Blue Band vs. Piped Music

By Mike Tongue

“Back in my day, all we heard is the blue band, it sounds like a NFL venue” or “I really enjoy the music they pipe into the stadium.” I have heard this debate a lot lately. Maybe because I am am obsessive with Penn State football and I spend way too much time on Fightonstate.com, but since last Saturday’s game with Eastern Illinois, the topic has received even more play on the message boards due to the profanity that was played over the loud speaker during ironically, Jay-Z’s song “Run this Town.” I won’t go into the details here, if you know the song, you know what was said, but it has created a controversy. Luckily, I haven’t heard a lot about it on the mainstream media, but I assume that has to do with the good PR work of Guido(Head of PSU Athletic’s PR)
Regardless, the people who are most concerned, were the people there and most of them had children with them and looking at the opponent, there were more kids there than usual. So this controversy sparks even more debate on the what should be played at the Beav.
On one side, you have the people who love the blue band. They say that is what college football is all about, marching bands. Its also the tradition here at Penn State. They claim that all the piped in music sounds like an NFL stadium.  On the other side, you have people who love the piped in music. It brings energy to the crowd and they say since the piped in music was been played, we have been given the title of best student section in the nation. Another belief is with all the people that now occupy the Beav, the sound of the blue band is difficult to hear in every part of the stadium.
Now as you might have guessed, most of the people who enjoy the blue band are alums and the ones that like the pipe music are the students. So I assume a lot more of this has to do with a generational gap than anything. But ultimately, the question is, what to do about this growing debate? If it was up to me, I would try to accommodate both sides as well as possible.  I like both types of music. I grew up on the blue band and college marching bands in general. This type of atmosphere is one of the things that made me a bigger college fan than NFL, but at the same time, when it’s a good song, and that’s a big if, the crowd really gets into it. So my solution is, try and do both. I know the alums will complain and they give the cash, but  in my opinion, the students apply the true atmosphere.
So my solution is, let the blue band play but during the game, allow for the piped music. Its not like fans will not get to hear the blue band before, halftime and after the game. Also allow them to play some during the game, but don’t eliminate the piped in music. Just try and play music most people are going to like. I see now PSU has decided to allow people to give suggestions on what should be played via Facebook. I like this idea, it will allow folks to recommend songs that will get the crowd fired up. Especially with some of the songs they play now. Now, will everyone be happy, no, but when you have 100,000 fans, its hard to please everyone.  Overall, I feel like the situation we have now is working pretty well. The stadium atmosphere is so much better now than it was when I started to come to PSU games and I hope, that alums and students can agree on that…WE ARE……

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