Commentary: The band can’t play

Before my phone blows up with threats, let me explain the heading. The SWAC recently ruled that bands are NOT allowed to play while any offense has the ball, while the offense is in the huddle, while the offense is at the line of scrimmage, and some other stuff. Also, the halftime show has been cut to 16 minutes, giving each band 8 minutes to perform.In retrospect, the SWAC has also mandated that bands cannot both play at the same time, and will follow a specific order of playing during time-outs.

Any violation of these rules leads to public reprimand, censure, fines, and/or suspensions.

These rules are flat out stupid. They are a blatant attack on the tradition of the SWAC and can drive fans away from the game.

Let’s be real. Yes, we love it when the G-Men win, but we also love it when the World Famed and other bands get into it. My favorite band rivalry is between the World Famed and the Sonic Boom of the South (Jackson State).

In my opinion, these are the two best bands in the SWAC (I need for Southern to turn down the loud brass). I was anticipating this epic showdown this season, because these two bands can go toe-to-toe.

However, now, the bands will be “quiet as a church mouse,” as band diretor Doctor Larry Pannel eloquently put it.

I don’t want my band being quiet; neither do I want the other bands to do the same. They should all play. It’s a tradition!

The eight minute halftime shows are also irking me. Now, to be honest, there are some bands I just can’t stand listening to for 10 minutes (Texas Southern), but if they want to play 10 minutes, let them play!

Some people do not get a chance to see these bands in action often, especially at Classics. This is a gift to them, and it’s a gift to the fans that actively support the bands.

The SWAC definitely dropped the ball on this one. I understand what they are trying to do, but you don’t just change tradition all willy-nilly. You have to compromise. There was no compromise at all here.

The only upside to this is that it follows the TV rules. ESPN, particularly, does not like the band playing while teams are in the huddle, as it messes up their field audio.

I understand the attempt, but the SWAC fails, as they don’t have a TV deal. Get one and then change the rules.