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Mr. Dodd

I find this sorry excuse for an article and this man absolutely deplorable. I understand, freedom of speech and all that. But, this is not serious journalism. This is a joke. This is an insult to anyone who was in a marching band. I borrowed the cut from my friend crimsontwilight.

I'm sorry for the athlete who was injured, but this is ridiculous.

Excerpt from Dennis Dodd's Article

The band might be a good place to start because, well, they're the band. In general, band geeks are self-important and frequently out of tune. It's obvious to the rest of us, why not them? Led Zeppelin does not translate well to the trombone.

Quick band story: A reporter was running across the Rose Bowl turf a few years ago after a game trying to get back up to the press box. There was virtually no one in the stadium at that point except the reporter and the USC band. He tried to politely cut through their ranks to make it the shortest distance between two points. Instead, he was physically blocked by the band like this was some sort of big boy game of Red Rover.

They weren't budging and actually getting a bit pushy. Fortunately, some assistant band director came by and yelled, "Let him through," as if the tuba goons had pulled this type of macho crap previously. That's just what the world needs, a brass section with attitude.

Remember when being in the band merely meant you couldn't get a date? Then the likes of the Stanford band tried to make itself matter. Their antics were worth a chuckle now and then when they weren't getting run over by Cal players. Then they really got, uh, creative.

Some advice: If you think it's cool to urinate on the field then you've got issues that go waaaay beyond self-esteem band dork.

We bring this up because bands are part of the game's culture the same way as jock itch and concussions. For the most part, bandies are neither funny nor, unfortunately, dieting. If the Marshall crew had anything to do with Edwards' injury then Steve Barnett has some explaining to do. Barnett is in his sixth year as director of the "Marching Thunder." He told CBSSports.com he had been questioned "by a couple of lawyers" but couldn't comment any further.

"Any type of accident is unfortunate," Barnett said.

A band director's head on a platter, would that be enough for Edwards?

Let's think about the common good here. The NCAA has a student-athlete welfare committee. Just a thought, but it might be worthwhile at their next meeting to insert language somewhere about schools not allowing equipment carts anywhere near where elite athletes are sprinting at full speed.

In a way the injury almost draws the line between BCS and non-BCS schools. Can you imagine carts being left in the back of the end zone at Michigan? USC? Florida? This could have happened anywhere -- anywhere where they don't have enough room. Or enough money to build more room. This particular tragedy occurred in a 38,000-seat Joan C. Edwards Stadium, the 81st largest venue in I-A.

In the BCS, you're either big time or you're not. In the land of dorkness, there's another distinction to be noted. If you're parading around at halftime don't get too full of yourself. You're in the band, chief, not a band. Act appropriately and stow that French horn in a safe place.

Led Zeppelin thanks you.

"I'm not a mean person," Edwards said. "I'm a forgiving person. I don't hold any grudges [but] it was a band cart."

How he responded to complaints

" I am hated by both Alabama fans and band geeks this week.

That's quite a double. I might be cut by a piccolo player and run over by a Red Elephant.

Those who can't record music, march to it -- or at least deliver their screeds to my e-doorstep. As for 'Bama, I will calmly refer to you to your four major violations since 1995 to see your place in the NCAA enforcement firmament.

Now on to the juicy stuff. Ear muffs, kids. The following is rated R.

From: jimrice13

I'm not sure your reference to Alabama being the Granddaddy of NCAA violations is appropriate, given their first brush with the NCAA occurred in 1993. Auburn alone had been on probation seven times by then. This case, frankly, should never have been subject to NCAA penalty. The University of Alabama gained no competitive advantages by playing any of the athletes involved, and making a little spending money off textbooks is harmless. Amateurism went out long ago.

Hall of Shamer:

C'mon, really. Is this Tim Floyd?

From: Don

I totally cannot understand why the NCAA never takes any actions against Southern Cal's program. Seems to be a blatant show of favoritism. What do you think?

Trojan Hoarse:

It's been three years and running for the USC investigation. The problem is that (in football) it's hard to get anyone to talk. Reggie Bush isn't cooperating for obvious reasons. One of his former "agents" has been paid off. Another lawsuit is pending.

