All these years mothers have made their sons go out for band because it's safe. Pah! Everybody went postal—except the light wind instruments. They backed off. I've always said this: I love the piccolo, and I want you to love the piccolo, too.
The fracas went on for almost 20 minutes. It was like a scene from Stomp, with each side grabbing the other's instruments, throwing them down and jumping on them. Three Prairie View sousaphones were ruined at $6,500 each. That's almost $20,000, blown.
Greggs says he has never seen anything like it in 30 years as Southern's band director. "I got some F-horns all bent up," he said, looking over the F-carnage. "I got some trombones dinged, some baritones [instruments, not singers] dinged up. We lost some hats and capes, too. I know because one of their guys was showing it off in the stands afterward, wearing it."
The ultimate indignity: another man wearing your cape.
But out of all this, something amazing happened. Maybe the Prairie View football team figured that pretty soon its band was going to beat the spit valve out of it. Or maybe the Panthers' coach, Greg Johnson, signed a few guys from the horn section, but guess what? Prairie View went out and won its next game!
After 80 straight losses, the longest losing streak this side of Wile E. Coyote's, Prairie View beat Langston 14-12 last Saturday in Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, the Prairie View band didn't get to see it. Both fighting bands were banned from appearing anywhere for two weeks, and the commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference is demanding a full report from each school to see who might be to blame.
Oh, and the Stanford band wants a piece of the winner.