Band Director Dr. Frank Tracz's motives were called into question with a formation during Saturday's halftime show that some believed was vulgar in nature. For the record, nobody was discussing this at all during the halftime show or during the second half, at least in the south end zone where I was sitting. (Granted: Cell phone reception is not the best in the stadium. I wasn't checking my phone every minute, and my son, who was sitting by me, wasn't going to bring up this topic willingly to his mother. But I didn't hear it from anyone else either.)
Honestly, I was very impressed with the halftime show. The band is always good. But they did multiple formations and were moving all over the field in intricate, ever-shifting patterns. I don't ever recall a show that had more moving parts. I thought it was an apt reflection of the Wildcat band's recognition with the Sudler Trophy, an award given every two years to the top college band in the nation.
After the internet hubbub, I wrote to President Kirk Schulz and Athletic Director John Currie, expressing my support and asking them to stand behind our band and its director. And I also wrote to Dr. Tracz with an apology. It said:
"I am writing with a confession of sorts. I probably would not have written this email if the controversy about the band's halftime performance wouldn't have happened. And that's the sad part to me: I sat in the south end zone of the football stadium on Saturday and was amazed at the intricate formations the band was performing. In all the years we've been season ticket holders for football, I don't recall a halftime show with more moving pieces. So I should have been thinking - then and there - "I should write an email to Dr. Tracz and the band and tell them how much I appreciated all their time and effort in creating and carrying out the halftime show!"
But, in reality, I probably wouldn't have done so. That's sad, and I'm sorry about that - for all the times I should have said thank you and congratulations for your wonderful achievements - but I didn't. Every time I hear the patriotic fanfare at the beginning of the game, I tear up. I also appreciate the band's enthusiasm and leadership with the Wabash Cannonball, the alma mater and so much more.
Congratulations on your national honor! I am proud to have you and the band represent me and my alma mater!
I am not a band alumni, but I have known a few throughout the years. I know that your performances represent HOURS of practicing. As I told someone else, you guys probably spent more time outside practicing in the heat and humidity than the football team did because you don't have a brand new indoor practice facility. So, for all the blood, sweat and tears, thank you!
I have emailed people in leadership at both K-State and KU, voicing my support for you and the band. So ...
self-imposed sanctions. I think Schulz and university administration should have stood behind its band family. "Family" is the flag we wave before the game.Fight you K-State Wildcatsfor Alma Mater fight!Glory into combat for the Purple and the WhiteFaithful to our colorsWe will ever beFighting, ever fighting, for a Wildcat Victory!Go State!
The National Football Foundation saluted Coach Snyder on his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Four great Wildcats became the newest Ring of Honor recipients - Michael Bishop, Jordy Nelson, Clarence Scott and Darren Sproles. There were raucous standing ovations for each one of them.