Basketball is dead. Floyd's resignation seems to confirm that the paid off O.J. Mayo. The problem for USC, if the NCAA ever gets there, is that both cases are under one investigative umbrella. In the end I'm guessing USC gets a five-year probation, lack-of-institutional control penalty and scholarship reduction in both basketball and football.

The question for me is, will there be any forfeits or vacating victories in football? If there are we're talking about perhaps losing Pac-10 championships, a BCS title and a Heisman. This is all going to work itself out. Stay patient.

From: petermc

Dear Mr. Dodd, my name is Peter McDonald and I represent the Stanford Band. I recently came across the column you wrote about Patrick Edwards breaking his leg.

I feel that a few of the things you wrote in said column merit addressing. First, I think that you may be misdirecting your anger towards marching bands in general. A more apt focus would be toward marching bands that need carts to carry things around, since that was the main obstacle that wreaked havoc on young Edwards's leg.

We don't really know what the Marshall band needed them for anyways. The Stanford Band has never used a cart to carry anything that would be allowable on a football field. Second, with your contention that we as an organization (were) urinating on a football field to be cool, I would have to disagree. You see, the urination in question was not at halftime on the middle of the field, but after the game and off to the side and was not done to make any sort of statement, but only because nature was calling and the bathrooms were so far away. Surely you remember a time in college when you or a friend urinated somewhere that you wish you/they hadn't. It was much the same way with us.

Third, we found your story about the USC marching band very amusing, precisely because it was about the USC marching band. We have to deal with those punks every year and make no excuses for their behavior, but please don't let it reflect on us. The Stanford Band tries very hard to be everything the Spirit of Troy isn't.

Finally, I largely agree with your assessment of marching bands. That's why we don't march, and that's why we figure if we're going to make the audience listen to us for six minutes, we can at least crack a few jokes. We'd also like to think that our location in northern California as well all of us being the product of very intensely driven parents keeps us in better shape than most other bands.

Our personal experiences have found that you are indeed correct about Led Zeppelin, but with your larger implied assertion that all marching bands are incapable of rocking, if you grant me your e-mail, I have a few mp3s that I think could dispel that rumor, at least in our case.

Keep On Rockin' in the Free World, Peter "Shotgun" McDonald, Stanford Band public relations.


What have we learned here:

• The Stanford band doesn't use carts.
• The Stanford band urinates in public, but not at halftime.
• The Stanford band doesn't march.
• The Stanford band believes its USC counterparts are punks.
• The Stanford band members are the "product of very intensely driven parents."
• The Stanford band is in better shape than most bands.

You, my man, should be proud.

From: hornguard

Mr. Dodd, I found your potshots at collegiate marching programs absolutely unnecessary in your article on Houston University's Patrick Edwards.

The example you used of the reporter trying to cut through the USC band was due to a long-time military band tradition of not breaking rank. A quick history lesson for you, sir; marching bands were formed as auxiliary units for the military. Breaking rank is a sign of disrespect to not just the band, but the unit to which they were attached.


I'm trying to figure out what "military band tradition" has to do with urinating in public. Maybe you should be talking to my man Shotgun.

From: SternJordan

I found your hateful tirade against marching bands to be completely distasteful.

Yes, the injury was due to negligence on the part of the band, a very unfortunate incident. Yes, someone should be held financially accountable for that young man's medical expenses. But you decided to turn a decent article into a playground level taunt against a subculture containing thousands of people.

I think you should rethink what you do with your life. You are in a position of influence, and instead of using that influence in a positive way, you perpetuate negative stereotypes and spew forth the kind of arrogant filth that I would expect from a 12 year old. Think about this. A lot.


Spent a lot of time thinking. A lot. Still hate marching bands. Still can live with myself.

From: kshay

I find it totally fascinating the amount of energy Dodd took in blaming the band.

I wonder if he realized that many of those band geeks are his doctors, lawyers, and many other people that help him in his daily life. The doctors that fixed this players leg more than likely were band geeks because being in band or any other musical organization is something that medical schools want their students to be before being excepted to medical school. Band-Aid:

I missed the box on med school applications that reads: Check here if you blew a trombone.

