Here’s my bold prediction for the future – and it’s so bold, I’m making it two years in advance:
The UW Marching Band is awarded the 2021 Sudler Trophy.
The trophy recognizing the top college marching bands in the land is awarded every two years by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. No school can win it more than once.
It is named for Louis and Virginia Sudler of Chicago. Louis Sudler was a real estate mogul, a performing artist and a patron of the arts. He performed nationally as a soloist in concert, oratorios, with symphony orchestras and concert bands, at functions honoring five U.S. presidents, and as a recording artist with the Chicago Civic Opera.
Other Big Ten bands that have won the trophy include Indiana, Penn State, Nebraska, Purdue, Northwestern, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois and Michigan –
But not Wisconsin? It’s a travesty. It’s incomprehensible.
Maybe retired band director Michael Leckrone simply never entered the competition.
But the band’s knock-your-socks-off performance during the Rose Bowl halftime show showed there’s a new sheriff in town named Corey Pompey.
Here’s how Milwaukee sportscaster KB described it:
“The UW Band simply dropped the hammer on the Oregon Band.
“Game. Set. Match. End of Discussion.
“Do not even bring the subject up again lest you look like a complete idiot.
“Let’s begin with the uniforms. The Oregon band showed up in what appears to be a uniform very similar to that of a retail store grocery cart pusher …
“They were obviously designed for comfort so as not to restrict movement when pedaling the stationary bike to power the blender making their kale-and-pine cone smoothies.
“Then there’s UW. Look at Bucky bringing some serious John Phillip Sousa to the party.
“Hats with plumes. Drumlines. Tight formations. A thousand brass instruments shaking the rocks off the cliffs of the San Gabriel Mountains.
“Now that’s what you call a freaking marching band, ladies and gentlemen.
“And then there were the performances.
“Oregon goes first and brings their tree-hugging personality to the field with renditions of ‘Change Your Evil Ways’ and ‘Age of Aquarius.’
“Nice try, kids. You even put up a valiant effort delivering your message of peace and hope in a formation that wasn’t even a formation, but rather resembled a herd of green and yellow feral cats freed from the no-kill shelter.
“In fact, this performance was so bad you can’t even find a photo or video clip of it on the entire world wide web.
“Then along comes Bucky. Storming the field in a big freaking military jet fighter formation, with a vapor trail no less, sweeping over the Rose Bowl like Maverick and Goose buzzing a Russian Mig Fighter.
“They follow it up with a seamless transition into a Navy Anchor and Marine Tank steamrolling every unsuspecting off-the-grid, tiny-house-dwelling, unkempt-beard-growing, sundress-wearing hipster in their path.
“Boom. Hammer dropped.”
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