Sunday, September 18, 2022

Football Counter-Programming 2022 Week 3

I'm sorry that my timing is a bit off today. Normally when I am attempting to distract you from watching football--with a special emphasis on the college variety--it is logical and most effective to center my distraction efforts on Saturday. Because that is the day in which college football is happening (for the most part). And I can't be here distracting you on weekdays when we've got jobs and other things to get accomplished. I'm just trying to get you to avoid spending hours of your precious weekend watching college football . . . on a Saturday.

So, posting about this . . . on a Sunday is not the best way for my strategy to win.

But showing up is a key ingredient to success. So I'm showing up this week, even if the effort is doomed to fail in my overall goal.

In the past, when I was very busy on a Saturday, I would carve out time during the week to plan and write and then I would schedule the post to go live on Saturday, right in the heart of the college football maelstrom. Then I would socialize my dynamite thoughts and happily check the Nielsen ratings and news the next day to see that viewership of college football had cratered in surprising ways that only a few people truly understood.

That is not what I did this week. I didn't plan ahead and I wasn't prepared. And I was entirely occupied for many, many hours on Saturday. Thus, my feeble distraction justifications here on a Sunday.

What was I up to yesterday? Doing the most non-football thing possible--helping with marching band. The North Marching Warriors competed in its first competition of the season yesterday in Bellbrook, Ohio. And they did a pretty good job and learned a lot from the experience. For a young band full of freshmen, competition experience is valuable. And they are learning what it takes to put together a quality show with few mistakes to win over judges. It's hard. But every competition helps them on this road to higher scores, more wins, and more success.

Do you want to know what the best thing about a band competition is? It's the atmosphere and the people and the joy and pleasure of watching bands perform. Unlike a sporting event where the can often be a sense of rivalry and enmity, that is largely absent with band competitions.

Sure, bands are (in fact) competing against one another. Some bands get more trophies than others. And there are scores and ranks. So I am not saying that everyone is all in it together all the time. But the vibe and the atmosphere is (to my mind) markedly more supportive. When one band is leaving the warm up area and heading into the stadium, other bands that are waiting their turn will clap, shout support, and wish good luck and good show to their (supposed) competitors. I love seeing that happen. And I love what that teaches these kids that are defining themselves in the world.

All that is to say, if you have time on a Saturday in September and October, chances are there is a marching band competition somewhere near you. Admission is not expensive. All that you spend most likely benefits the local high school marching band that is running the event as a fund raiser and to help them pay for their director, instruments, and truck rentals, and more. (School districts and tax payers just don't fund school arts programs anymore and I can promise you that running a marching band program is challenging and more expensive than you think.)

And while I'm here--let me plug the Westerville Invitational Marching Band competition coming up on October 1 in Westerville, Ohio! It's hosted by my kid's high school and I guarantee that you will have a great time on a wonderful Fall afternoon. Learn more on Facebook by following this link.

So, get out. Avoid football. Support high school arts. Enjoy the supportive vibes.

Until next week! (This time, hopefully on a Saturday.)

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