Dear Football Players: It’s not all about you
The football team is known as the top of the food chain. They are portrayed as these all American heroes with God complexes. Athletes practice day in and day out, showcasing their versatile skills on the field in an attempt to win as many games possible for their school. Every single Friday night, hundreds of people gather around these giant stadiums, bright lights illuminating overtop of the field, in awe at the sport they are watching. The crowd continuously cheers the team on, screaming their names all night long. But, who stands beside the football team?
Who stands beside them in the freezing rain, the snow, and sometimes even the harsh hail? None other than the marching band. The band sits there cheering and cheering for the players, blaring their instruments as loud as they can to combat the opposing band’s sound and get no credit whatsoever. According to the diction: a sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. Marching band clearly meets all of the criteria listed in the definition and therefore should be considered a sport indefinitely.
Our writers can help you with any type of essay. For any subjectGet your price
How it works
The first part of the definition states “a sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill…” and marching band requires physical activity consistently. Firstly, marching is considered an exercise. Marching is a repetitive up and down motion with the legs, essentially walking but the legs get lifted higher. This exercise is what the band does throughout the entire performance along with walking and on some unique occasions running.
Another way physical activity is prominent in marching band is through the hoisting of larger instruments (bass drum, tuba, etc.). A person can get stronger and shed calories because they are lifting such a heavy instrument constantly. An instruments weight can range between three to 25 pounds and the action of carrying the large instruments can negatively impact someone’s body. For example, carrying the instrument can institute intense chronic back and shoulder pain. This type of pain can make a member uncomfortable and tense during the game as well as make the show harder and harder to bear.
Compare this to football in the aspect that the players throughout the season are always getting injured and going through pain (concussions, leg injury, arm injury). Yet, these wonderful band members continue to fight through the pain, playing their hearts out for the sake of the school. Even when these young college students are emotionally exhausted from their mountains of classes piling up or sore from an intense practice the night before they still put in 100 percent which is truly amazing. Like football, marching band requires physical activity indubitably and should be respected.
Without question, not only does marching band require physical activity, but the sport also requires a great amount of time and dedication. The marching season does not simply begin the first week of school. No, the marching season begins almost a month and a half before the school starts. The days during camp can last from six to eight hours’ maximum with minimal breaks in between. Many can argue the reason marching band should not be considered a sport is because the band spends a vast majority of the time just sitting down and memorizing sheet music.
Actually, this idea is a common misconception because the vast majority of time the band spends up on their feet practicing and perfecting the formations and show. Band camp is an intense requirement all participants in the marching band must attend. Absence from band camp is heavily frowned upon and can make or break an entire performance. These hours are just for band camp, during the actual season the routine and sheer dedication is even more crazy and demanding. An example of a band that goes through this vigorous schedule every season is the Ohio State University.
The marching band members spend 20-30 hours a week devoting themselves to memorizing the music and practicing the field formations (“Marching Band”, n.d). 30 hours a week is almost as much as a full time job. On top of these 30 hours, once a week on game day, these busy college students must promptly show up six hours before kick off (“Marching Band”, n.d). Kick off usually begins at noon, so the band members must be at the stadium by 6 am and not a single definitive minute later (“Marching Band”, n.d).
As stated previously, absence is taken very seriously and will result in extensive disciplinary action. Even though these college students lead such busy lives trying to balance work, school, and home, they still show up to marching band practices, games, and other events without any complaints or type of slack. They show up because the band has such incredible meaning to them and find a life changing outlet where they can display their creativity and be apart of a unified organization. The fact of the matter is, marching band heavily requires full time dedication and hard work.
Furthermore, the last part of the dictionary definition states, “…in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Now the opposing side will argue with marching band there is no competition, no offense or defense, simply just one band performing a show; these people are wrong. The enemy to the band is not only the football team or the other band but in fact the rival school. The marching band and the football team are simply a representation of the school. When competing, the real offense and defense are the schools against each other.
Another argument is marching band is not a sport considering the fact there are no judges or scores being kept. This statement is also false because the audience is essentially the judges. Same goes with the band directors and the other band. They are the ones deciding which band exceeded expectations and did better than the other band. They are the ones who sit back and either praise the performance or deprecate it. Besides this fact, all over the country thousands of marching bands compete against one each other with actual professional judges.
The National Collegiate Marching Band Championship Bowl is one of these competitions and is held annually in South Carolina (National Collegiate Marching Band Championship Bowl, 2018). The events put focused and talented marching bands against one another through various different challenges, giving them more opportunities to exhibit their musical and marching skills (The National Collegiate Marching Band Championship Bowl, 2017).
Another example is the DCI World Championship (Parsons, 2017) and this event takes place in Michigan City, pinning 40 bands against each other depending on size of marching band as well as marching styles (Parsons, 2017). These multi talented bands compete for the prize of gold and are examined by a series of harsh judges throughout. Marching band has an offense and a defense respectively and gets judged thoroughly more than people seem to realize.
The marching band are underrated and deserve credit for the time and effort they put into producing high quality performances for the audience. They take unglorified pride in pushing themselves through the long nights and sometimes the pain that tags along with the exhaustion. Marching band is just as rewarding as any other sport and should be taken seriously. Rain or shine, they are the ones who stand by the football team, hyping up their God complexes up even more and get half the credit. Without the marching band there is no music, no cadences, no school spirit, and no sound. As stated in Steve Rushin’s article entitled, “Cheer and Trebling”, “They are important and so futile to the game and that is why marching band should be considered a sport.
- Dresser, P. (2017). “The 7 Coolest Marching Bands.” Retrieved from http://exptrips.com/blogs/7-coolest-marching-band-competitions-world/
- Rushin, S. (2017). Cheer and Trebling. Sports Illustrated, 127(5), 116. Retrieved fromhttp://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.uakron.edu:2048/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=16&sid=275e9ae3-3f56-4088-9aa3-434494e12929%40sdc-v-sessmgr04
- Strand, B., & Sommer, C. (2005). Should Marching Band be allowed to Replace Physical Education Credits: An Analysis. Physical Educator, 62(3), 164168. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.uakron.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=s3h&AN=18809354&site=eds-live
- The National Collegiate Marching Band Championship Bowl. (2018). [The National Collegiate Marching Band Championship Bowl]. Retrieved from
- The Ohio State University. (n.d). “Marching Band”. Retrieved from https://tbdbitl.osu.edu/marching-band