Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 13, 1972)
- Gail Folda
Oklahoma game is the same as a bowl
Juarez was the hot spot during the Sun
Bowl trip, according to Alexander.
Groups of bandsmen went there for dog
racing, as well as other attractions.
One thing he especially remembers
about the Sun Bowl trip was a
confrontation with the football team.
The band had been assigned a specific
time to use the field for practice, and it
was at that precise time the Nebraska
coaches decided to hold an extra practice.
"Band members and football players
were nose to nose for a while," he said.
"Pretty soon the football team gave up
Curiously, it seems that the band is a
jinx on the hotels they stay in. Consider:
a week after they departed the Hilton Air
Motel in New Orleans, a plane crashed
into it. They were the last residents of the
Hotel Cortex in El Paso before it was torn
down. A Holiday Inn in Oklahoma City
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burned to the ground shortly after they
left. And the Ocean Queen Hotel in
Miami, where they stayed during the
Orange Bowl, is now a church college.
No one is blaming the band for those
catastrophes, but the band has been
blamed for other things, occasionally.
"Someone wrote in once complaining
because we played "Jesus Christ
Superstar" while forming the Star of
David," Alexander said.
Sometimes even elaborate precautions
against disaster fail, as during Alexander's
first year with the band. It was after the
Sugar Bowl and traffic outside the
stadium was so heavy a police escort was
needed to route the band's buses onto the
highway. Things went well until soon
after they got rolling, when a car smashed
into one of the buses.
Most band members mention
comradeship as the reason they stay in
band year after year. Group cohesiveness
is strengthened by an intramural football
team and a weekly underground
newspaper called SCUM (Scarlet and
Cream of Unorthodox Musicians).
Not surprisingly, then, the band has no
trouble recruiting. Each year, more than
300 people try out for what is usually no
more than 50 openings. According to one
member, students write in about
auditions two and three years before they
graduate from high school.
"Our spirit isn't artificially put on,"
said another veteran. "It's a feeling that
got built up 30 years ago. In 1941 the
band went to the Rose Bowl and that was
one of the first times in intercollegiate
history that attention was focused on
what sort of impact bands have on
football teams and crowds.
"The administration had to justify the
trip, so they decided it had to be an
educational experience or it wouldn't be
worthwhile," he said. "What happened
was they routed the train through Juarez
on the way out to California, which
turned out to be pretty educational."
Just as the football team sees movies
of their games, each Tuesday the band
watches films of their previous weekend's
show. There is criticism for those whose
shoes aren't shined, or those who stand
too close together or who are out of
formation. And every game a "rummy of
the week" is chosen. That person must
wear an orange flourescent vest during
practice the next week.
"Usually it's the person with the worst
attitude," said Alexander. "Two girls
have gotten it so far."
Don't look now, but an old and
venerated University of Nebraska
institution is about to die a violent death.
For years, NU football fans have
thrilled to and been amazed by the
cunning inventiveness, the choreographed
teamwork, the potent physical prowess of
a legion of young fence climbers.
Againstseemingly impossible obstacles of
linked steel, barbed wire and police, they
would somehow manage to break into
Memorial Stadium each Saturday.
But the day of the daring raid on
Memorial Stadium may soon be at an
Borrowing from the experience of the
best prisons in the world, the powers that
be have instituted the ultimate of
obstacles. Tall, sheer concrete now rises
from the earth surrounding Memorial
Stadium, offering no hand- or toe hold to
the would be fan. Above this sit double
strands of barbed wire, placidly daring
anyone to try them. Then high above, in
the maze of ramps, sit uniformed guards
with high-power binoculars, watching for
the foolish that challenge the system.
But do not despair, for one day a
champion will rise who can lead us out of
our boredom and thrill us with his antics.
Till that day friday offers this series of
photographs as an object lesson to all
who would try, and as a remembrance of
those soon by-gone days.
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