Tag Archives: marching bands

Washington Redskins Band will play after touchdowns again

Last week I was quite surprised to learn from Hogs Haven that the Washington Redskins Marching Band was no longer playing “Hail to the Redskins” after touchdowns. A recording was played instead. I read that and was thinking whiskey tango foxtrot?! What’s the point of having a marching band if you aren’t going to have them play after touchdowns? The Skins are one of only two NFL teams (the other is the Baltimore Ravens) to have a marching band. Back in the glory days, they were a big part of the beloved RFK Stadium experience.

Good news came into today’s Post (
‘Hail to the Redskins’: How the team’s marching band got its fight song back) – the band will play after touchdowns again. Good to see this tradition restored. Thanks and congratulations to Hogs Haven for helping get this done.

Now watch the Skins score nothing but field goals (or get shut out) against the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday evening. Actually, I have no idea how the game is going to play out. Im conditioned as a DC fan to expect a crushing loss come playoff time. I have been expecting them to lose for weeks.

As for the recording, you all know the one I mean — this one, when was it recorded? Who performed it? We’ve been hearing it as long as I can remember, but we don’t know who did it. I’ll ask Dan Steinberg if he knows.

One more thing — I kind of want the Redskins to come out in the white-burgundy combo at home tomorrow. While the burgundy-gold set has grown on me, wearing the Gibbs Era uniforms would be a nice touch.

UPDATE: D.C. Washington is singing the Star Spangled Banner State of NoVa, The Post. Between D.C. and Bob McDonald (mostly Caps games) we’re spoiled here with anthem singers.

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Guido D’Elia is gone from Penn State!

Penn State Marketing “Guru” Guido D’Elia Let Go Black Shoe Diaries
We found out today that Guido D’Elia, who was in charge of Football Communications and Branding for Penn State football, is GONE! @FightonState tweeted this great news.

Hopefully, this means the end of “theme games” like tie-dye day and piped in music like “Sweet Caroline,” “Livin’ On a Prayer” and “Don’t Stop Believin’”. D’Elia may have been a competent video producer with the Penn State Football Story, but his gameday experience was very minor league and not collegiate. I’ll give him credit for doing well with the Joe Paterno Memorial Service, but that’s about it. I got tired of driving for hours and spending hundreds of dollars to hear the same generic piped-in music that he dumbed-down Beaver Stadium with for the last several seasons.

There is only one way to celebrate this news:

Let’s hope whoever takes over respects the traditional Penn State and college football experience overall. Let the Blue Band shine!

UPDATE: This may mean the end of the Penn State Football Story as we know it since D’Elia’s company, Mind Over Media produced it. If that happens, so be it, AND BRING BACK TV QUARTERBACKS. I bet Fran Fisher still has those loud blazers in his closet.

Not his loudest jacket, but you get the idea…

Also, can we get the contrasting trim back on the jerseys? D’Elia claimed it was his idea to make the Penn State football jerseys less elegant and more cheap looking.

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Seven Nation Army: Wait, Guido D’Elia did something kind of right?

How The Song “Seven Nation Army” Conquered The Sports WorldDeadspin

“Seven Nation Army” made a beachhead in American sports in State College, Penn. According to a 2006 story in the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Penn State spokesperson Guido D’Elia—who is still the director of communications and branding for the embattled football program—was inspired by hearing a Public Radio International story about A.S. Roma’s use of the song.

Weird, who knew Guido would actually work with the Blue Band. Overall though, he still needs to go and I think “Seven Nation Army” does too. I love it as much as any one but –ohhh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohhh-ohhh well that is something Ohio State does now too and it makes sense there. We don’t need to be chanting the first letter of a rival. It doesn’t need to go as much as Rock n’ Roll Part II of course.

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Penn State: Rock n Roll Part II sort of dropped by the Blue Band

Blue Band Scraps Glitter’s “Rock and Roll”Onward State
The Penn State Blue Band sort of dropped Rock n’ Roll Part II from its pregame. I wanted them to do this years ago because Gary Glitter was convicted in 2005 of the things Jerry Sandusky is accused of right now. The article linked above says it was “completely purged” but to my ear, that is inaccurate. There still a Glitter influence in there, but Queen’s “We Will Rock You” as well. I think they need to go all the way in getting rid of it. Here is how it sounds (roughly 7:25 in the video, in case it isn’t automaticaly cued up there):

Just wipe the slate clean this offseason and come up with something new and original. We’ve had enough half-hearted decisions of late.

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Another Q&A with P.J. Maierhofer

Since 2005, P.J. Maierhofer served as Blue Sapphire, Penn State’s feature twirler. The 2007 Q&A with P.J. has been one of the most popular features on this blog. Last month she answered another round of question.

WFY: Let’s start with a question about the Capital One Bowl — how much did you have to perform on that field? I have never seen a college football game in such disrepair.

PJ:The entire band marched pregame on the field… it was pretty rainy/muddy to say the least! I was really glad despite the conditions that we were allowed though considering it was my last one! For halftime, the band stood on the field and did not march. The Majorettes, Silks, and I performed off the sidelines in front of the PSU fans.

