The Ohio State vs Florida A&M wasn’t a particularly interesting game, unless you are a fan of watching one team beat the heck out of another while racking up the stats. Fortunately for Buckeye fans, they can always count on the Ohio State University Marching Band to be entertaining, even if the game itself isn’t. The OSUMB certainly didn’t let fans down this week thanks to yet another entertaining performance that also included some special and moving moments.
The pregame performance started in the usual way with the traditional ramp entrance followed by the playing of the opposing team’s fight song, though Florida A&M has perhaps the most unusual fight song that you will ever hear. The OSUMB then departed from their normal pregame routine, spelling out “USA” on each sideline as part of a salute to US military veterans with the playing of a medley of the service songs. The band then concluded pregame with the traditional tunnel sequence, team entrance, and playing of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
At halftime TBDBITL celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the British Invasion with the music of the Beatles. The band normally performs toward the West side of the stadium but at least once a year, normally for homecoming, the band will perform toward the East side; this show was one of those times. The show started with the band forming a floating ‘BEATLES’ out of a block, a modification of their traditional road pregame opening of forming a floating ‘OHIO’ out of a block. The band then formed an 85 yard long guitar that rocked to the music of a medley of “She Loves You” and “I Saw Her Standing There”. As the band played a medley of “Ticket to Ride” and “Help”, the neck of the guitar morphed to spell out the names of the Beatles before reforming into a guitar. The show concluded with the crowd being invited to join in by singing along to the band on “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude” which the crowd enthusiastically did, at least for the popular refrain of the latter song.
Halftime wasn’t over though as the OSUMB was joined on the field by the Ohio State School for the Blind Marching Band, the only blind marching band in the country. The two bands have developed a close relationship and members of the OSSBMB have joined the members of TBDBITL at their summer sessions and members of TBDBITL have served as mentors for members of the OSSBMB. This weekend was the first time the two bands were on the field together and they made it a special moment with the performance of a double Script Ohio; the OSUMB made a normal large Script on the East side while the OSSBMB performed their famous braille Script Ohio on the West side.
Numerous people at the game have talked about how moving of an experience it was to see the performance and it even garnered some national attention. Following the OSUMB’s postgame performance, the OSSBMB led them off the field and back up the ramp, concluding what had been a very special day for all involved.
Football game days are long and tiring for the band members and normally they look forward to being able to rest on Sunday and catch-up on school work or their non-band social life. The band didn’t get a chance to do that this past Sunday though as they had their annual NFL game performance; each year the OSUMB performs at either a Brown or a Bengals game and this year it was Cincinnati’s turn. Sunday morning the band member reported to the stadium and boarded bushes for a trip to Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati may not normally be known for being a very pro-OSU part of the state but listening to the crowd, especially during Script Ohio, you never would have guessed that.
TBDBITL’s performance also managed to get some national attention thanks to a run in they had with Fox sideline reporter Pam Oliver. Pam made an unfortunate choice about where to stand when reporting during halftime and ended up being in the way of the band as they were coming off the field. As Pam learned, the OSUMB doesn’t move out of the way for anyone and she got bumped by a few band members which she clearly didn’t appreciate, much to the amusement of the Fox studio hosts and thousands of people on Youtube.