Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blue Band Budgets and Passe Paterno

Did you hear the Blue Band playing at Croke Park?

No you did not.
The Few, the Proud, The Lucky to Be There at all

You heard a pep band.  A mere fraction of a Blue Band.

You didn't get Moe without Larry or Curly.  You didn't get The Beatle (Ringo without the rest.)  You basically got The Steeler (Ben Roethlisberger without the rest of the offense.)  You got 33 members of the Blue Band.

About 10%.

I can only imagine the issue was money.

So I did a little research.  The cost of "student" housing per the PSU website starts at $289 per person for four days and three nights, three breakfasts and a game ticket.  This article on travel costs projects airfare at about $900 round trip.

So for the sake of argument, and since I really have no clue how much it might actually cost, let's assume a cost of $1500 per Blue Band Member.  Now, there are 315 Blue Band Members--but 33 have already been paid for.  So we are looking to finance 282 additional members, and probably some support staff, so lets round it off at 300.

300 x $1500 = $450,000.


But wait a minute.  Not so fast.  Not so fast.

According to this NBC Sports Report on the cost of marching bands at bowl games, it cost LSU $450,00 to send 529 to New Orleans.  My God, they could drive themselves there--that's just lodging, food and ticket prices!

The Blue Band normally travels to Bowl Games each year.  They have not traveled to one in two years and likely won't be heading to one this year.  I don't know where the money ordinarily comes to finance the Blue Band Bowl trips, but surely that source could have been tapped for this trip.  (It may have come out of the bowl money the school earns, which of course, would not be available for this non-bowl game.)  But even if that is where the money ordinarily comes from, I find it odd that a University with over ONE BILLION in endowments can't find a half a million dollars somewhere to send the full Blue Band to Ireland, which essentially might be the ONLY bowl game this class of musicians ever has a chance to enjoy (barring a reduction in sanctions and of course, the team actually being bowl eligible next year.)  They are already saving $70,000 by cancelling TailGreat.

Can you tell I used to play in the marching band?

And then there is this article that claims that "James Franklin Shows Joe Paterno-Style Football Never Coming Back to Penn State".

And what exactly does that mean?

Penn State will no longer have high graduation rates?

Penn State will no longer be in the Top 10 or 15 Universities in winning percentage all time?

Here is the author's premise:
That was made clear Saturday as Franklin bet all his chips on the arm of sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg and had his faith rewarded with a game-winning drive and the first 400-yard passing game in school history.

The bad news for Penn State fans is that if the Nittany Lions are to have more joyous days like this, it will all be on Hackenberg. Penn State rushed for only 57 yards on 28 totes, a 2.0 average.

Paterno didn’t obsess over the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust game quite as much as Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler, but he was always content to win without airing out his offensive attack.

With just one game of analysis, we can see that Penn state won't be gaining any rushing yards this year against anybody.  We won't improve in that category obviously.

And what I found most interesting was the characterization of Paterno and a rewrite of history.  The writer obviously doesn't know his Penn State history, or he would know that Penn State's FIRST national championship team in 1982 was Paterno's first team to gain more passing yards in a season than it gained rushing.

Hmmm.  Maybe Franklin is more like Paterno than we thought!

I wonder if this writer predicted Dewey to defeat Truman?  Or maybe he would have written that Japan would take over the world after Pearl Harbor.

Nice Try.

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