Nov. 20, 2019
Well, this isn’t exactly the football season I was hoping for. I’m guessing pretty much all Spartans who follow the game feel the same way. But, as a long-time Spartan fan, it comes with the territory.
Throughout the years, I have sat in the stands in the blazing heat, pouring rain and freezing drizzle. I have yelled “Go Green!” with 70,000 of my closest friends as a student, alumna and employee. I have carried my bundled-up baby up the steps at Spartan Stadium, taught her the fight song before she was in kindergarten and cheered alongside her as an adult.
I have witnessed some incredible games. But I’ve also sat through some heartbreaking losses. Some seasons have ended in victory, while others slink away in defeat. But, in true Spartan fashion, I remain a loyal fan. In life, we all win some and lose some, but it’s how we handle our losses that show our true character. So, while it’s been a disappointing season, my blood still bleeds green.
While the games I’ve seen have run the gamut from one extreme to the other, there’s always one comforting constant — the incredible Spartan Marching Band. I know that despite the scoreboard, the SMB delivers top-notch performances every single game. From their pregame performance and renditions in the stands to their sideline drumline highlight and extraordinary half-time shows, the SMB brings amazing entertainment and Spartan spirit every single game.
This year, the band is celebrating 150 years of excellence, which they celebrated with a special half-time performance on homecoming that included alumni. Nearly 1,200 members took the field that day. Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: They’ve got the beat, to watch a video of that performance and also learn about the fascinating history of this wonderful MSU tradition.
Pretty much every Spartan loves the SMB, including Prabu David, who is the dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. He recently wrote about it, and ComArtSci and band alumnus Brian O’Connor, who is vice president of communication at Princess Cruises. Check out the FACULTY VOICE: What marching band teaches us about shaping culture, to learn why he says “there is a lot to learn from the anonymous members of a marching band.”
Ilene Gould, a senior majoring in media and information, has her own history with the SMB. She’s currently a member of the mellophone section, but both of her parents were proud members too. Check out her STUDENT VIEW: Spartan Marching Band and its legacy, to learn more about her thoughts on being “part of a stable, constant success story.”
Another family that has a legacy in the band is the Halls. Heather and Bradley met as band kids in 1984 and now have band kids of their own. Because of their connection and pride, they hold a breakfast fundraiser for the SMB Jacket Fund. Check out their story and get inspired – Give Green Day is just around the corner.
Speaking of which, next week’s MSUToday Weekly Update is going to be a little different. Because Give Green Day is so important to creating opportunities for students, the update will focus completely on some wonderful stories of donors and giving. I’ll be taking the week off and a guest editor will be taking over. Enjoy the stories, but most importantly, mark your calendars so you can help change lives by participating in Give Green Day on Dec. 3.
Even when we suffer losses, we’re still changing lives every single day. In classrooms, labs, residence halls and elsewhere, we’re dedicated to preparing Spartans to be the leaders of tomorrow. And while every single one of them will experience disappointment and maybe even some pretty big setbacks, the essence of being a Spartan is getting back up, dusting off and marching forward with even more determination. The beat goes on. #SpartansWill.
Photo by Kurt Stepnitz