P.E. credit doesn’t make band a sport
November 18, 2010
Filed under Opinion
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On Friday nights, the band marches around and plays music at halftime of football games while the actual athletes lay it all on the line for four quarters. That’s where the real action is. There is not a football game during an intermission in a band competition. While band may not be easy, make no mistake, it is an art, not a sport.
While band, specifically marching band, may require a small amount of physical fitness and coordination, there is no way that it can be considered a sport.
First of all, competition is a large part of what makes sports great. The competition is so intense because of two teams or individuals going against each other with all they have. Sure, there are contests and judges for band, but in no sense is a band “competition” the same as real competition in a sport. In band, each group plays its songs while marching in some pointless formation. There is no true opposition. You have no control over what the other band does. In most sports, you have to face an opponent who is trying to do anything in their power to beat you. A band competition is no different from UIL events like literary critisism, and I think we can all agree that literary critisism is not a sport.
Also, just because marching band is a PE credit does not make it a sport. In order to physically be able to do band, all one needs to do is be able to walk for several minutes while carrying an instrument. If you can’t do that, then you need to hit the gym anyway. Try putting the tall, skinny guy with the tube socks and glasses through offseason football. See how long he lasts. Try putting the slightly heavy, awkward girl through volleyball two-a-days. See how long she lasts. There’s a reason why the vast majority of band members do not a play a sport.While there are some band members who are fully capable of playing a sport, and some even do, there is no way on earth that band can considered an “athletic activity” or that it can be more physically demanding than any major sport, besides golf of course, but we’ll save that one for another day.
Yet another reason that band is not a sport is the fact that nowhere in a culture where everything from hot-dog eating to rock-paper-scissors has been featured on ESPN has band been considered a sport. Other than a failed airing of Drum Corps International on ESPN2, anything associated with band has never really entered conversation as a sport. It is unheard of. It is rejected by the mainstream sports media. America has an ever-growing fascination with all types of sports, but band does not make an appearance on that list. If it has never been legitimately considered a sport in the history of the world, then how can it ever be? The answer is simple: it won’t. The stereotypes of “jock” and “band geek” are basically polar opposites in our culture, and there’s a reason for that. Being in band does not necessarily mean a person is a geek, but it certianly does not make a person an athlete.
However, many band members claim that band should be viewed on the same level as sports because it requires the same amount of dedication. It is true that band practices relentlessly, but that really has nothing to do with it being a sport. Nearly all extracurricular activities require practice and dedication, yet things like theatre or choir are not sports. Band members should be proud of what they do, but come to terms with the fact that it is not athletic or truly competitive. Face it, band is not nor will it ever be a sport.