One thing that makes college band special that the NFL lacks is marching bands. Sure, there are some marching bands on the Beltway, but the marching band is one thing that helps separate the pros from the college game. Well, that and the paychecks, in most cases. We are two weeks in to the start of the new season and already we have seen shots fired between two of the top marching bands in the college football universe, and I love it.
It begins in week one with Michigan putting on a halftime performance in which a skit plays out involving Brutus the Buckeye kidnapping Michigan’s president, which has James Bond stepping in to save the day in Ann Arbor. During the show the Michigan band spells out “OHNO,” a mockery of Ohio State’s signature spelling of “O-H-I-O” that has become a national rally call for Buckeyes near and far. It’s not much of a shot really, but any time you drag a mascot in to the fray, it’s going to raise an eyebrow from the rivals.
This past weekend Ohio State’s band, The Best Damn Band in the Land as they are appropriately nicknamed, fired back with a show that apparently was thrown together in response starting last Tuesday. If you have never been involved with a marching band you probably have no idea how difficult it can be to put a fresh show from scratch together with just four days until game day. Ohio State staged a medley of game show themes and put on a game show at halftime involving Michigan and Ohio State fans going head-to-head. Of course the Michigan fans were nothing more than a fictional parody of those north of the border. From an un-biased opinion, it’s pretty humorous and pretty well done.
I have said this before and I will say it again. The Big Ten is home to some of the best marching bands in the country. The SEC is right in that conversation as well, but I’ll lean toward the Big Ten every day of the week and twice on Saturday. No matter where the bands are from, when they can put on a good-humored show to add to the rivalry, it is a welcome addition to our football Saturdays.