Kendrick Lamar Made History, But What About The Bands?

Kendrick Lamar etched his name into the hip-hop, Mount Rushmore, not for his seven Grammys or his gross income of $1 million per concert but his impact on an entire culture. Said accomplishments, plus many more, are the reason he was chosen as the first halftime performance outside of a marching band to perform at the college football championship game.

tumblr_p2afi60UC91udu8czo1_1280.jpgThis was a historic moment for Kendrick, this was a historic moment for black culture in America as well. Duckworth, a sharp-tongued critic of the United State’s 45th President shared the spotlight with Donald Trump, with both of them being notable attendees.

Through all of the historic greatness that encompassed this opportunity for Kendrick, many forgot about the usual halftime entertainment, Georgia and Alabama’s marching bands.

Opportunities like these don’t come frequently in these kids lives and just like the players, band members crave those moments – a moment to perform in front of their family, friends, and classmates on the largest stage of college football, which they did. However, they didn’t get even one minute of national television time, which is the real treat. Every college kid feeds off of being seen on television. We often neglect to think about how football games are a performance for not just the football team but the band as well. They practice for weeks, aiming for a perfect performance that’ll only last eight to 10 minutes.

The SEC network broadcasted the halftime show but most of the country still didn’t see it.

As a former athlete and band member, I’ve spent many tiring afternoons after an eight-hour school day playing an instrument, exerting nearly as much energy as I did at my athletic practices. It’s hard enough to play an instrument. It’s twice as hard to play an instrument to perfection while staying in formation and marching with exceptional pageantry. It’s such an underrated craft. I was also raised by a band director and watched him stress and agonize over halftime shows while trying to keep his 50-something teenagers intact and under control.

“The hardworking band members deserve the pleasure of having their hours of practice seen by the entire country. Five minutes of the halftime show could be dedicated to the bands.” 

-37-year band director Andre Francisco when asked about the importance of halftime shows being nationally televised.

Needless to say, halftime performances are a big thing and deserve to be televised. With Kendrick’s performance being dually as important, it needed to be televised as well. Neither one of the performances should’ve been left out of the on-air halftime festivities.

8265974-ncaa-football-sec-championship-missouri-vs-alabama-850x560.jpgMarching bands are a staple in the south whether they are a core-style band or high stepping band AKA, predominantly white or black. Regardless, both styles are meaningful to people of the south and especially in the marching band haven of Atlanta, GA.

That being said, there’s only a certain amount of time allotted for halftime. Something would have to be left out. Considering the fact that everyone watching halftime performances presumably watched the first half, it’s time to do away with the analysts’ segment during halftime…it’s unneeded. Social media and game-tracking apps do a great job working together to give fans the full experience whether they are watching the game or not. How many times have you heard people demanding to hear what analysts have to say, other than before and after the game?

Doing away with that aspect of the broadcast would open a window to show other things, like the marching bands. A brief showing would’ve even been acceptable but completely cutting out the performance from television is unfair.

The national championship turned out to be entertaining, which was surprising to everybody and Kendrick Lamar’s halftime performance was spectacular. Both marching bands were surely great as well but only the 77,430 fans inside Mercedes-Benz stadium got the chance to witness it and the kids that performed on that field got absolutely no recognition from national media for college football’s Super Bowl.


About Author

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

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