Blaming the band won’t solve anything
This is part of a Point/ Counterpoint Column about the NAU band performing at NAU athletic events. Click here to see the other side of the argument.
With a lack luster season for football and a dismal basketball season, it is a wonder students at NAU attend sporting events anymore; you know, besides track and hockey.
However, there is a group of students who are spirited at every game I’ve been to, no matter how poorly our team played, and these students make up our pep band.
The last basketball game I attended was against UC-Davis and it looked like NAU had a shot of winning — until they blew it the second half. Regardless, I noticed early on the pep band was far more animated than the rest of the student body at that particular game.
Are some of the things they do annoying? To some, but let’s also consider that most pep bands at almost every other university act the same or very similar.
It’s their job to provide entertainment and an extra bit of spirit to these sporting events; even if the team is suffering or the student body is lacking spirit at best. The fact remains the band is far more spirited and talented than we give them credit for. The pep band consists of mostly music performance and music education majors; two majors that involve a lot more time, effort and energy than most realize. Thus, the band is much more talented than the old marching band you heard back in high school.
The songs they play are fun to listen to and fit in with the atmosphere at Rolle. I personally love their renditions of “F–k You” by Cee Lo Green and “Pretty Fly, for a White Guy” by The Offspring. Our music program produces some of the finer musicians in the state and nationwide, and the band is comparable to their ASU and UA counterparts. The same could not be said about our athletic teams.
There was an incident that occurred during the game between University of Southern Mississippi and Kansas State. A few members from the Southern Miss. pep band made the unfortunate decision to shout, “Where’s your green card!” at Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez as he was shooting free throws, because he is originally from Puerto Rico. While this incident is unfortunate and those band members were certainly acting ignorant, however it was just that, an incident and it is in no way representative of the pep band community; specifically at NAU.
To insinuate the basketball teams had losing seasons because the band was in the student section is ridiculous, to say the least. That would mean our players are easily distracted and can’t focus under pressure; which if that is true, then maybe they shouldn’t be on the court in the first place. Many aspects involving NAU athletics need to change and with a new athletic director and a new head coach for mens basketball, they will —hopefully for the better. However, the pep band is not one of those aspects and they are perfectly fine where they are.