From: sax5warrior

Your article was getting interesting, I will say that. But to use this incident to insult and portray every band geek as dangerous and obnoxious is very disturbing.

Really? You use the phrase band geek like it was 1980 all over again? Grow up and write something about this season. I guess I am a useless band geek to major in music education in college. I must wear glasses and have pants that go up to my chest. Yup, that must be me.

Sax and Violins:

Hey, whatever turns you on, dude.

From: jcoopermusiced

Wow! I just looked at the video and have to agree that the leg injury was very unfortunate. However, if this play had happened just 10 feet to the right, Edwards would have plowed right into the cheerleaders which I guess would have make Dennis much more happier, right?.

My point is this, in sports you always run the risk of being injured anywhere on the field and this was one of those wrong-place-wrong-time type of moments. This same injury could have happened on the sideline and he could have hit his knee on a bleacher or something else. C'mon Dennis, quit blaming the band on an apparently unfortunate event and be grown up about it if you can!.


My next column: "Too bad about that passenger jet that plowed into The Horseshoe. Those Ohio State players should have known that injuries can occur (your words) ANYWHERE ON THE FIELD."

From: Robert

Mr. Dodd, as a band director and sports fan I wish you would do a little research before spouting off age-old idiotic statements typical of jocks who have never taken the time to understand.

As unfortunate as the injury is to Mr. Edwards, leaving carts is certainly not solely isolated to bands. I'm sure many stories could be provided about the things that have been left for the bands to deal with ... like ... trucks. Your tirade into the culture of band is unfounded and stinks of someone who is clueless of what is required mentally and physically of today's marching students.

I challenge you to contact Drum Corps International and spend and day or so watching these athletes. The demand on these young people is so great Bobbie Knight would require his players to go watch them rehearse. Once you spend some time watching these athletes, yes, athletes I would love to hear your opinion.

Miss Directed:

Let me compose myself. For a minute there, I thought you said your dateless wonders were "athletes."

Does that make kite fliers astronauts? If I ride a bike, does that make me an Indy car racer? I play Rock Band. Should Eric Clapton be concerned?

From: jonathanhooper

I read the article. If a D-1 player can't run into the end zone without hitting a cart, yank his scholarship. I assume he got to the end zone after running around a weak defense that was trying to bust his butt -- so he runs into a stationary cart. Who would he sue if he ran into the goal post?

Stuck in the Jonathan:

That would be no one because the goal post is part of the playing field. Carts filled with batons and felt hats aren't.

From: taylorme

Dennis, Enjoyed your piece on Alabama's probation. However, I'd like to point out a dynamic that you didn't consider. And, that dynamic is that, due to its past troubles, Alabama is ultra paranoid about any little thing that might possibly be considered a violation, even in the slightest.

Remember, Alabama didn't get caught. They caught themselves, immediately took action, suspended players for the remainder of the season, which likely cost them 4-5 wins, and reported it to the NCAA. On the contrary, most schools would probably have swept this under the rug especially considering the absurdly petty nature of the violations and no one, including the NCAA, would even be the wiser. No one would know! My point is that Alabama has likely not committed any more infractions than any other school, it's just been more forthcoming about reporting them.

And, I personally believe that's why Alabama has been slammed so hard in recent years -- they've been too generous, handing everything over to the NCAA on a silver platter.

Tide and True:

That's sound logic. Alabama needs to join the parade and start hiding stuff from the NCAA. Think how many national championships it could have one if it wasn't so forthcoming with its constant wrongdoing.

Sure, that makes sense.

From: Bruce

Your article about the injured player and the band is outrageous and you should be immediately dismissed. I will be contacting CBS sports directly in full petition for your removal based on your direct and demeaning comments to the band members at that institution. You are a loser.

Sir: Your attempts haven't worked so far. I'm still here and plan to be until -- um -- Gabriel blows his horn.

From: Garry

Mr. Dodd, I resent your characterization of band members. As a journalist, I would hope that you could refrain from stereotypes.

As a high schooler, I played basketball for Lute Olson. Shorter than most, I spent more time on the pine. But what I really excelled at was drumming. It was obvious to me that I was a much better drummer than a cager.

