Band geeks and little people: Life lessons from the Pac 10 Tournament

Don't judge a book by it's cover. It's an old saying, but we do it all the time. We, as a society, have really got to stop it.

This week, I've been lucky enough to attend all the games in the Pac 10 Tournament (thank you to the folks at Klout for the free tickets!). I went to a private university that wasn't known for its athletics program, so the whole college basketball scene is something new to me. That said, I have to ask, when did band geeks become the life of the party?

When you watch the games on TV, you just see the scantily clad cheerleaders. When you're there in person, it's all about the band. I had no idea.

The band leads cheers. The band hoots and hollers. The band makes jokes. The band provides all the energy for the fans. The band is Red Bull to the cheerleaders' Diet Coke. They really need a PR team so they can get the credit they deserve. Forget the pom pom girls; the clarinet players work it!

Now, on to my second revelation. Short people can really play ball!

In game 1 of the tournament, Oregon State versus Stanford, I was checking out the players in the first few minutes of the game. I jokingly said to my friend, "who let Gary Coleman out on the court?". I looked up his number in the program and saw that the guy's height was 5'8". Ok, not a real midget, mind you. But compared to the other players, he looked like he should be singing with the Lollypop Guild from Munchkin Land.

Well, imagine my surprise when this guy could play! He ended up being the third highest scorer in the game and his team won by 10 points. Don't discount the short guy, my friends; it's all about skill, determination, and hustle!

Now, if you're a college basketball fan, maybe you already know the things I just learned. But, has there ever been a time when you went into something--anything--with preconceived notions? When you assumed you knew the people, the product, the pitch, or the pitfalls? Like it or not, we all have opinions. But, maybe, we should have a few less of them.

Is the gal with the tuba going to get you fired up? Is guy you think will be least valuable to the team really the rising star?

We all strive to attain knowledge and gain experience. That's important. But sometimes. just sometimes, should we maybe forget what we think we know and see what's really out there. I bet there's a lot more to be learned if we just let ourselves.

A life of fewer fouls and more free throws? That's something we should all shoot for, isn't it?


  1. It's always nice to be pleasantly surprised, huh? That is why it pays to keep an open mind and not to be too judgemental.

    I volunteer for an organization called Guardian ad Litem (I believe it's Casa out west) and most of the kids I'm assigned to are in foster care and are there because bad things have happened in their lives. Whew, talk about getting out of my comfort zone and what I consider normal. The thing that has helped me the most is to go in each situation w/ a totally open mind and try to limit any preconceived notions I might have.

    Things aren't always as they appear, don't be too quick to judge.

    Good article and hopefully you will get some nice you want me to retweet.........:)

  2. Bill, that's an excellent example of keeping an open mind. I'm sure those children's situations are complicated at best. Kudos to you for doing such valuable work! That's great!

    All this time, I though cheerleaders cheered. I was totally surprised that they didn't utter a word. Crazy!

    As for the RT, as always, you know that's up to you ;-) Thanks so much for stopping by, Bill!

  3. as the son of a band director and former band geek, I say- heck yes. bands do provide a GREAT source of entertainment and pep for their teams and schools... big props!

  4. They do! I was just so impressed with the bands. I thought they just played an occasional song. I had no idea they were cheering during the entire game. The band from Oregon State University was especially funny! Loved them!

    Band geeks RULE! ;-)


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