Archive for Saturday, February 21, 2009

Disco Phog?

Ear-splitting, prerecorded music is hitting a sour note with Allen Fieldhouse fans.

February 21, 2009


What’s going on within the music department of Kansas University Athletics Inc.?

Is someone trying to turn Allen Fieldhouse into a National Basketball Association site? Could it be that KU coaches have asked for the musical change to try to fire up the students to be more active in their support of the KU team and go after the opposing players? Are there those in the basketball or athletic offices who think the loud, prerecorded, pump-you-up music will get more of the “wine and cheese” members of the crowd off their duffs and transform them into screaming fans? Could it be that money-conscious KU Athletics people think such music will sell more tickets?

Evidently, some within the basketball/athletic department think the special KU band is not good enough. Those making this decision should realize there are many in the crowd who think, year in and year out, the KU Pep Band is one of the highlights of an evening in the “Phog.”

Loud, ear-splitting, prerecorded music may be appropriate in some venues, but it seems totally out of place in Allen Fieldhouse, which is one of the most hallowed and revered college basketball arenas in the country.

Let’s keep it that way rather than trying to make it into a disco site with a basketball game as that night’s featured entertainment.


yankeelady 9 years ago

Amen. And lets rebuild the size of the band to pre Perkins levels. When you see other schools on TV, their bands are much larger and have a prominent place in the fieldhouse. Our pep band has shrunk over the years and has been crammed into a tiny area. At least they have microphones now, otherwise we couldn't even hear them. I know seating is tight in the fieldhouse, but the student pep bands are a large part of the college game experience and atmosphere. Lets focus more on the student part of the game and less on trying to be a commercial production.

Kookamooka 9 years ago

The question the investigative reporters should be unearthing is...does the athletic department pay the music dept for pep band services? The KUAC is a CORPORATION not entirely affiliated with the University.

If the theater dept can charge the music dept for use of the Crafton Preyer theater in the building they share, then anything is possible.

I'm betting that the KUAC is trying to slowly oust the band and save money. (like they need to save money!)

KU_cynic 9 years ago

Intrusive and aggressively loud music blaring between play on the field is why I seldom attend KU baseball games anymore.

When I think baseball I think the crack of the bats, the pop of a pitched ball hitting the catcher's glove, feet pounding as a runner tries to beat the throw to first base, an occasional slide into a play at home plate, the announcers discreetly announcing each batter and any lineup changes, the sound of the winds through the trees and flags and pennants snapping on their flagpoles, and friendly conversation with fellow fans about the game, their lives, etc.

But at Hoglund Field each new KU batter is introduced with aggressively blaring music, and in between each side of an inning the announcers blare music, play ads, and announce stupid gimicky contests that have nothing to do with baseball. Want to have a heartfelt conversation with your child? Forget about it, unless you like shouting over an Ozzie Osbourne music clip blaring at jet engine volume.

What's all that to do with a quiet, slow-paced, pastoral sports experience like baseball? Nothing, which is why I am seldom in the stands anymore.

Sounds as if the brain trust at KUAC wants to bring more of that unpleasantness into Allen Fieldhouse. Too bad.

Hawkman 9 years ago

I couldnt disagree more with this editorial. Something needs to be done to get the fans off their rear ends when the team needs them. Keep it coming!

Patti Hadl 9 years ago

Hawkman - how can you get the majority of the people in the stands to become motivated and off their rear ends? Sell tickets to FANS and not to the highest bidders. The editoral is dead on. It's all about the money!!!!

Steve Jacob 9 years ago

Is anyone who replied to this under say, 25? And "which is one of the most hallowed and revered college basketball arenas in the country" is the long version of saying "old".

Lindsey Buscher 9 years ago

The reason why the fans are on their fannies so much this year is because we've had kind of vanilla performances at home this year compared to KU's typical high-flying and dominating standards. We have not played one complete game at home this year. Sure we win at home, which is great, but this year we have won most home games in a rather boring fashion, and that is not enough to keep the crowd energized.

Fans love seeing exciting plays and lots of em...just think back to the TT game for Senior night last year. TT was no good and we were going to beat them no matter what, but the way we did it kept our fans going crazy throughout. I guarantee that a steady diet of ally-oops to the Morris twins and Aldrich thunder dunks while Reed, Morningstar, and Collins reign in threes would do far more to energize the crowd than crappy pumped-in music. I rest my case.

Danimal 9 years ago

I've only gone to one game this year, not because I don't have tickets, but because I value my hearing and think that it's ridiculous that I have to take ear plugs to a basketball game. It is obnoxiously loud. I know they want to make the Phog loud for opposing teams, but if their decibel meter is only hitting the 90's they should realize that the Phog just isn't a loud venue. It's too loud if a 26 year old like me, who went to almost every home game as a student, says its too loud.

somebodynew 9 years ago

And just why do they think the obnoxiously loud and trashy music will get fans on their feet and making noise.??

It might accomplish half of that - get them on their feet to find a quieter place.

If you have to resort to cheap tricks to get the fans to make noise (or seem like they are), maybe the team needs to step up a little. I agree with Puggy's post. We are just not that exciting sometimes. I watched the last game on TV and almost took a nap for awhile (spoke to some of my younger friends and they did, or switched channels).

