02 December 2006

The Perils of Paste Eating

  • Were you Second Chair in your High School Band?
  • Do you chafe under the demands of conductors who insist on playing in a single key?
  • Do you fear competition?
Come play for the University of Arizona Pep Band!

We went to the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge today (in Phoenix? not Springfield?) to see the Zags. Seats on the aisle, sixth row, two gorgeous hours of flex motion and stifling D later, and we'd beaten down the Longhorns. But here's the weird thing - Suns Dancers, Adio Sol Patrol, the same lame timeout activities, no cheerleaders from the teams, and no visiting pep bands. It was odd and irritating that at a semi-neutral event there was no cheer/pep presence from anyone but the putative host school...right across the aisle. A bunch of slovenly, pimply paste-eaters tuning up just feet away.

I've seen a lot of pep bands - most are quite good - and some, like Montana State and Stanford, are exceptional. Good musicians, well-conducted, with a lot of - say it with me - pep! Arizona...not good. Oh my GOD, did they suck!

Swimming in a sea of Arizona fans, with band camp rejects on our left, game two kicked off.

A rematch of the '05 Chicago Regional final thriller, this one promised to be both dramatic and sloppy. Too many underclassmen, and too much Bruce Weber. Today's Dan Monson, Weber jumped from the Salukis to the Illini once the big paycheck was dangled. He's had a bit of success, but so far it's been with Bill Self's recruits. It remains to be seen whether Coach Weber will be able to succeed with a team all his own. I have my doubts. Particularly after watching his Illini piss away a big first-half lead.

We were both grumpy for most of the day, unfortunately. Food issues, goddamn cold weather, and paste-eaters to the left of us. It was great watching Derek and the Bulldogs beat up on Texas, but sucked watching Arizona win a game. I'm no Illini fan, but hate, hate, HATE the Wildcats. On the plus side, they should do pretty poorly in the Pac2 this year. That's at least small comfort.