Saturday, September 3, 2011

Week 1

September 3rd, 2011

My how time files... a whole 17 days since I've found a good half-an-hour or so to unwind and write.  At the moment I'm unwinding from the first game of the season, and might I say, I feel exhilarated right now.  What has haunted me since September 2nd, 2010 was the first flip of the season, something that didn't go so well last year.  To go out there today, with a bunch of uniform additions, in the heat and humidity, plus a camera attached to my right ear and plant one pretty solidly was a huge weight off my shoulders.

But anyway, to sum up life in the past two weeks: classes own me, Blue Band owns me more, playing in a band at Cafe 210 is not only a blast but it's also great money, and I have finally been able to start lifting again.  Some ups, some downs, but I'd say life is pretty great right now.

I've got a lot on my mind since everything is fresh (in regard to the game today, etc, etc).  As exhilarated as I feel right now, I still have a lot of work to do... I don't feel as though my mechanics are as consistent and strong as they were last season at this point.  Coming out of the band, speed-wise, I'm doing great.  Last year I did a better job of keeping up speed coming out of the strut and into the flip, but for some reason (possibly due to Achilles tendinitis on my left leg and a bruised heel on the right), I've been approaching the flip with a lot less aggression, which is why the landings have been a lot lower (if you saw the second flip today, you'll agree with me).  Speaking of the second flip, that was quite possibly one of the most horrifying moments of my life so far... as I came though the band and started to strut and lean backward, by the time I picked my head back down to look forward, I realized I wasn't on the 5 yard line... I was in the end zone, which gave me no time to adjust, prep, and flip well... something to keep in mind for next week, but, that explains why it looked so awkward today.  Still landed it though, and that's what counts.

The heat was unbelievably brutal today.  I love sitting in the sauna at home, and some days I'll go into the steam room, but today with two layers on (white Under Armour and the pants/suspenders) plus the jacket and the hat, I have no clue how I made it through the whole day without at least cooling off without the jacket.  I drank close to three gallons of water from 8am to 4pm and was still dehydrated.  I had a few moments when I thought I was going to be sick and/or pass out, but I think everyone did today.

The band sounded awesome today on the field... definitely some goosebump moments during halftime.  It was tough maintaining everyone's focus in the stands (especially since we barely got to play... and don't worry I'll elaborate later), but that's definitely a heat-related thing.  The band staff seemed extremely happy with how the band did today from both playing and marching aspects, as they should be... they performed well all-around, especially given the conditions.

So, with all the positives, come the negatives... and two things today bugged me quite a bit.  First, as I reflect on both last season and this first game, I just don't understand what student wouldn't want to be in the stadium for pregame.  For some perspective... us band members are on the field rehearsing at 7am on gameday mornings.  We put in about ten hours a week rehearsing in addition to our class schedule.  We bust our tails, and so does our football team.  It's unfortunate that some students would rather stay out late partying on Friday night and then straggle in to the game in the late 1st quarter, or early 2nd quarter... more or less, isn't that just a waste of money?  Season tickets aren't cheap, and time in Beaver Stadium is short... why shortchange yourselves?  I can't say much better for the rest of the stadium... only a little over 96,000 people showed up, the smallest crowd since the 2001 expansion.  What gives?  I wish I knew.  Don't mean to "call out" students and fans (I carry on my tradition for their sake), but, if we're the "greatest show in college football" (which we are), why are there people out there who don't want to come see it?  Wake up a little earlier, have a chill Friday night, it isn't going to kill you.  I also wasn't happy with the amount of time the band got to play in the stands today... piped-in music, videos, ads... all-in-all we got to play maybe 4-5 tunes (out of the 15-20 that we had in our "arsenal").  I feel bad for the members of the band.  I was up on the ladder calling tunes up, and then maybe a quarter later we'd get a chance to play 20 measures of it.  I really hate to vent about this, but it just isn't fair to any of us who work so hard to do what we do and carry on the rich tradition of the Blue Band.

With that said, those are just some minor roadbumps in what was a great day for everyone involved, even though it was a little toasty.

One week until 'Bama!

Enjoy the video that I got with the camera attached to my hat today:

That's all for now.
Thanks for reading.

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