WFY: Also, what was with those sunglasses?

PJ: If you knew me, you’d know I’m kinda goofy/quirky. I just like to have fun. Last year at the Rose Bowl I got a pair of 2009 glasses for New Year’s Eve. I wore them around all night. So this year everyone was joking about how I needed to get a new pair! So… I did. I figured it would be fun to put them on during the game and celebrate New Year’s!

WFY: It seems like Blue Sapphires all go for more than four years — you are only the third in the last 15 seasons. So, was the Capital One Bowl was your final half-time performance, or are you on the 7 year plan?

PJ: That was it! I have been blessed and honored to have the position of Blue Sapphire for 5 consecutive seasons. The position takes a year or two or three to really understand and grow into, so staying 5 is really not that big of a deal. I took less classes at a time in school, but did well academically so it pushed back graduation a bit. However, I look at it as this… College is supposed to be the best 4 years of your life – why not make it the best 5? Had I not come back this year, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to compete at Nationals last year with the Majorettes and I probably would have ended my competitive career – which fortunately I didn’t, because it was a great summer :)

WFY: Now that you have been to the Orange, Outback, Alamo, Rose, and Capital One Bowls, which one was the best trip?

PJ: First of all, it was truly exciting just to get to see 5 DIFFERENT bowl games. Many schools repeat and I thought it was neat to be exposed to so many new places. They were all great in their own way. The Orange Bowl allowed us to spend New Year’s day on South Beach and I got to see my friends from FSU perform. Outback had some really neat pep rallies including one on the beach and then an awesome Mardi Gra type parade. Alamo was in a dome.. which I loved! We didn’t have to worry about wind, rain…anything – awesome. The Rose Bowl was incredible in terms of the preparation done and the amount of time and number of volunteers involved in making it happen. The 5.5 mile parade is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life – talk about an honor… Leading the best band in the nation down the streets of Pasadena with national TV coverage – so thankful for that opportunity! And lastly, Capital One was a super trip. I knew it was my last one and it didn’t matter if it snowed in the middle of the game, I was going to truly just relax and enjoy the trip/performance …and I did. I loved spending time with my teammates, the band, and soaking up my time left as a Penn Stater!

WFY: What about road venues — which was your favorite? Did you travel to all the road games?

PJ: I didn’t travel to all of them, but of the ones I traveled to… believe it or not I loved Ohio State’s stadium. They have a neat area on the side of their field for people to be able to use for various things. It was a little concreted area where I was able to perform off the field. I know that sounds dorky, but for someone like me it was nice!! And truthfully, I don’t really ever have a favorite venue or least favorite because I just take them in each as a learning opportunity. As a feature twirler you are going to have some times where the space is great and others where you twirl on carpet with 2 inches of ceiling above your head….either way you have a job to do!

WFY: A confession — since my wife and I had a son in 2008, I’ve only been to one home game this year (Akron), and none last year; what routines did I miss? Did you get up to four fire batons?

PJ: I’ve had some pretty fun performances. This year my favorite was our “Picture show” which included a batman routine with capes and eye covers from the majorettes, a Rocky impression from me, Star wars light saber fighting from the silks, and a superman skit from the Lion. It was just so fun to do…. we all loved hearing the crowd cheer as the band made pictures through formations of batman, and boxers, and the superman logo alone with others. We also did a Michael Jackson tribute that was pretty cool. The entire band did the Thriller dance :)

WFY: This spring is the first Blue Sapphire Classic. Please share with us what the event is going to be and how involved you are in it.

PJ: The Blue Sapphire Classic was an idea I had at the beginning of my junior year. I wanted to host a baton twirling competition here at Penn State. I may be biased, but I feel like Penn State fans take so much more pride in their twirlers than other schools do. As a result, I am always being asked about baton twirling, how I got involved, where I competed, what a competition is like, etc. Well between that and the fact that Rec Hall is SO HIGH and perfect for baton twirling, I thought of the idea to have twirlers from all over the U.S. come here to compete. Alongside that, the money that we raise will go into the David and Lori Uhazie Feature Twirler Scholarship fund that is an endowment. It currently pays for about a 4th of fall tuition and is only given in the fall. My goal is to raise enough money through this competition each year that eventually there is enough money to pay for the Feature Twirlers fall tuition through this one scholarship. The event should be pretty neat. We have great judges coming and we expect about 150-200 contestants. My goal is to bring an awareness of competitive baton twirling to students and the fans of Nittany Nation and to bring younger twirlers into a school like Penn State where we take such pride in twirling.

WFY: Penn State is known as Linebacker U, but given the national and world championships you and you predecessor Bobbie Jo Solomon won, maybe we should call it Twirler U as well. Does that sound good?

PJ: I’d be honored. :) It’s pretty awesome that we were both able to set goals and achieve them during our Penn State career. Being proud of my school, my band, and my fellow majorettes definitely provided me with the motivation to go out, win, and be able to bring it back here!

WFY: Will you have any influence on the who is the next Blue Sapphire? Or, do you already know it is somebody named something like JoJo Solomaier?

