Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Vault: M at Notre Dame 1978

Check out the modified pregame entrance the MMB deployed at Notre Dame in 1978. No doubt this was an alternate routine developed for stadiums with tunnels in the end zone. It starts about a minute in.

This is a wise idea, as many stadiums, including our major rivals' (MSU, OSU, and ND) all had these entrances. Entry lines form in the tunnel and off the sideline, then march toward each other until they intersect. They branch off into their regular alignment with a quick 90-degree turn (which is painful to think about while doing entries).

The band coverage then stops mysteriously without resolution while they blather about some guys. But so many questions persist! Why is one rank of flags hauling ass twenty yards downfield past the band? Why is the M centered on the 10 yard line? What happens next? Where does the M go? I know some folks who read this were in the band then (Al McCord?), and perhaps they can provide insight.


Anonymous said...

If you would like, I could go back and upload what parts they DO show of the pre-game from this classic game.

~Andy (WolverineHistorian)

Al McCord said...

I was a bit earlier (72 Rose Bowl was my last game). George used to play around with approaches to getting the band on the field ... I recall entering from the end zone in 1972 but that was before George came up with the fan-out into the Block M ... we did a crazy fold-out that involved some guys (all guys then) doing a 180 degree turn at 200 steps per minute.

Aram said...

Yep, the endzone entry was done for the '72 Rose Bowl (my dad's last game). In those days, the foldout wasn't into an M, but rather a chevron shape. Great stuff.

Al, you remember anything about Woody storming into the tunnel before the '71 OSU game?

Jerry M said...

Love the archived footage! Now "...blather on about some guys"?!

Those guys were Joe Montana and Rick Leach!!!!

Anonymous said...

As late as '90 (my last year), the at Ohio State foldout was at the 10 and involved a 16-count drum roll to get the M down the field ready (I can't remember why). However, we did not come out of the tunnel, this was done because our seating was at the 10 as well as the seating for M fans and it kept us from being targets.

For the other stadiums, we just did the usual pregame at the 50 without using the tunnel.

Agatha Christie said...

SO WEIRD. I think I would have died even more that I usually did during pregame.

Al McCord said...

You're right, Aram ... even a chevron at midfield for the M Fanfare. I know that the Woody story is true although I wasn't close enough to see it ... it was always fun staring at the old man as he came through the tunnel ... he would just look at you with a stare that was similar to Revelli's :-) ... I *was* there, of course, when he tore up the sideline marker!

jeffsl said...

In '89 at MSU, we did the Block 'M' centered on the North 10 year-line. However, entries were done as per normal (down the yard lines). After M-Fare, it was 8 counts of drum-roll into sweep lines, and 8 counts (instead of the current 12) from sweep lines into the Hollow Block M.

I think the reason behind this was to buy us some time, as we played "Hot! Hot! Hot!" (with a horrid dance) after we played MSU Fight.

I have a copy of the '73 game (from iTunes, so sorry, I can't upload.) They showed a version of the solid Block M marching downfield playing the Trio. It was like the current Block M, but without the serifs (in other words, no extensions at the top and bottom).

It's interesting how much Pregame has changed and been tinkered with over the years. When I was there (89~92), we had this mistaken notion that Pregame was untouched and unchanged for many decades, but that's just not the case.

Aram said...

What someone needs to do is upload the films of the pregame shows from the 1970 and 1972 Rose Bowls. Do you like playing The Victors as-written? In 1970, they played the whole thing marching down the field. The Whole Thing.

The coolest part of the 72 pregame is the transition into the California state outline set, played to "California Here We Come," and culminating in a funky Bilik arrangement of the Mamas and the Papas' California Dreamin'. I've always wished we polished up that arrangement every year for the Ohio State game...

They're available from the MMB Video Staff as part of the films "Marching for Roses" and "The Band Director."

I've always been partial to the interlocking U-M formation, but we haven't done that since the mid-90's. If you ask me, pregame is in need of some modification, but I'm not sure if this is the time I'd want to be done.