Friday, April 27, 2012

Hot Topics: Should Michigan Send Its Marching Band To Dallas?

Photo Credit: ReportingWeb
Each week, our writers break down a "Hot Topic" among the Michigan fans and allow them to express their opinions. Topics cover everything from rivalry games to team and fan apparel. Writers have their own opinion and readers are welcome to comment or contact them via Twitter with their thoughts.

Kyle Curtiss - Representing Those That Believe Michigan Should Send Its Marching Band To Dallas

1) Yes, Michigan should send the band. Will it cost money? Yes. From what I hear it will range from 400K to 500K to send the band, and the tickets have already been set aside for the band. Some can argue that it's just another routine road trip and it doesn't make any fiscal sense to send them.  I know what you're thinking...we are receiving sosmewhere around 4.7 million for this game alone. Of course we can afford it. Also, keep in mind our home schedule this season, and with only having 6 home games this will make up for the revenue lost. Michigan had the third highest operating athletic budget last year but we will still be able to come out on top money wise.

2) Michigan vs. Alabama. Hoke vs. Saban. National television, neutral site of that being the home of the Dallas Cowboys. The atmosphere will be like that of a bowl game, yet this is the season opener. 'Bama will have their band there, and they will more than likely pipe in recorded music, but this isn't about how much they'll play but the fact they will be there to play. It's a long trip down to Texas and we need all the support we can get. If having the band can be there to support our team, the more comfortable the team will feel playing away from the Big House.


Thomas Beindit - Representing Those That Believe Michigan Should Not Send Its Marching Band To Dallas

1) Let's be real about this.  Does the athletic department have the capability to pay for the band's trip to Dallas?  Of course they do.  However, the athletic department has the capability to pay for a lot of things, but that doesn't make them right.  The debate shouldn't center around whether the athletic department can pay for the trip, but whether it's a worthwhile expenditure.  It's estimated that it will cost $400 K to send the band to Dallas.  That's nearly double the cost of sending the football team, primarily because the athletic department will have to purchase tickets to seat the band.  To me, this is an insane expenditure for something that won't necessarily add that much to the game and atmosphere.  People are there to see the team, not the band.  The band will already likely be making trips to South Bend, Columbus, and to a bowl location (hopefully Pasadena).  To send them to another game for this insane price seems almost wasteful.  Would it be nice?  Sure, but personally, I'd rather see that money go somewhere else since they already get to make a lot of trips already.

2) There's been a lot of talk about the Michigan band "completing" the Michigan experience.  I assume this is in reference to the many Alabama fans and viewers that will watch this game (will likely be the marquee match-up of week 1).  Surely, many of these fans have never been able to get the full Michigan experience and the band would add to that.  However, going off my first point, the question has to focus on whether this "full" experience for Alabama and a national audience is worth $400 K.  I'm sure for most fans, this completely seems worth the cost.  However, if you've ever been to a neutral game at a pro stadium, the band doesn't really add a lot.  First, both bands have to split playing time.  This isn't that big of a deal, but the stadiums also constantly play advertisements and music over the top.  Honestly, if the band played 1/3 of what they do at the Big House, I would be amazed.  This is the big factor for me.  It's not going to be the real Michigan experience whether the band comes of not because of the horrible neutral site location.


Final Points

Kyle - OK, take the money factor out of it. Take the "how much they're going to be playing" factor out of it. Superstition had an enormous hand in the world of sports.  How would we feel as fans, if Michigan plays Alabama without OUR band, and Bama has theirs, and we lose? A common cliche is to err on the side of caution and that's what we should be doing here. Having the band in Dallas will hopefully provide some of the home team atmosphere we're going to lack. This isn't about the fans, who's watching on TV, or the head honchos in charge. It's about the team, the team, the team...and I believe Team 133 has a better chance with our band playing there for them.

Thomas - As I said earlier, I don't think there's any doubt that the athletic department could afford to send the band to Dallas.  However, this alone isn't a reason to bring the band.  Along with this, I still don't believe that the band is truly necessary to the Michigan experience in this game.  Yes, Alabama is bringing their band, but that doesn't mean Michigan has to bring our band too.  It's going to be something that's nice, but I'd be willing to bet that most people watching on TV wouldn't have even realized if the bands weren't there.  With all the extra factors like commercials, piped in music, and the announcers, the bands aren't really that evident.  Once in a while they're show the pre-game ritual by the bands, but I don't see that happening on such a nationally televised game for Michigan.  Of course there will be some shots of the band during the game, but is that worth $400 K?  I'm not so sure.  To me, it's just a waste.  People always complain about things like ticket prices going up, but these types of expenditures are the reason they do consistently increase.


All writers are entitled to their own opinion and those may or may not represent the held beliefs of Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity. Readers are welcome to comment below or contact the writers via Twitter with their thoughts

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