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Response/Rebuttal to "The Band"

Please note that when I wrote my (apparently over-) critical piece on the MMB, that it was but one in a series of such posts, and fear not, much of my vitriol has been saved for fans themselves, cheerleaders, athletic department, etc.

I know not every change in my post was entirely realistic, that is why I write on a blog, saying that they are ideals, not things that OMG must change immediately!!! Things like the placement of the band aren't going to change, and I'm aware of that, I just wanted to note that I thought it was far from optimal.

Most of the points I'm going to rebut or at least respond to come from Hoover Street Rag's response to my original post. I'm glad Jeremy (along with a bunch of commenters) took the time to develop arguments, and we can have a suitable, productive-ish discussion, rather "omfg ur dum!!1" going on left and right (though not all commenters were above that the first time around).

And on to the discussion:
  1. Band location - already mentioned.
  2. Lack of cheers either catchy or able to be participated in by students/fans - I will stand by this statement (and Jeremy seemed to agree with it, though I take issue with his statement that students get into "Respect" - as a student, I've never noticed anyone with any particular joy for that song).
  3. The claw - I don't hate the claw itself, it's something that's not necessarily unique (see the FSU Tomahawk Chop), but at least it exists, to fill in the dearth of fan participation, if onlt slightly. The onlt aspect I hate is the words to accompany "Temptation" that the students employ (just say "you suck" a bunch of times). If there were some sort of creative lyrical content to accompany the Claw, I'd be all for it. However, I do respect Jeremy's opinion on UM not having anything to do with actual wolverines (though if that's the case, why are their bronze statues in the Big House concourse, and actual stuffed creatures in Crisler?).
  4. GD3DKPT. HATEHATEHATEHATEHATE. Just had to get that out there. I sat next to the band last year. To the best of my observations, there was not necessarily silence during said thingy, but certainly not as loud as the other students around me (despite mass participation in GD3DKPT and no mouth noises). Also, don't even try to imply that MMB doesn't perpetuate the GD3DKPT, as Professor Nix was up on his little podium deal miming the activity, for not only the band, but also the students to copy, but with actual keys in their hands.
  5. Alma mater. You will not convince me otherwise. Alma maters exist as something to be sung or played at the end of a contest. I don't know where in my original post it came off that I wanted it to be played before the conclusion of the game. I just want the tradition of college football (and, yes, even MMB, when Revelli was still around) to be upheld by the most recognizable band in the nation.
  6. The postgame show. Paul responded in the original comments with (approximately) my opinion on this, and the cheering factors:
    Finally, I don't mean to sound like an ass, but the crowd isn't there for the
    band, the band is there for the crowd. The crowd should not cater to the Band's
    traditions or history. The supplier has to provide the consumer with what it
    wants and the consumer wants cheers (and developing cheers for cadences is huge.
Feel free to respond away once more. Again, I'm glad there is actually some intelligent discussion going on. Remember, my criticism of the band won't sound quite so harsh when other volumes in the series come out (re: idiots in comments thinking I'm just picking on the band). To the best of my knowledge, Paul, a former band nerd himself, will also be responding on VB.

Also, the halftime music is going to suck this year. Take that, band!

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“Response/Rebuttal to "The Band"”

  1. Blogger Jeremy Says:

    I'll just respond here.

    First and foremost, I appreciate that you care enough about the band to bring up these concerns. Indifference is far worse than anger.

    The point of my first response was to clarify your ideas and just lay out what was feasible, what wasn't, and reasons why (to the best of my knowledge).

    Response to response to responses:

    3. I hate the claw. Also, I usually yell the original Bing Crosby lyrics to Temptation. I agree that "you suck" is lame, but at least it's unified and loud.

    4. I know the band DOES it (so I guess it perpetuates that aspect), but I was saying they certainly aren't silent. The GD3DKPT is ONLY acceptable if as an accessory to screaming. Anyone with a closed mouth wiggling keys (or fingers), band or not, should be slapped in the face.

