Another October Friday night in Texas means there must be a football game. This one was no different with another homer for the Wildcats, taking on the scrappy Rams of Berkner High School. The Cats won, 27-7, but that’s not the real story tonight.
Tonight is that most hallowed Friday night of all Friday nights, Homecoming. Ostensibly Homecoming is for returning alumni, thus the name. In reality it is a student body event of epic proportion second only to Prom or perhaps graduation, but for sheer grandiosity and group participation Homecoming takes the cake in my book. The mums alone are enough to make the head spin out of control and baffle the entire nation of Canada who have never seen such.
The game is almost secondary, serving as a backdrop for the real drama…who will be crowned Homecoming King & Queen. Past winners are present for the festivities, this year we had Homecoming Queens from 2005, 1976, 1949, and 1935/36.
Everything was all so familiar, just like back when I was in high school. You know the moment at halftime where all the pretty popular girls and hunky football guys all line up at midfield while the announcer breathlessly announces the top vote getters. Mr. & Ms. Homecoming Court go off to ace the SATs, pledge the best frat/sorority, graduate top of their college class, go on to the finest med/law school and have the most beautiful babies while all the rest of us plebes get jobs, drink too much and end up in an episode of COPS.
But a funny thing happened tonight, and on this night last year. The Homecoming winners were……..wait for it…….in the band. That’s right, you heard me, the band. But how can this be? These honors are reserved for the beautiful popular people.
The answer is simple. It’s a numbers game. There are a half dozen beautiful people each with their own following. There’s only one band guy. The entire music department backs their homie while the “it” crowd splits their votes amongst the others.
Tonight’s crowning was sort of a Revenge of the Nerds moment. The student body casting quizzical looks at each other with an almost audible “Who?” while the band goes crazy nuts.
Another contributing factor is that this ain’t your daddy’s marching band. Bands these days compete. They do artsy fartsy musical performances with choreography and flags and dancers and seven (I counted) xylophones. Sound an motion to a Charlie Parker jazz tune while marching and dancing and banging away on those xylophones is tough work. These kids work hard. Long after the football boys have hit the shower you’ll see the band out there rehearsing, going over it again and again until they get it right.
Band kids get more respect than they did back in the day, and respect is due. Colleges give band scholarships and the competition is fierce. Fact is that more band kids will continue on to the next level than will the football players that get all the hot chicks, at least for now. I mean how many football players have Pamela Anderson or Heather Locklear dated?
At this rate it’s only a matter of time before we have 2 hour band performances with a football game played at the break.
So band kids, this post is for you. Next week we will resume our regular programming.