It is not fake "canned" music that is going to get the crowd going, it will be good play by our team. AND having the band to play the correct music to fit the game.!!

somebodynew 9 years ago

Oh, I almost forgot- Something that Lew (or more likely Marchiony) needs to keep in mind:

That music might get people enthused, but only if they are in the 18-25 age group. The way the ticket prices and seating arrangements are - not many of that age can AFFORD tickets, unless they are students.

They went to this seating and pricing range to make money, so maybe they better cater to the folks who actually pay top dollar for the tickets. Somehow I still feel there are a LOT of people who manage to buy the tics, that think the band is much more relevant than the blaring canned music.

mdfraz 9 years ago

First off ed and hawkman, how long have you been going to games? When I was in undergrad from '97-'01 when the reserved seat "fans" started leaving with 5-8 minutes left in the game, we would chant "sell their seats". Which, ironically enough, is what Lew has done. Problem is, if you are willing to drive from Jo. Co, or KCMO, or Wichita, and are willing to pay for season tickets in those seats, then or now, and you don't really get off your ass to cheer, do you think loud rap or rock music is gonna pump those people up?

The only link those people might have to music played in the fieldhouse is traditional chants, fight songs, etc. that were probably played when they were in college. I'm not exactly old, but I LOVE tradition; it's what makes college sports special and separates them from the pure business that is professional sports. (We can debate how much of a business college athletics are at another time). I've never been to an NBA game and I don't care if I ever go. It's boring. It's prepackaged wherever you go. There's no tradition in the NBA from what I can tell, and why would we want that at KU.

I don't think the crowd gets crazy specifically b/c of the music played by the band, at least most of the time, but it's about TRADITION. And that is hugely important, especially at AFH. Perkins was hired to run KUAC like a business, which he's done. No one can argue that we haven't had unprecedented success in football and basketball especially. However, it is possible to go too far, and this move KILLS the environment of college basketball. If all you care about is selling to the highest bidder, and squeezing out true fans, you will get a stale, boring, quiet environment inside AFH. If that's what the ath. dept. wants, well, I can't personally stop them.

And ed, why does KU have "traditions night" during Hawk Week? Because those things are important to people who come here. The chants and cheers are old, but do you know why they are still popular? They are a link to our past and that's important. For people who disregard "old" things as no longer useful, I feel sorry for you.

somebodynew 9 years ago

@mdfranz - AMEN. I tried to say something similar, but your's is better.

Jayhawk4Life 9 years ago

TRADITION. There are multiple defintions of the word.

Tradition (noun): 1 - The passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication; 2 - a. A mode of thought or behavior followed by a people continuously from generation to generation; a custom or usage. b. a set of such customs and usages viewed as a coherent body of precendents influencing the present; 3 - A time-honored practice or set of such practices.

When someone hears the words "The University of Kansas" they can't help but think of Tradition. Why mess with what is one of the much appreciated traditions of KU? I, as a fan, have always and will always appreciated the atmospher that the pep band helps provide.

Many have already stated what I also belive: you can't get someone off their seats because of music being played, whether it's played by the band, or if it's the canned, common stuff (I can't call it music) that you hear in almost any elevator or doctor's office.

I also agree that KU needs to move the band to a more prominent area of the fieldhouse. I don't agree with conforming to what every other college may be doing (isn't that what they're trying to do by playing artificial music?), but why not show our pride and place the band where it will receive recognition on tv?

I consider myself to be a fan of the band, and I always, ALWAYS listen for them and watch for shots of them during any game shown on tv.

Traditions do have a way of evolving, but leave this one alone. Let the band play. Keep this tradition!!!!

spankyandcranky 9 years ago

I can't say I've attended a game with the new music. But there didn't seem to be any reason to do away with the band or even have them play less. I went to a game a couple of months ago and the band was definitely a highlight! I love the energy they produce. I can't see how prerecorded disco music would be the same.

Omegatron 9 years ago

"Is anyone who replied to this under say, 25? And “which is one of the most hallowed and revered college basketball arenas in the country” is the long version of saying “old”."

I would think that if you are under the age of 25, that you'd want the best band in college see that you grew up listening to music and all.

Song writers and musicians have to go somewhere before they go on into the industry. You don't want it to be here cause you don't want the bragging rights?

Right... please tell me you don't go to ku.


Omegatron 9 years ago

"I couldnt disagree more with this editorial. Something needs to be done to get the fans off their rear ends when the team needs them. Keep it coming!"

Most grandmas and grandpas are not likely to get up and dance for anything written after the 60's. Differently not going to cheer...

Omegatron 9 years ago

My opinion

The entire north and south end should be student seating with the band placed in the middle of section M.

DalTXJayhawk 9 years ago

Move the band to the other corner near the opponents bench.

BigAl 8 years, 12 months ago

One of the very best things about AFH is the pep band. There is no better band in the Big12. AFH doesn't need any artificial music piped in when we already have the KU Pep Band.

Let them play more. These kids are super. They fire up the crowd better than piped in music could ever do. Leave them alone and let them play......... Remember, they are KU students also..!!

BigAl 8 years, 12 months ago

I agree with Jayhawk4Life. Move the band to a more prominent position and let them play more. I too look for them and listen for them when watching on TV.

It simply wouldn't be the same without the band. Period.

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