Sunday, September 02, 2012

From the Pressbox: Rittman vs Cleveland Knights, Halftime Highlights

This past Friday evening, the Rittman Indians football team played host to a group of home schooled high school athletes called the Cleveland Knights. The game was originally scheduled to be played at Case Western Reserve University, but due to a scheduling conflict, the venue was changed to Rittman. Two touchdowns along with two point conversions by Rittman, and a touchdown with a failed conversion attempt by the Knights made the halftime score 16-6 in favor of the Indians.

The Knights had no marching band, so my favorite group of student musicians had the entire halftime show to themselves. After the best entrance and band intro in Northeast Ohio, the Rittman Marching Band performed tan original tune by Jim Swearingen, called Fired Up. The majorette feature was the Roy Orbison hit,Oh Pretty Woman.

During the next selection, The Pennsylvania Polka, I was recording the performance with my iPhone. I was also looking at my script to ensure I had the right intro lined up for the next song. I missed one of the senior trombone players falling in front of the crowd on the 50 yard line. I was informed of this after I put this on my Facebook page. More about this later.

The circles continued on the next selection. The best marching band in Wayne County delighted the audience  as they performed the Colonel Bogey March.

And always ready, willing, and able, to entertain the baby boomers in attendance, the Marching Indians performed their show stopping rendition of the Beatles hit, Twist and Shout.

After halftime, and after I uploaded the aforementioned video to Facebook, I had told Emily, one of the majorettes, that I had done so. She then responded with, "I want to see the part where Brian fell." I then went to Ed Sims, who is the Rittman band director, and an all around good guy, and asked him if I should keep the video on FB. Ed's response was maybe for a little while. A few minutes later, we both decided to let Brian make this call. I showed Brian the video and he thought it was great. Being one of my Facebook friends, I asked Brian to make a comment on the post. He did that, and also asked me to post the video on my You Tube account. All this is why I even mention the incident here.

Although it was a well fought game, the Knights prevailed, final score 26-24.

This will be a somewhat long Cliff Note: There have been a couple of internet trolls making light of the fact that I consider myself in an important position as a band announcer, or the fact that I'm one of the more popular band announcers in the area.

The Rittman Marching Band is a show band. Ed Sims' goal is to get the best out of his student musicians, and for them to give the very best performance every time they are on the field. My responsibility is to make sure that I time my delivery, as there are some times between selections that the band members have to switch their position on the field. I pride myself with very little dead air during a Rittman performance. I credit this to my broadcast schooling.

Granted there are some announcers who think the show should be in the press box and not on the field. There are also the corps band announcers who come on, tell us where they come from, who are the superintendent, school principal, band director, assistants,  and flag line director are. They announce what the music is, then they get out of the way and let the band performance their competition routine.

 I've been doing the announcing for the Rittman Marching Band since the 2000 football season, which explains my popularity in the press box. I have been told by some of the best student musicians in the area that I'm a very important part of their show. I have been told the past couple of weeks how much I was missed last year when I couldn't announce their last two performances. The gentleman who announced in my place did a great job, I saw the video. The band agreed, but their timing was off because it was not me in the press box.

There are times when I mess up and I'm my harshest critic. Sometimes I regard YouTube as my personal blooper reel. I will watch some of the videos to see how I can improve myself. I take my responsibility seriously and there are those who consider me one of the best.

Next Friday, the 0-2 Rittman Indians play host to Mapleton, and Saturday the Rittman Marching Band performs at the St. Vincent-St. Mary Band show.

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