That doesn't mean I got off light. The multiple tenor drums I carried and played weighed 65 pounds. I want you to consider what kind of stamina it takes to march and play for 10 hours of rehearsal a day.

But let me tell you a better story. Several years ago a member of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps from Canton -- Oh, yeah, the host city of the NFL Hall of Fame -- answered his country's call to duty. In the process of serving in our military, he lost half of his left foot to a mine. He underwent several surgeries as well as months of rehabilitation. When he fulfilled his service, he had one additional year of eligibility to perform with the Bluecoats at the Drum Corps International championships.

He marched a full season with half a foot, playing and carrying multiple tenor drums. While I feel for Mr. Edwards and his dilemma, it pales in comparison to this Desert Storm band geek. Let me also remind you that Walter Payton played in his high school band. What a geek, eh? I can think of any number of band geeks that could hand you your ass. Why not put your bias away, come meet some musical athletes and find out what you're really talking about. Until then, consider yourself uniformed.


You insult war veterans everywhere by attaching the ultimate sacrifice to membership in a band. One has nothing to do with the other.

From: Mandi

Dennis, your article entitled, "Placing Blame for Edwards injury a pain in itself" is the most ridiculous and unprofessional thing I have ever read.

To tell you a little about myself, I am a band director in Houston. I am young, female, well liked, and not fat, unlike your apparent idea of most band geeks. Now, sure, I'll admit that someone messed up. They were responsible for getting the equipment cart and moving it, and yes, it was probably someone with the band. BUT ... how many thousands of people were at that game? Do you mean to tell me that out of all of those people, nobody else could have possibly seen a potential hazard and request the cart to be moved?

I guarantee you that if my band was ready to march and there was football equipment on the field, I would either move it or have it moved before one of my kids got hurt.

Mandi with an I:

That's the problem isn't it? The band being more important than the sport it is there for in the first place.

You're putting the (equipment) cart before the farce.

From: Merx

Re: your column on Placing blame for Edwards injury ... This is the funniest column I've read in some time. What's the matter, Dodd? Did a tuba player steal your girlfriend in high school?


Actually, one time at band camp ...

From: Vince

Way to go, Cronkite. Kid mangles his leg and you end up generating sympathy for the band with an over-the-top rant. Show a little self-restraint and stick to the incident at hand instead of bringing up marginally related stories that are decades old.


I'll tone it down the moment sophomores with acne quit dressing up like the Buckingham Palace guards.

From: EJ

If I were shown those comments about band dorks at the end of your recent article without context, I would have guessed that they came from a middle school student, or maybe a high school student, mud-slinging on a some forum online.

But the fact that they came from an adult who is supposed to be a professional is nothing short of disturbing. They came off as completely immature, ignorant, shameful, and utterly classless to someone who had never previously read your work and now consequently never wishes to read your work again. You should be very embarrassed.

Conscience of the People:

So much so that I'm forbidding my children to ever march in formation at halftime. Ever.

From: rattyratlet

To the football dude from the band chick: I figure you won't mind my opinion here because you want to know what I think as a reader ... at least, that's what the button said ... and because you're apparently comfortable with spouting off your own opinion.

Dish it, take it. So here's my two cents: Don't take it out on the band. Band kids might be a bunch of weirdo geeks with no friends who are just a sideshow event at a football game, but that's only as true as the *fact* that football players are a bunch of stupid drunken ass----- with no necks, full of steroids and armed with ... pills. And that's really not true...so why is the band stereotype so central in your article on Patrick Edwards?


Because you're wrong. Not ALL football players take steroids.

From: RandyG

1.He ran OUT of the end zone and hit an equipment cart? And that's the band's fault?
2. NOBODY walks through the band. Do you walk through the team on the sideline?
3. I carried a sousaphone in a college marching band at 175 lbs. Out of shape? You do a run-on entrance 10 or 15 times carrying one of those during a practice.

Showing Some Brass:

1. Yes. Just like when you get off your tricycle in the middle of the street it's still the driver's fault when you get hit.
2. Yes, I have a media credential
3. No.

