First, just a quick weekend recap, for those who missed it. On Thursday, CBS Sports guy Jim Rome posted this tweet:
This was essentially a social media suicide bomb. It happens. Someone posts something they think is funny or edgy or thought-provoking or whatever, and it gets waaaaayy more attention than the author ever expected, and they get abused for a while, often culminating in an apology. Sure enough, the original tweet was “removed” (as much as anything can be) and this one went up:
Too late, guy. College musicians, high school musicians, educators, band parents, DCI alumni, military bandsmen, and pretty much anyone who could have potentially been offended took to their phones and computers and electronically crucified him with photos, anecdotes, comments and righteous rants. Most carried the hashtags #RomeIsBurning or #MarchOnRome. I won’t share their replies here, or the many prominent news articles and blogs that picked them up and used them; they are numerous and well worth the google search.
Coincidentally, this happened during Army All-American Bowl Week in San Antonio. The nation’s top football prospects are invited to play in a well-publicized East vs. West game, sponsored by the U.S. Army. There also happens to be an Army All-American Marching Band, who came together last week for the first time and performed at halftime on Saturday.
I’ve had the honor of working with the Army All-American Marching Band in years past (which you can read about here and here), and it’s made up of brilliant, respectful, hardworking people who class up the Bowl every year, setting standards of professionalism, discipline and work ethic the football players have yet to meet. Also: since 2008, exactly ZERO All-American football players have enlisted or commissioned into the United States military, while at least 32 All-American Marching Band alumni have done so.
I attended a small rural high school with no marching band, outside of the occasional parade. Marching was an experience I never got until college, and although my musical focus was elsewhere by then, I got a lot out of it. I’ve also known hundreds of people who champion the lifelong value they got out of marching band and drum corps.
They don’t play in marching band to “look cool,” guy. There are more important things. Like the heart it takes to rehearse for hours in ridiculously miserable weather, and the discipline it takes to perfect an ensemble part, and the loyalty to your team that makes that important, and the resilience it takes to pursue the same endeavor year after year.
I will admit, though, that they might not be the most forgiving of people. I leave you with some of this weekend’s funnier twitter responses to Jim Rome. Keep in mind, these are replies not to the original tweet, but to the APOLOGY tweet:
@jimrome You’re still a tool
@jimrome calls others dorks. Meanwhile, Jameis Winston condemns shoplifting.
@jimrome Apology accepted. Your Bass Clarinet lessons start on Monday.
@jimrome I’d believe and your apology if you put dci world finals on cbs
@jimrome now ya f—ed up, now ya f—ed up, now ya f—ed up.
@jimrome you are the most hated person right now get a life! Go die in a whole while band kids bury you with a tuba!
@jimrome dont blame us if a flying tuba crashes through your house
@jimrome Fight me.
@jimrome Oh ok lol it’s fine.
@jimrome Fall In a pit of lava