Ross Simon, Columnist

Saturday evening, the Miami RedHawks were embarrassed in the two largest sports programs on campus (football and hockey) by margins that make me cringe just to look at. Both hockey and football were facing tough, in conference, road matchups against very capable teams. Football was matched up against the University of Toledo Rockets, while hockey bore down on the Ferris State University Bulldogs. I am not here to complain about the lack of discipline that both teams portrayed in stunningly horrific losses.

What I am here to talk about is the mood around town on Saturday night. If you were to walk around uptown, visiting any local establishment ranging from Mac & Joes to McDonalds, or talk to a random stranger at a bar or restaurant, you would have had no idea that two major sports were playing.

I happened to visit quite a number of places on Saturday night, and at ZERO of these places was there chatter about the abysmal performance of either the football or hockey squads post game nor were the games being playing over the loudspeakers. Football was being broadcast on WMSR, Miami’s own student radio, and hockey was being broadcast on WKBV-AM (DISCLAIMER: I am on the WMSR Sports Broadcast team and host a sports wrap up program on WMSR).

This is pathetic! There needs to be a renewed sense of commitment to all RedHawk teams. Restaurants and bars need to embrace the local sports teams. Try walking into any spot in Columbus around Ohio State University, a school with football tradition, or in East Lansing around Michigan State University, a school with football traditional mediocrity, and tell me that the game is not on TV or playing over the radio. You will not be able to. There is a different culture at these schools and it is a culture that needs to take foot here at Miami.

I was relegated to ignoring my mother (whom I was eating dinner with) in order to make sure I was being updated on both teams performances via my phone, as neither one of the broadcasts were playing over the radio at the restaurant where I was eating.

I ask time and time again about the lack of commitment to Miami sports from the student body, but there comes a time when students need to look themselves in the mirror and decide if athletics are really important to them.

If they are, then stop watching the University of Michigan game and demand that Miami be given more coverage when they are at home and on the road.

If athletics are important to this community, which is steeped in athletic tradition ranging from the Victory Bell to the Cradle of Coaches, then stop wondering about the University of Wisconsin score and start wondering about how Coach Treadwell’s team is going to respond from a tough loss. The time for a culture change is now, whether we like it or not.

campus and began work this week, said much of the institute’s focus will come from knowing what other organizations are doing and providing a centralized focus that the university currently lacks. He is a retired United States Army veteran, and was involved with Army ROTC at Eastern Carolina University prior to assuming his position with Miami.

Buller mentioned that the office was receptive to his arrival and seemed glad that someone was here to lead the organization, given the absence of a director in the past.

“The end goal for me is that the Wilks Institute is the center of gravity for leadership development on campus,” Buller said.

Students on campus said they are excited to hear about leadership opportunities they can get involved in.

“When I came for my freshman orientation, there were definitely opportunities that you could get involved with, but I don’t remember hearing too much about leadership opportunities,” sophomore Tony Morgano said. “It’s definitely good to communicate those things with the students.”

Sophomore Rocco Baldasare agreed, “There’s so much stuff that you can get involved in between Greek life, sports, and classes, it’s hard to know where to start so it’s good that they’re getting the information out there.”

reconnect with student organizations, take part in the parade and attend games,” Mock said.

Joe Gieringer, junior and Delta Tau Delta member, is excited to welcome back the fraternity’s alumni, including his father.

“I think it’s the spirit that makes homecoming memorable,” Gieringer said. “Everybody gets really excited for it.”

Gieringer’s sentiment is echoed by Alanah Raykovich, co-chair of the Homecoming Committee.

“We want to make it a week where students and faculty and alumni can come together,” she said. “It’s to remind us why we love Miami so much.”

year. “Halfway through September, there was a 5k race in Mason and some of the people in the tuba section went and a few ran with tubas.”

English added that the band practices are harder and that the group must be more focused than ever to prepare for the parade.

In addition to marching the parade route, band members will be playing the Miami fight song, Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire,” and the blues tune “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That” by Robert Randolph and the Family Band. While the parade route songs might be more appealing to certain demographics, their grand finale will be a tune that everyone is familiar with: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” since the band is marching directly in front of the Santa Claus float.

“It’s the prime spot,” Lytle said, who kept the surprise under wraps until announcing it to the students in early October.

For the students, marching in the Macy’s Parade means an exciting trip to New York and the chance to perform for an audience upwards of 40 million. For the MUMB, the trip means greater prestige and a chance to recruit more members.

“People want to be part of a successful organization,” Lytle said. “When you point to things such as the parade, the bowl game we went to last year or opportunities where they get to do something out of the ordinary, that helps polish your own star.”

Of the 260 members, only about 15 to 20 percent come from music majors, Lytle said. The majority comes from different majors on campus. All students who participate in the marching band receive two credit hours for their participation. On top of the already-rigorous schedules, this can be a challenging amount of work. But for these band members, the work is well worth it.

English, a math education major with a physics minor, is excited to be a part of a group that’s going to be in the Macy’s Day Parade.

“I’ve never been to
New York City. I feel honored to be bringing in the Santa float and closing the parade,” English said.

If they learn nothing else from the experience, the students in the MUMB will know that with hard work comes great rewards. They will be joining an illustrious list of Macy’s Day Parade bands that stretches back to the parade’s inception in 1924.

“We consider the marching band program one of the cornerstones of the parade,” Whatley said. “You can have a parade without a balloon or a float, but you can’t have one without a marching band.”

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