Dotting your i’s

This is one of those things that makes you glad you are American.

I have seen Script Ohio a couple times, though many many years ago.  I thought then it was one of the spiffiest things I had ever seen.


And now that you have seen that, here sousaphone player absolutely nailing a camerman who got a littttle tooooo clooose.

Now… please know that I have no special love for Ohio State… may they forever lose to the noble Golden Gophers of my Minnesota… nor do I favor – I can hardly bring myself to write favor in the same sentence with – Michigan.   But out of gratitude to Ohio for the coolest thing any marching band does anywhere, here is one final video sure to win favor for me among readers in the Buckeye State.   Sorry Michiganders.  I’ll make it up to you some other way.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. MissOH says:

    I am sorry, I could not resist.
    I am from Columbus and though I am not strictly speaking an OSU fan, several of my beloved family bleed scarlet and gray and script Ohio is just beyond cool.

  2. Noooo Fr. Z, how could you??? We may have lost to Ohio State for the past seven years but WE HAVE A NEW COACH here at Michigan!!! Brady Hoke will give us hope!

    I hope you keep your promise to make it up to us Michiganders. Ohio State is the fishwrap of college football! Go blue!

  3. And yet, the Michigan marching band doesn’t seem to do anything nearly as cool as Script Ohio, which is the point, or at least the dot, I made above.

  4. says:

    Being a native buckeye, the script Ohio always gives me a bit of pride, from a state that has had its share of troubles, for a long time. Was raised in Dayton, home of Holy Family parish, where I was baptized. Now an FSSP parish. Will be visiting next week, and looking forward to the TLM.

  5. Fr. Z,

    Ok, well you have a point there. Or do I mean a dot? Actually, I have several friends in the marching band and they will be the first to tell you that the U-M band doesn’t do much special. Except constantly play “Hail to the Victors” even when we’re down 30 points. Of course, that will all change next year…Prayers appreciated.

  6. Sister H. says:

    First, I’m sure she is not crying BECAUSE OF the U of M fight song…rather, she is crying about how awful our football team has been for three years under Rich Rod! The song just reminds her how far we’ve fallen and how great we used to be (at last that is why all of us other Michigan fans have been crying!).

    Secondly, to Father & EtVerbumCaroFactumEst, clearly you must have never seen the U of M Marching band percussion section perform…they are amazing. They do (or at least they used to, back when I was in high school) some pretty serious acrobaticss along with some pretty serious drumming. The bass drummers used to do somersaults while wearing ther drums…can’t beat that!
    P.S. Myself and another Sister here at my convent are U of M grads…we were in the same graduating class. No matter how the football team performs, we will continue to shout, “GO BLUE!” :)

  7. Tom Ryan says:

    Oh come let’s sing Ohio’s praise
    And songs? to Alma Mater raise
    While our hearts rebounding thrill
    With joy which death alone can still
    Summer’s heat or winter’s cold
    The seasons pass the years will roll
    Time and change will surely (truly) show
    How firm thy friendship … OHIO!

  8. Titus says:

    Oh for Pete’s sake, father. Of all the most over-romanticized and over-hyped gimmicks of all the most over-hyped teams, the “i” thing has to be tops. So the moderately talented football team of a moderately decayed state has a band that spells the name of the state. Its task in doing so is absolutely no different in kind or inherent difficulty from any of the squiggly lines made by any other marching band in the nation. And it is by no means evident why the tittle in the word “Ohio” is any more important or glorious than any other element of the word. Because it takes particular daring or skill to walk out after a line of fellow tuba players and stand a few yards away from them in the middle of a stadium? Hardly.

    Now I support the civic rituals and the romantic idealization of college football, with its pomp and traditions, as much as the next fellow—probably even more. So if people must be fans of Ohio State (or as they nauseatingly insist on calling it, “the Ohio State University,” as if there were others with which it would be otherwise confused), they can have their sad little rituals to help give meaning to rooting for the team. But that by no means that the rest of us have to pretend that those rituals are as impressive as Ohioans pretend.

    And Michigan fans? Here? That’s worse by far. Repent, and believe in the gospel!

    [I guess that would be a “no” vote, then.]

  9. Sister H.

    That’s true–our drumline is top notch. Aside from doing flips with drums, they’re also known for passing an extra drumstick along the row of drummers while performing. Then the last person in the row flips the extra stick to the first person who (almost) always catches it. Very impressive, but we don’t get the attention OSU gets because it isn’t done in front of the cameras.

    One of my friends is in the drumline so by the end of the game that is basically the only thing to cheer about. As a side note, I wouldn’t be surprised if all the drums were borrowed from our student parish!

  10. brassplayer says:

    The entire stunt develops a bit too slowly for my tastes, but it definitely is a solid college band tradition.

  11. twherge says:

    Sort of makes me wish I had joined the marching band, but then, if anything, I’d have picked up the mellophone.

