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Marching band a big deal

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, September 16, 2009

After reading Corey McNeilly’s Letter to the Editor regarding the band (“Post-game conduct no big deal,” Sept. 15), I can only say that it is probably safe to assume that the reason McNeilly dropped out of the Naval Academy was that he grew tired of wearing a funny costume and pretending be a sailor.

I should say that I mean no disrespect to servicemen and women serving at home and abroad. Anyone who knows me will understand that my statements above are meant to be sarcastic and point out how ridiculous McNeilly’s comments were.

The NCAA mandates that football players practice a maximum of 20 hours per week. Including the football game, this means that the team puts in roughly a required 23.5 hours per week. Including the football game, members of the marching band put in 17 hours per week. While this is fewer hours than the team commits to football each week, it is still a major time commitment from each member of the band.

As a band member, I am wondering about the amount of time McNeilly puts into supporting the football team. Perhaps an extra one or two hours of tailgating before each game? Maybe he even stays for the Alma Mater after a blowout win. Hardly a meaningful show of support. McNeilly has no right to claim that all we do is “wear funny costumes and play an instrument.” Marching band members deserve for the team to respect our thoughts and wishes, more so than any other students at this University, except for organizations like the cheerleaders who put in the same amount of effort to represent Notre Dame on the same level as the band.

While you are all free to leave the game whenever you like no matter what the score, we will be there playing our hearts out until the game is over, win or lose, and we will always perform the Alma Mater for those fans who actually care enough to stay and show their respect for Notre Dame and the team.

Peter Rowlands


off campus

Sept. 15