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Spirit lacking in Notre Dame marching band

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, September 24, 2003

After spending four hours Saturday afternoon being regaled by the Michigan State Band, it appears that the uninspired play plaguing the football team has also infected our band. Instead of increasing the enthusiasm of the student body and fans, the band has on several occasions hampered our spirit.

The pep rally is designed to culminate with the entrance of the football team, but before that happens, the energy and excitement slowly builds until it reaches a fever pitch. Events should be quick, energetic and in rapid succession. When Chuck Lennon says, “Here’s the band,” everyone present expects the band to be ready. However, for the second time in as many pep-rallies, the band was five minutes late, resulting in dead time and effectively killing the mood.

This attitude has carried over into the game, with poorly timed musical selections. The Irish Jig is a song of celebration. It is not supposed to be played after the Irish punt, when we down the ball for a touchback or when we get stuffed on a second and long when we are down 10 points. This misuse not only cheapens a great song, but disconnects the student body from the game.

In the same way The Jig is overused, the Kill Chant is underused. An exciting chant that pumps up our crowd and ignites our defense has been left on the shelf too many times. For example, when the Irish had the Spartans pinned down on their own nine in the third quarter, our defense took the field essentially by themselves, while the student body was busy dancing The Jig.

Finally and most importantly, when the team came out of the tunnel before the second half, they were greeted only by the cheers of the student body and not the Notre Dame Victory March. This silence continued, as the band played nothing during much of the third quarter.

As the oldest and greatest university marching band, the band of the Fighting Irish must be held to a higher standard and in turn needs to perform better on Saturdays in support of our football team.

Chuck Smith

Bill Coffey


Keough Hall

Sept. 22