Saturday, November 17, 2012

I'm with the Band: Penn State

Band: Penn State Blue Band
University: Pennsylvania State University
Founded: 1899
Current Director: O. Richard Bundy
Fight Song: "Fight On, State"
Today's Home Game: Indiana, 12 p.m.

There's no getting around the fact that it's been a horrible year in State College.  I won't dwell on it too much because this post really is about the band.  State College is near and dear to my heart as my family has spent a decent portion of the summer months in the area for over 30 years.  Without question, football has reached a dangerous level of importance in that community.  The same can be said in plenty of other American college towns: Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Lincoln, Nebraska; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Austin, Texas; Gainesville, Florida and so forth.  What happened at Penn State is the most terrifying example of what can transpire in such a state of affairs. 

Thank goodness, there is life beyond football.  There are students, faculty, staff and town residents who are not fans of the team.  Many people associated with the community are every bit as disgusted by what has happened as the rest of the country at-large. They know all too well that the entire institution has been painted with the same brush.  It will take a long time for the university to recover.  Let it be a meaningful cautionary tale to the rest of the nation as well.

Penn State loves the Blue Band.  As the university community recovers from the trauma of the Sandusky crimes and their fallout, highlighting the more positive aspects of college football culture will be important.
Image via Penn State Blue Band

The tailgate show:

"Defying Gravity":

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