First of all, it had to be just an absolutely horrible day for coach Todd Dodge:
- Not only did his old team, Southlake Carroll, get knocked out of the playoffs by Abilene, but his son (and future UNT QB) Riley Dodge left the game in the second quarter with a separated shoulder.
- In the early evening, Dodge's UNT Eagles lost rather badly to Florida International (ending a 23-game losing streak by that school) to finish his inaugural season at 2-9.
- And to complete the unfortunate trifecta, Dodge's former Carroll QB Chase Daniel and the Missouri Tigers lost the Big 12 Championship to Oklahoma and fell out of the top spot in the BCS standings.
And please allow me a quick mini-rant here: As much as I enjoy the added high school sports coverage on the HSGameTime.com site that the DMN has affiliated itself with this year, some of the comments in the corresponding blog are shameful in the way that they bash high school students as if they were salaried professionals. Note (at your peril) the comments in the Riley Dodge story; some of the readers slam not only Todd Dodge and UNT, but they're pretty merciless with Riley as well. C'mon, folks--maybe you need to get a better hobby, or perhaps even step away from your computer and play a sport; I'll bet you can't do any better than these kids you're slamming so freely here.
NEXT MORNING UPDATE: Just checked the site again; commenter "Ben" says it best:
Everybody that ripped SLC on this blog should be ashamed of themselves. We are talking about high schools kids, not pro athletes that are getting paid millions of dollars. They had a fine season and a very fine run there the last few years and NOBODY can take that away from them. Those players and coaches will remember each other for the rest of their lives. As we all know, not everything you read from the media is true. The only people that Really know what goes on are the players, coaches and their classmates. It's a shame that so many people have to come on this blog and rip high school athletes in order to boost their own self-esteem.Well said, Ben. (And yes, I'm the "Kev" a few comments upthread from him.)
To those above who think that "marching band" is going up and down the field playing Sousa marches, might I remind you that things evolve over time. Do you apply this anti-modernism to other aspects of your life as well? Do you drive home in a car with fins, singing along with your AM radio (with the windows rolled down, because there's no A/C), going home to your black-and-white TV and talking on a corded, rotary-dial land-line phone that's owned by the phone company? (And let's not even mention the computer--it's in an office building, not your house, taking up a whole room and having less storage space than your iPod nano.)Thankfully, a few other commenters were also calling out the bashers for being so hard on high school musicians, just like others were on the SLC players today.
Anyway, the point is, things change. (Although I have to say that, compared to marching band, drill team has hardly changed at all, for decades now.) Sure, there might be an excessive number of contests these days, but there's an awful lot of hard work and musicianship that goes into these productions, so they deserve a few chances to perform on a big stage.
[...]And if you like traditional marching band, there are two places to go: East Texas, where schools like Longview are still doing the military shows year in and year out, and Kyle Field in College Station, where the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band does that style better than anyone.