The moment where a dream comes true and months of hard work pay off.
However, that moment isn’t the end of the hard work, rather it is just the beginning. The days following the announcement of the band traditionally are filled with hours of practice where the band starts to mold all of those talented individuals into one cohesive unit.
Those first practices tend to focus on the traditional elements of pregame that we all love seeing every Saturday. The ramp entrance, Hang On Sloopy, and of course the incomparable Script Ohio. Additionally music and drill for the first halftime show are handed out and students start to memorize the new music.
This year, the days following last Wednesday’s announcement of the band were different. Instead of heading out to the practice field, the band members were in the band center receiving training on Title IX and sexual harassment from OSU officials; while this is necessary, anyone who has attended sexual harassment training at their job can probably attest that the training sessions are not enjoyable.
Add to this the fact that band members are dealing with a beloved director being fired, are under intense scrutiny from the university and the media, and have had their name dragged through the mud by the media — some of which have called them racist misogynistic sexual deviants.
It isn’t surprising to hear talk of morale being low among marching band members this season.
Sure, they are still thrilled to have made the band and there are moments of celebration and accomplishment but there is a pall that has been cast over the experience by recent events. And while there is a need for change in the band culture, this year’s band is having to shoulder this burden even though the problematic aspects of the culture were in existence long before they ever set foot on campus.
As a TBDBITL alumnus, the news of the low morale among band members saddened me greatly. These band members worked just as hard to get into the band as all of us alumni over the years, put in the same countless hours of practice over the summer to prepare for tryouts, sweated through the same intense tryouts under the hot summer sun. They will work just as hard as all of us alumni did to prepare for OSU football games and will put on amazing halftime performances just like those that have entertained Buckeye fans for over 100 years. The current band members will continue to perform at numerous other events including pep rallies, concerts, high school band festivals, and fundraisers for the university. And of course they will do all of this while taking a full load of classes and doing well them.
They should be able to enjoy and savor their accomplishment just as we had, to be able to take immense pride at being part of TBDBITL and getting to wear that uniform.
In light of all of the recent events and the additional challenges that this year’s band faces, several of us here at tBBC thought that it would be great if all of those in the Buckeye nation who enjoy the band could show this year’s band just how much we all love TBDBITL and are proud of what they accomplish on the field. To that end, we would like to ask all of our readers to take some time and express their enjoyment of the band in some way, perhaps by sharing a favorite memory of the band or some thoughts about the role the band plays in your enjoyment of OSU football.
We would of course love to hear your thoughts and memories in our comments section (or by emailing us) but we would also like to encourage you to take the time and actually write them down and mail them to the band. Hopefully receiving a lot of supportive letters would help lift the spirits of the band members and show them how much they are loved by Buckeye Nation.
Letters can be mailed to the band at:
OSU Marching Band
1866 College Road
110 Weigel Hall
Columbus, OH 43210
We have also encourage our readers to get others involved in this campaign and have created the hashtag #SupportTBDBITL on social media to help spread share our love and support for The Best Damn Band in the Land.