    Titus, I shall not argue with you, but I am told in the 1890s there was a conflict between Ohio and Ohio State about names, and so OSU appended the “the” at the beginning. In fact, what you said is exactly what my high school prinicipal said of me during his roast of my graduating class (he went to Notre Dame–school’s in Alabama) Hey, we could still be Ohio A & M and our mascot could still be the wahoo and our colors black and orange. But things are as they are. I will have to admit that this is a matter of state pride. Nothing makes me happier than to see the Ohio flag flying everywhere.

    Now I have to point out that as far as all the vulgarities of the football season are the people’s “true” religion here, the band is not at all shabby.

  12. smcollinsus says:

    “Because it takes particular daring or skill to walk out after a line of fellow tuba players and stand a few yards away from them in the middle of a stadium?”

    Watch again, more closely! It is NOT easy crossing through moving lines! And they do it with precision. I’m from Illinois, and I went to Northwestern U. (no degree). I played clarinet in the Wildcat band and loved it. And I still choke up when I see “Script Ohio”.

    My youngest son did 4 years of HS marching band, including many contests. His band traveled from Houston to Indianapolis for Bands of America not once, but twice. And I still love “Script Ohio”!

    And my oldest son performed on his bagpipes with the Regimental Band and Pipes of The Citadel all last August – at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. I made a trip to Scotland and England to witness this once in a lifetime event, and saw the performance twice – and I’d still buy a ticket to see “Script Ohio” in person!

  13. Westie says:

    Sorry Fr. Z, but I beg to differ. THIS is the coolest thing any marching band does:

  14. trespinos says:

    Well, it almost pains me to do this, in light of Father’s first sentence bleet [In English we usually write “bleat”.] of American pride, but anyone who follows this link will marvel at a group of Italians who could and did one-up us Americans. Guarda:
    Vigili on parade

    [Yes, after as many years as I spent in Rome I marvel even at “Italians” and “precision” in the same sentence.]

  15. Westie: That was pretty cool, but it doesn’t have the drama.

  16. That was unbelievably cute! Hooray!

    And it sure looks like they’re all having a jolly good time, and that’s just swell.

  17. afanco says:

    And yet, the Michigan marching band doesn’t seem to do anything nearly as cool as Script Ohio, which is the point, or at least the dot, I made above.

    From whence does the Tradition really come?

    From the Michigan Marching Band of course.

    Please rise for the singing of our Alma Mater

    Sing to the colors that float in the light;
    Hurrah for the Yellow and Blue!
    Yellow the stars as they ride through the night
    And the reel in a rollicking crew;
    Yellow the fields where ripens the grain
    And yellow the moon on the harvest wain;
    Hail to the colors that float in the light
    Hurrah for the Yellow and Blue!

    Blue are the billows that bow to the sun
    When yellow robed morning is due.
    Blue are the curtains that evening has spun
    The slumbers of Phoebus to woo;
    Blue are the blossoms to memory dear
    And blue is the sapphire and gleams like a tear;
    Hail to the ribbons that nature has spun’
    Hurrah for the Yellow and Blue!

  18. jflare says:

    Hey, those are both Big 10 schools, right?
    Wonder how they’ll fare against my Cornhuskers next year….

    No matter how that goes, I LOVED the clip. I was in band in high school; I would’ve loved if we could’ve done some cool stuff like that. We DID manage a half-time show for Homecoming my senior year, but that was as good as it got.

    Hmm. Wonder if I remember how to play my clarinet anymore……

  19. jeffreyquick says:

    Surely the baby is crying because of the blasty nature of the performance, and not for any partisan reason. I was at U-M ’74-78 and played The Song in a 10-part tuba and euphonium ensemble… which would make anyone cry.

  20. Excellent marching band! On the other hand……Geaux LSU Tigers. :0)

  21. totustuusmaria says:

    Dear Father Z,

    Please thank the Michigan Marching Band for Script Ohio. They invented it in 1932. Hail to the Victors.

  22. totustuusmaria says:

    (P.S. that last comment was a subtle suggestion to thank Michigan for “the coolest thing any marching band does anywhere” and, out of gratitude for Script Ohio, take down your anti-Michigan video.)

  23. Mitchell NY says:

    Let me tell you that is pretty difficult..After 4 years of marching band I can attest to how much practice and repetition goes into learning that. Actually much like the Tridentine Rite of Mass. Much practice but the result is stunning and beautiful, quite unlike anything else.

  24. Thomas S says:

    A tip of the hat to the first fight song in sports history:

    Boston College’s FOR BOSTON.