From: Zach

Let's just get this out of the way. You are an ignorant sports writer. You remind of Jim Rome.

Ok, so now that I got that out of the way, I am in the Marshall University Marching Thunder. I play alto sax. I don't really give a damn on your perspective of marching band. You haven't done band so you do not understand it. The accident is unfortunate, but if he had ran off onto the sideline and ran into one of the heaters they keep there for the players would we be having this discussion? Or if he had ran into the stands and knocked out a kid like what happened at a Cincinnati Bearcats game only a few weeks later would you have written this article? If you haven't seen that I suggest you look into it.

Again I am sorry that the accident happened and wish him the best. Mr. Barnett is a terrific guy and has done nothing, but good things for the band and the university. It could have happened anywhere and I am pretty sure you know that. It was just fate that it happened in Huntington, WV. I am sorry that this is you outlook on marching band and I hope that in the future you will not be so close minded.


Fate? A compound fracture of a leg and the possible end of a career is fate? If you are truly from the Marshall band, you have confirmed every thought I've had about you people.

Someone is going to have to pay for this lapse in judgment. If this was fate how come the equipment carts were moved for the next game?

By the way, thanks for the comparison to Jim Rome. I am a clone myself.

From: Brian

I demand an apology to every person who has ever participated in a collegiate marching band.

Your article about a football player running into equipment is very discriminating. I watched the replay. Any football player should not only watch the trajectory of the ball, but also where they are going. Edwards definitely was not doing the latter. As for the equipment on the sidelines, I can see the level of concern. However, collisions with benches, mascots, and walls have the equal potential for happening, especially given the distance between the rear of the end zone and the carts.

Any type of equipment that a band uses should always be placed out of the way when not in use, and should definitely be removed from the field immediately after halftime. At my alma mater, a prominent SEC school, where I was a member of the band for 5 years, we always made sure that our equipment never was in the way of the football teams. We always had to ensure that our instruments were kept out of the way for the traveling field camera and their cables. We had to share our pre-halftime storage space with these cameras in the space between the hedges that lined the field and the stands. The closer it got to halftime, we could move our instruments closer to the field. However, we the entire band could not cross the white press line until after the half was over. Immediately after our halftime show, we removed our equipment from the field and loaded our equipment truck.

As for our pregame show, because of its stunning entrance, the band needed extra band members to block the press waiting for the football team to follow, just to ensure that the band would not run they actually run out of the team's tunnel over any press nearby. Should all bands be this attentive? Yes, but it seems that some of these practices were actually demanded by the conference, which is why we followed them even at away games.

These rules are not yet part of NCAA rules, and they probably should be. Just because a big football player can't watch where he is going, and just because the color guard for a marching band couldn't find a better place to store their equipment, you should not be complaining about other marching bands in the country.

You would be surprised of the percentage of the 87,000+ fans that fill my alma mater's stadium to not only watch football, but to watch and hear the marching band. You apparently do not know how many long hours the band students spend preparing for each performance, even if the performance lasts only 7 minutes. If you can't apologize, then I will find a way to make your employer do it for you. Even if it means that they fire you.

The Strife of Brian:

What? Oh, you're done? I must have nodded off there for a second.

Tell you what. Bind that sucker up in a manuscript, send it to a publisher and you've got yourself a heck of a book. Somewhere in there I get the impression you're making excuse for this kid getting hurt. You're the one who needs to apologize.

Should be great reading ... zzzzzzz. "

This was posted for CBSsports.com. I don't formally complain about many things, but I am not staying silent on this one.

::EDIT:: I submitted a formal complaint. I doubt I'll hear anything back or that it will do anything, but I feel better doing it. I'm leaving this entry public for obvious reasons. I went ahead and bumped out the friends-only, too.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
I was never in band, so some of the stuff he talks about I have no knowledge of, but he shouldn't keep calling the band a bunch of dorks with low self esteem.

It takes more talent to play and instrument than it does to play a sport, imo.
Jun. 30th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
I'm leaving a complaint too! I can't believe him. Let's put him out with the band in 100 degree heat learning these things for a week and see what he thinks at the end of it.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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