I read about all the kids from Cobb who are playing major college football. Cobb happens to turn out some great football talent year-after-year. I am up-to-date also on the current status of local high school football and which teams have the best chance for success in 2011. What I don't see is much about the marching bands. How are bands fairing in the August heat? Any secret routines? Any promising newcomers?
I'm not even sure how many kids from Cobb have signed to play with major college marching bands this year. I know of only one. Joseph Goldstein, son of Marietta councilmember Philip Goldstein, has enrolled at the University of Georgia and will be a member of the famed Redcoat marching band.
Georgia may or may not win all their football games this season (I hope they do; particularly, the state championship. Otherwise, it makes for a long year) but the University of Georgia Redcoat marching band will end the year once again undefeated, untied and unmatched. That is a fact.
I am sure there are other kids from Cobb performing with the Redcoat band and other bands around the country, but I don't know who they are. I do know they have worked just as hard as their athletic compatriots, but with much less fanfare.
As I have observed in this space previously, you don't tend to get your picture in the paper for having walked a pattern more intricate than a wide receiver in a third-and-long situation while playing a instrument flawlessly and following a complicated musical score, knowing half the crowd has gone to get a hotdog and fret over the need to get the tight end in the seam to cut down the quickness of the Tampa Two defense. That doesn't seem right. Probably most of the crowd couldn't walk and chew a hot dog at the same time.
When the fans do get their fannies back in the seats, they may not notice the enthusiasm generated by the band as the players do their thing on the field. Can you imagine a team scoring a go-ahead touchdown with not a peep from the band? That would suck the spirit out of the game like Mr. Oreck's vacuum cleaner. Bands provide that spirit.
When this subject came up last year, I heard some wonderful stories from band parents about the cooperation between band directors and football coaches in Cobb. In one case, the band did not get to perform its routine at halftime so after the game was over so the coach had the players stay on the field and watch the band play. I hope that school wins all their games, 100-0. I also heard about one coach that got his lanyard in a tangle because the band wanted to practice on his sacred football field and he banished them to the hotter-than-hell asphalt parking lot. I hope he loses all his games, 100-0.
But, back to the level playing field thing. Since there is a staff of writers covering the athletic activities in Cobb, I think it is important that somebody look out for the marching bands, too. Therefore, I am pleased to announce that this day I have appointed myself band editor of the newspaper even though I don't know a flute from a flower pot. (That clicking sound you hear is the Maloxx bottle being passed around the editorial offices. Maybe I should have talked to the editors about this first.)
This won't be a fulltime assignment because humor-impaired politicians would assume I wasn't going to write about them anymore and they would behave badly. Politicians are like little children. If they think you aren't watching, they can get into serious mischief.
If your child is being courted by a number of bands in the SEC to play the French horn or if you see scouts in the stand with stopwatches observing the snare drummer and hoping no one sees them lest word gets out to other band scouts, let me know. On the other hand, if I find out that a band is working out its routines on the field and is making the football team practice on the asphalt parking lot, I must report that, too. Band editors have a tough job.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.