How To Watch A Football Game When All You Came For Is The Halftime Show

Gramps and I have a seventeen-year-old grandson Mac, who plays sousaphone in a somewhat local high school band. From late September to early November there is a football game every week on Thursday or Friday night. His band performs a show during halftime of every game.

We attend each and every football game just to see the halftime show and most specifically to see Mac march and do his thing. We arrive early to get good seats near where the band sits. We like to sit up high because the sousaphones are usually placed along the back row in the stadium seating and we like to be close to Mac.

We also like the view of the show from high in the stands. This year Mac starts on the thirty-yard line and we always sit along that line so we can keep an eye on him.

Getting to the game early also offers us an opportunity to hear the band warm up. That is great fun. I especially love to hear the percussion section and all their cadences.

The band heralds in the football players, plays the school song, the National Anthem and the game begins.

First Quarter – We cheer the football team and encourage all their efforts. The school has a good team this year and seems to be winning most games. A lot of touchdowns are being made, which means the band is playing the school Fight Song quite often during the game. We love to hear the sousaphone part!

Second Quarter – The band plays numerous tunes during the game and the cheerleaders cheer and the high-kick team dances and the students and fans yell. It’s all very exciting!

Halfway into the quarter the band leaves the stands to warm up for the halftime show. They divide into sections – percussion, horns, woodwinds, pit and color guard. All kinds of sound and flurry come from the end zone, as everyone prepares for their eight-minute performance.

Suddenly whistles are blown, football players clear the field and the band, with all their instruments and props, runs out to begin the show.

Gramps and I have seen it numerous times but somehow it is better every time. The kids only know one way to do it – all out with all they’ve got, at 100% effort.

Bands from both schools play. It is a most impressive performance. These kids are as much athletes as the football players. A standing ovation is given for both bands, deservedly so.

While our band is executing their show on field, the other band politely stands at one end zone and watches. The same is done for the opposing band. Bands often “talk” to each other across the field with music, will dance to each other’s tunes and play fun challenge games back and forth. It’s all done in fun with a lot of laughter.

Third Quarter – Most of this quarter Mac is free to come over and visit us in the stands. Gramps and I really enjoy this part the best. We get to hug, kiss, talk, cuddle and laugh. On cold nights we snuggle under our blanket.

Mac knows exactly when he needs to return to his seat. He will suddenly jump up. “Gotta go”, he says. And back he returns to the sea of uniformed young people who all look like him.

Fourth Quarter – We rarely see a fourth quarter of a football game. We have seen everything we came to see – Mac, sousaphones, band show, more Mac, some football.

By now the score is usually about 43-7 or something like that. It seems our team can’t lose. Nothing more to do.

Time to go home.

The Community Of A High School Football Game

Gramps and I have been going to weekly high school football games recently. Not so much to see the football game itself, but to see the halftime show. You see Mac plays the sousaphone in his high school marching band.

In Texas, marching bands and music in general are a big deal in high school. And this is a competition year, so performance levels are pretty high and expectations are even higher.

So being the good grandparents, we attend every game to support Mac and cheer him on. We wear the school T-shirt and ball cap. We sit next to the band with all the other band families. We clap and cheer at the appropriate times. And we know where our specific child is on the the field at all times. We have this band thing down pat.

Since we arrive early, we watch the football team in action. At the beginning of the season, we thought this was the disposable part of the evening. But we have since learned it is the appetizer to the whole meal.

Gramps and I have become part of an entire village of supporters of high school kids doing their athletic best. We delight with them when they do well. We mourn with when they don’t. We encourage them when they face a challenge. We constantly tell then how much faith we have in them .

Students, parents, grandparents, friends, and family – all one community. All backing a team of teenagers with a ball and one goal in mind. All while enjoying the “great” stadium food!

Then there is halftime!! How much fun can we stand!! We are loving it!!

We get to watch Mac and his band put on a fantastic show with precision marching and a phenomenal musical sound!!!!!

Of course it is followed by more football, to round out the evening. By this time, I feel like I know everyone seated around me and which child is theirs (football player or band member) on the field. I start to care how all the kids are performing – not just my Mac

I love my little football community! It’s a little different each week but the same in many ways.

Can’t wait for Friday night when my village gathers in the stands again for “good” food, good conversation, good fellowship and good cheering.

Go Rangers!!!!!!!!!!!!