    5. Then e-mail Boerma and Haithcock (mlhaith@umich) and see what they say. I wouldn't mind if we played it in the stands either, but I'm happy with how we do it now.

    6. That's not entirely true. Several hundred parents come up just to watch their kids in the band. Not to mention the thousands of MMB alumni over the years. I agree that if there's a vocal enough majority who want Y&B before the postgame show then it should be done (though on Homecoming that would mean playing Y&B four times).

    For the record, the director's salary and funding for the band is paid for by students' tuition and not the athletic department. Donations pay for Revelli Hall, the instruments, the road trips, the music, etc.

  2. Anonymous Aram Says:

    Jeremy, that's not entirely true on the paying-for-road-trip funding. The Athletic Department pays for that. When they found out we weren't going to Penn State last year, they ponied up the cash to send us, although PSU couldn't find enough seats in the stadium to put us. We had even gotten so far as to reserve hotel rooms. A good portion of the MMB's budget each year comes from the Athletic Department, on top of significant donations, endowments, Donald Shepherd (the Sugar Daddy of South Campus), etc.

  3. Blogger Jeremy Says:

    I stand corrected. (Then what was the deal in 2001 with the band being all set to travel to PSU but having to cancel last-minute because the MMB didn't have enough money?)

  4. Anonymous Aram Says:

    Remember a few years ago at Spring Meeting when Nix got up there and talked about how the Athletic Department had a surplus, and the band was going to start seeing more money from that?

    Well, to my knowledge, nothing really changed.

    Bill Martin also showed up my freshman year to personally deliver about 8 million Pizza House pizzas during band week, and a few of us were talking to him about Elbel. Apparently the Athletic Department wanted to replace the asphalt with FieldTurf when the Stadium got it, but the band said no because we'd lose the parking lot revenue.

  5. Blogger Jeremy Says:

    Surely he was kidding about the surplus or else we wouldn't be playing Appalachian State as the first of eight home games this year.

    I remember the FieldTurf thing. On one hand, I liked the parking lot revenue; on the other, I liked my knees. On the third hand I liked traveling to OSU so asphalt wins.

  6. Blogger Ameed Says:

    For those of you who don't personally know Jeremy...let me just warn you to look out for him and his third hand...

  7. Anonymous Downriver Says:

    OMG 2 ppl carez abowt teh band?

  8. Blogger Corey Says:

    Just to add one more thing: the music this year is likely going to be a lot of Jamie L. Nix work. Boerma didn't get a start until late June, I believe, and when I was in the office recently I know I saw at least one Nix-arranged half-time score laying about.

    Here here to more stands tunes.

    Let's end this debate soon, eh? We're all rabid Michigan fans here; Otherwise we wouldn't be scouring blogs in the height of the off-season.

  9. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    Does anyone know what section(s) the band is in? I got my student tix and am hoping we are not right behind the band.

  10. Anonymous RDS Says:

    The Claw is freakin' retarded, a limp-wristed gesture that does no justice to the Michigan fanbase. The signaling of first down, aka "the Chop," was a far better thing.

    The keys are fine but shaking them shouldn't be the only noise you're making.

    The band is EXCLUSIVELY there for the crowd. Screw the band parents who shows up ... who cares? You're not such a great trumpet player that we NEED you in the band. There are dozens of people on your given instrument on campus who are WAY better than you, in most cases. And the band DEFINITELY gets by on quantity over quality. Every ensemble that size does. If you're on the Michigan campus and you want to see a larger group where quality is important, go to a men's glee club concert.

    Marching band -- get over yourselves. The only reason I'm a vocal proponent of the band is because I don't want the Big House to turn into Spartan Stadium, pumping out AC/DC over the loudspeakers. The nitwits who actually join the band and think they're anything more than an atmosphere enhancement make me want to retract my defense of the group.

  11. Anonymous 1991 Says:

    UM has it's best chance at a NC this decade and all you can talk about is the band? WTF?

  12. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    Total straw man argument, RDS. Misses the point completely.