Dear high school football fans,
Another season of Friday night lights is upon us. We’re all looking forward to seeing our kids play and perform. We know you’re so excited to see the football team take the field. As marching band, color guard, cheer, and dance fans, we’re excited to see our teams take the field, too.
We’re all here for the same reason: to cheer on our kids and support our schools and communities. We understand you might not be in the stadium primarily to see the marching band or color guard or cheerleaders or dance team. But when they’re on the field performing, we ask that you kindly show respect for the fan sitting next to you and let them listen and watch. They’re probably trying to hear and see their son or granddaughter or niece or friend. Talking or blocking their view while that happens is like standing directly and intentionally in the line of vision of a football parent while their child is making a game-winning play.
On the other hand, please DO cheer for these performers. Clap and yell when they take the field and between songs in the halftime show and after a soloist finishes playing and pretty much anytime they do a formation that looks particularly involved. These are their equivalent of touchdowns.
Football players work incredibly hard; so do our band, color guard, cheer, and dance kids.
They march and practice and play and learn drill and put together routines and give up summer free time in 90-degree heat to get their “game” ready, too. There’s no “marching band madness” coverage to balance out “football frenzy” on the 11 o’clock news, and the local newspaper probably didn’t give a run-down of their show and who’s on their roster and what they’re expecting from the season. The halftime show IS their big moment.
And all those formations the football team puts together on the field? These teams have them, too. But instead of trying to make them work with 11 team members at one time, the band, for instance, has to do it with 50 or 100 or more players all at once. This sounds tricky because it is.
At most high schools, members of the football team are lauded and applauded and respected and admired, which is great for them. But at a lot of those same schools, members of the marching band, especially, are made fun of. They do it anyway because they love it and want to be part of something bigger than themselves.
The halftime show is their chance, for a few minutes, to be encouraged and cheered on.
And one more thing: if you see a marching band or guard or cheer or dance team member after the game, tell them, “Great show tonight.”
Friday night lights fans everywhere