was for nothing.  First down, a quarter back scramble out of bounds for two yards.  Second down, a four yard run up the middle.  And on third down, an incomplete pass.  The boos that had started on the drive’s first play were raining down in force as the punter came onto the field.  As the Columbus Dispatch’s Ken Gordon said at the time, “emotional, over-the-top vitriol,” as soon as the team plays badly.

I don’t boo my own team.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t times I’m frustrated or disappointed with them, but I don’t boo them for it.  I don’t think it’s right to expect a team to try and crawl their way back into a game without the support of the fans, especially a team of young college kids.

Penn State would just run out the clock and both teams headed to the locker rooms.  The crowd was in an ugly mood.  It hadn’t passed by the time the visiting Blue Band finished their The Who halftime show and it was time for the OSUMB.

Looking down at the field, I couldn’t figure out where the band was.  I saw a few members on the west sideline, but it didn’t look like near enough.  They must be down there, blending in with the Blue Band or something, I thought.  I just couldn’t figure out where they were hiding, and it was almost show time.

The marching band was doing a flash mob show, building off the idea of what had taken place last spring in the Ohio Union.  It quickly became clear how they were doing exactly that.

The band members I saw on the west side line turned out to be the percussion and sousaphone players.  They started out on to the field, and to my shock, were just sort of wandering out at random, they weren’t marching.  And then I realized where the rest of the band had been.  They were coming out of the A-deck portals, walking down the aisles, and jumping down on to the field.  I watched a group of trumpet players jump the railing, and then head towards the field, again almost wandering.  Steadily the band appeared on the field, until suddenly, they were all there, spaced out and filling it all up.  President E. Gordon Gee would even go on to reprise his role with Brutus.

The halftime music wasn’t anything fancy, just pop tunes: Journey’s “Don’t Stop Belevin’,” Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” and Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” before closing with “Proud Mary.”  But it had an amazing calming effect on the crowd as they sang along with the choruses.  It was one of the neatest marching band halftime shows I’ve ever seen.

In the second half, Ohio State would score 35 unanswered points to win 38-14 by pounding the ball with a relentless ground game and returning a pair of interceptions for touchdowns.  But it was the halftime show that turned the crowd around.

Script Braille Ohio

October 23, 2010

The Ohio State School for the Blind Marching Band performed at today’s Skull Session, spelling out Script Ohio in Braille.  They’re in the white tops and blue pants, in front of the OSUMB in black, in the above photo. 

Ohio State School for the Blind music instruction page

Ohio State School for the Blind information slideshow on blindness