PJ: Funny! I’m not sure yet -I know that I don’t have influence on who makes it, but whether I will be allowed to be at try-outs is still up in the air.

WFY: What is the most rewarding part of being the Blue Sapphire? What is the biggest challenge?

PJ: Just this morning I was working on preparing for an event I’m hosting tomorrow night for THON and I walked out of a meeting and ran into 6 people in a row who said “Hi PJ” and knew me by name. Honestly, at a school where you have 44,000 peers that is the most rewarding and humbling feeling. To think that that many people respect you enough as a person/baton twirler to want to know your name. I can do nothing but smile. I’m the happiest girl. Penn State has provided me with endless opportunities and my involvement with the Blue Band has made me see that if you can dream it, you can become it. There are too many rewarding parts of Penn State to name one. From the people, to the opportunities, to the enthusiasm of it’s community, Penn State is the best.

As far as challenges… I don’t sleep much, I drink wayyy to much Blueberry Coffee from Dunkin’ donuts (they are beginning to know me when I walk in the door as Blueberry coffee girl), I sometimes miss important family/friends/boyfriend’s stuff because of commitments here and sometimes my e-mail box gets a little clogged, but all in all – it’s not a challenge…it’s an opportunity of a lifetime and I’ve tried to live it up!

Lightning Round!

WFY: How many batons do you go through a season?

PJ: — ehhh 10?

WFY: How many about slippers do you go through a season?

PJ: — yuck they get gross. 3 pairs? My Mom is the best and she gets them cleaned for me.

WFY: What is your favorite College of Communications course?

PJ: Favorite Comm course was Ron Smith’s creative class… we did a lot of designing of ads and photoshop/illustrator work. I loved the challege of being unique and creative.

WFY: What is your favorite Creamery ice cream flavor?

PJ: I really like their strawberry or their Coconut Chip!

HWFY: ave you hiked up Mt. Nittany?

PJ: Yes sir… you start hiking and begin thinking…maybe this wasn’t such a great idea. THEN – you get to the top and your jaw just drops to the ground. The view is amazing. It’s a wonderful reminder of how special our Valley is AND how beautiful!

WFY: What is your favorite gem?

PJ: Is this even a legit question? Blue Sapphires clearlyyyy!

WFY: What are you planning to do after graduation?

PJ: This summer I’ll spend a lot of time teaching baton/job searching. In July I’ll attend the National Baton Twirling championship and give away my title as the 2009 Miss Majorette of America…then who knows. I’m up for an adventure! Pittsburgh? Philly? New York? Not sure… just know that I’m gonna make the most of wherever I go.

WFY: No mere mortal can twirl that many batons at once — you are actually a Jedi, right?

PJ: Shhhhhh!!

WFY: One last question — your two predecessors were both proposed to on the field, one on her Senior Day, the other at Homecoming one year. Good idea or bad idea?

PJ: Hahah well… I think it takes a pretty tough guy to get down on his knee in front of that many people!! It’s not about where..it’s who. :)

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Big Ten Network should have a bands show

Both bands
I’ve got a programming idea for the Big Ten Network — Big Ten Bands, a weekly showcase of Big Ten marching bands. Each week the program would show at least one march from all of the bands performing at home games that week. The show should also feature profiles of band members, traditions and more. I’d watch it.

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The Band That Wouldn’t Die looks good

I have a soft spot for the Baltimore Colts.

While my antipathy towards Baltimore’s baseball team is well documented, I have said on a few occasions that the Colts moving out of Baltimore is probably the worst franchise relocation in professional sports history. The fans were great, the team had great, memorable players and a marching band with a catchy fight song. The team moved away ultimately because the owner, Bob Irsay, was a really nasty individual who was also an alcoholic. Indianapolis was and still is completely unworthy of those horseshoe helmets and uniforms.

Noted film director Barry Levinson, a Baltimore native, has made a documentary for ESPN 30 for 30 about that marching band, “The Band That Wouldn’t Die.” The band played on even after the team abandoned them and eventually became the Marching Ravens after the Cleveland Browns (another bad move, but one that was corrected almost immediately) came to Baltimore. The whole story gets told tonight at 8 p.m.

It looks pretty good.

UPDATE: It is pretty good, great even. It is completely one-side anti-Irsay, pro-Baltimore fan propaganda, but really well done propaganda. Here is the first part:

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P.J. Maierhofer is College Miss Majorette of America

‘Sapphire’ takes twirling titleThe Collegian
PJ Maierhofer: Blue Sapphire, Crown JewelThe Penn Stater Blog
P.J. Maierhofer, Penn State’s feature twirler since 2005 won the College Miss Majorette of America. She says it is the “biggest honor of baton twirling — like winning the Masters for golf.”

That’s great and congratulations to her. Since they list her as a senior, I think that means she is coming back for her fifth season. That’s probably a rule anyway, there have only been 3 featured Blue Sapphires since I started at Penn State. Her predecessor, Bobbie Jo Solomon was also College Miss Majorette of America in 1999.

PREVIOUSLY

Q&A: P.J. Maierhofer10.17.2007

PJ! — Blue Sapphire video08.26.2006

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