  25. The Egyptian says:

    OH IO,
    my dad spent a lot sending 4 of us six there, I personally just showed up for the parties my sisters had

    Ah yes, my Ohio, where in a 20 mile drive you can start out in Egypt (Saint Joesph) and end up in Versailles ( Saint Denis) going by way of Russia (Saint Remy)

    thats Versailles pronounced Ver-sales
    and Russia pronounced Rooshie

  26. Just Learning says:

    Unfortunately, west coast marching bands pale in comparison to those in the mid-west. Although…

    I’ll never forget when the Stanford marching band helped Cal (U.C. Berkeley) win a PAC-10 game. Cal was down by a point as final seconds of the game were ticking down. Assuming victory, the Stanford marching band gathered on the sidelines for the celebration march. With just four seconds left on the clock, Stanford punted the football to Cal and sent their entire marching band (144 members) on to the field. However, the clock was still ticking and the play wasn’t dead! Using a series of lateral passes, Cal ran the ball back toward the end zone. Weaving and bobbing through the Stanford band, the Cal receiver ran into the end zone, right into trombone player … TOUCHDOWN! Cal wins 25-20!

    Now tell me this isn’t the coolest clip ever involving a marching band:

  27. albizzi says:

    In the sam kind of music : The French foreign Legion at her HQs in Aubagne (France).
    In that place, General Schwarzkopf was decorated as Commander of the French” Legion d’Honneur” order, just after the Gulf War I.

  28. Jacob says:

    Dotting the i is cool, but when it comes to precision, I always prefer the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.

  29. Poimier says:

    Great vid, thanks Fr Z.

    As a former marching band leader, I appreciate the difficulties of a 150 to the minute pace, we were required to do 126 only.

    The FFL meanwhile, is content with about 84. A gentle stroll in the park.

    And Hudson Ohio is by far the finest town I have been to in the USA.

  30. RichR says:

    Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band takes the cake…….

  31. orthros says:

    Father, my opinion of you, already close to 10 on the scale, just went to 11. (It’s one higher).

    Here’s a picture to commemorate this glorious occasion.

  32. jasoncpetty says:

    Thank you, Rich!

  33. RCOkie says:

    As a native Buckeye now living in Oklahoma, I say thank you, Father, for brightening my day with a little reminder of home.

  34. deogratias2010 says:

    Gig ’em Rich! I marched in that video as a freshman cadet in 2006.

  35. Jenny says:

    Big Ten, whatever. Yall need to come south a bit.

    What’s really impressive is the University of Tennessee Pride of the Southland Marching Band’s Circle Drill. The video doesn’t give it justice. It is something to behold when you see it live.

    Circle Drill starts at about 2:45 into it:

  36. lacrossecath says:

    Wisconsin Marching Band = best in the Big Ten. See “5th Quarter” (I couldn’t find a good video quickly).

  37. Joe Magarac says:

    Father Z has not yet mentioned Our Lady’s University, also known as the University of Notre Dame. When the trumpets of its marching band play “Notre Dame, Our Mother,” THAT is one of the coolest things that any marching band does:

    Notre Dame’s administrators have made and will probably continue to make mistakes, most recently and most egregiously in granting President Obama an honorary degree. But many faithful Catholics teach and study there, there is a well-attended traditional Mass and a well-attended annual Eucharistic procession, and there are many, many other examples of the Catholic faith being alive and well on the campus.

  38. That baby is just a true Wolverine fan: wah wah wah! Bunch of crybabies, the lot of them. Go Green!

  39. Joe: Nice try. That was not, however, as cool as Script Ohio.

  40. irishgirl says:

    I love the ‘script Ohio’-and I’m not even an Ohioan!
    I also recognize the tune they always use: ‘The French National Defile’ [accents on the two ‘e’s’]. I have that tune on a tape of the West Point Marching Band and Glee Club which I bought on my last visit at USMA. When I listen to it, I think not of the OU Marching Band, but a procession led by someone portraying St. Joan of Arc at her Festival in Orleans, France [which I’ve seen in person, BTW]. The music is ‘very French’, IMHO.
    The video of the cameraman getting ‘konked’ by the tuba player is a riot! He probably had a big headache afterwards-the cameraman, that is!
    It’s so amazing how the marchers go through the line without knocking someone down-it sure takes a lot of practice!
    I also saw the video of the ND trumpeters playing under the Golden Dome-very cool!
    I remember when the late President Ford was brought home to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the last time, the UM band was waiting on the tarmac to play the Alma Mater as the casket was unloaded from Air Force One. Then it went right into ‘The Victors’ as it was placed in the hearse! That was pretty cool, too!

  41. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Drum and Bugle Corps…not a ‘band’. I am shocked, just shocked by the inexact description by so many involved.

    In Virginia we have marching bands so I had never heard of Drum and Bugle Corps before a guy from a northern state explained the difference. And what a difference – much more precision, footwork, choreography, along with more exact performance of the music. To watch a Drum and Bugle Corps is really a thrill. They exist only in specific areas of our nation and they started in Catholic schools I think. There are competitions all around the the nation almost constantly and to attend one will knock you over. And you’ll be layin on the ground covered in goosebumps.

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