Three days to go until game day.
With as many football fans as we have at this school, it’s difficult not to feel the excitement that many associate with the first game of the season. The food, lights and the mass of red T-shirts everywhere make the second weekend of school the most exciting one.
It’s no secret that I love football, especially Fresno State football. But one thing that’s more exciting to me than the game itself is the marching band.
Before you scream in horror and accuse me of blasphemy, let me explain. I went to Clovis West High School, one of the most spirited high schools you could possibly attend (and yes, I know, everyone hated us). Part of the experience of growing up in that kind of school is buying into the pervasive school spirit. And what better way to express your school spirit than by singing the fight song with the band at a football game?
Now that I’m a student at Fresno State, my band friends continue to make every day I spend at school a fun and exciting one. Whether I’m going to a concert to watch them perform, hanging out with them on a typical Thursday night, or watching them take the field for the first home game of the season, there is no shortage of inside jokes and shenanigans (although most of the inside jokes are about either music or The Simpsons, so I usually don’t get them).
Back in high school the kids I hung out with were, for lack of a better word, spirit-y. They were usually athletes or the student government kids, and as the most spirit-y kids in the school, we were crazy. We were the ones who jumped up and down for three hours in the front row of the student section, screaming at the top of our lungs. On Mondays everyone knew to not talk to us because we all screamed ourselves hoarse three days earlier.
Even though I thought that being crazily spirited was just a high school thing, I was glad to find out that it was a fairly acceptable thing to do in college too. Most of my band friends understand the overwhelming urge to go crazy for a few hours on game nights because they get the same feeling. To other people the urge to scream for their alma mater doesn’t come as naturally. Thankfully, I found a group of kids who don’t laugh (very much) when I get a call and my phone starts playing a pep tune.
Band kids, even in college, usually get stuck with labels like geek, dork, etc. But as long as they’re my friends, I will gladly continue to cast in my lot with them.