Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Odd Ducks Wearing Feathers On Our Heads, Part 2 -or- This Blog is Burning

Well, it’s happened.

The age-old rivalry betwixt the Jocks and the Band Geeks, once again, has been renewed.

In this instance, a sports commentator has used what scant notoriety he has, to make sure everyone knows what side of that rivalry he’s on.

During yesterday’s Rose Bowl halftime show, Jim Rome posted on his Twitter account … this:

Is there anyone not in a marching band who thinks those dorks running around with their instruments are cool?”

Predictably, many band-affiliated people rose mightily to their own defense. And they had every right to do so. Some recalled that this wasn’t the first time Mr. Rome dipped his toe in this particular pool; the last time, he got a similar barrage of righteously-indignant response … thereby getting the attention he so desperately craved.

Mr. Rome works in the particular antechamber of the televised-sports business in which people can dedicate their whole professional lives to passing judgment on other people. In many cases, commentators’ relatively small group of dittohead followers nod and say, “he’s sayin’ what I’m thinkin’. We must be right.”

And sports is now big business; therefore it is Very Important. By extension, the people associated with it, who report on it, and who hurl opinions about it into the electronic ether, are also Very Important. At least, in their own minds. But it’s okay. Everyone should have a resilient self-image.

On occasion, I’ve heard sports-talk radio and TV hosts’ commentary veer into subjects other than sports (politics, the opposite sex, and such). With few exceptions, these instances have only revealed that these people maybe ought to stick to sports.

Gah. Already I’ve committed WAY too much blog “air time” to this. That means, sadly, that Jim Rome has gotten more attention from me than he usually gets, which is to say, more than none at all.

I admit, today I went from being “ready to righteously bash heads” in defense of one of my favorite art forms and its perpetrators … to being “happier just to let it go and move on with life” … and finally, now, to realizing that all those “dorks” that Jim Rome opined about yesterday are so far ahead of him that it’s as if they’re not on the same race track. And he doesn’t even know.

Our society has determined that athletics is a realm to be admired. In school, the Jocks most often represent the “popular” clique. Not nearly so much, the bandos or the choir kids. “Drumline” and “Glee” aside, the musicians tend to keep their heads down and carry out their art quietly, only popping up during winter and spring concert season and … well, during halftime.

And yeah, we get it. We wear odd-looking uniforms with strange headgear and run around on a football field in strange formations. So much less cool than the odd-looking uniforms and strange headgear that the footballers wear while running around on a football field in strange formations …

As such, we band geeks are so over trying to make like we’re “cool”, whatever the definition of cool is this week.

In the short term, when they push the trombone-case-carrying kids into the lockers and laugh, the football jocks feel like Big Men On Campus.

In the long term, though, when those football players can’t play anymore because they’re too old and too banged-up and not even on a Campus anymore … the music kids are playing in community bands and singing in church choirs until they’re frickin’ ninety-nine years old.

As a great philosopher once said, “After 9/11, they cancelled football games; but they scheduled concerts.”

But again, I’m spending far too much time on this. And I’m poisoning my own well in doing so.

I am reminded of a couple of that same philosopher’s expressions, which nicely reduce this little jock-snark-vs.-marching-arts spat to its essential truth.

One of the wise Thoughts With A Star Next To It: “There are two types of people in the world: contributors, and contaminators” … and then, a similar and even more concise Thought.

Be a builder, not a wrecker.”

I think I know which one of those Jim Rome is.

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January 3, 2015 - Posted by | band, Famous Persons, football, Internet, marching band, music, social media, sports, Starred Thoughts, Twitter | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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