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viewpoint

The USC band

| Wednesday, October 16, 2019

My junior year in high school I returned from a visit to Notre Dame. My parents asked, “What do you think?” I said that Notre Dame is the only place I want to go.

I love Notre Dame.

Now I’m 58, class of 1983. I just attended the ND vs. USC game this past weekend.

My daughter is a USC freshmen coming to ND as a member of the USC band. She got into the USC School Of Cinematic Arts all by herself.

Was I excited for the game! And, thank you God, ND won.

When I left the game, two observations bothered me. First, the USC band came from Los Angeles for three nights. (They returned to school Sunday to, for some, midterms). They practiced on Friday in Chicago, Saturday out on Ricci Field and marched into the stadium to Section 117 to support the Trojans. They spent the entire game buried under the speaker volume from the stadium’s south screen. The sound clash was ridiculous.

Second, at halftime the USC band marched down to perform. This five-minute performance was the highlight of the four-day trip. The Notre Dame hometown crowd welcomed them and sent them off with boos. This treatment was not nice. This was not the ND that I love — the University that takes the high road and will tell you so, and that puts out grads that really do treat others as they wish to be treated.

I would never be writing this letter or even have noticed this treatment of the USC band if my daughter wasn’t performing — a new participant in another great ND vs. USC rivalry game.

Yup,
Shake down the thunder!
Fight on!
Do it on the field, in football in uniforms between the whistles.

As a host and home-game crowd, put the opponent’s band where they can enjoy supporting their team without being drowned out by stadium speakers. And PLEASE, show some class and dignified behavior. Cheer the visiting band at halftime. They are there to have fun and root for a win, like we are.

We’re better than we were Saturday toward the USC team band.

I hope passing on these observations is well taken.

Paul Derba
Class of ’83
Oct. 14

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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