Do and Don’ts of Gameday from a Former Member of the Million Dollar Band
It's finally the first home game of the season in Tuscaloosa and game day has finally arrived at Bryant Denny. With all the traditions of Alabama, The Million Dollar Band is one of the most treasured.
Some fans might not know how to interact with the MDB, and as a former Tuba player, allow me to point you in the right direction! After consulting my alumni friends, here are some do's and do not's when around the MDB.
DO: Ask for photos!
Reasoning: For some Tide fans, this'll be their first attendance to a Tide game. And with that will come many ways to remember the first time stepped on the quad or into Bryant-Denny. Getting asked to take a photo with someone is no big issue for an MDB member.
DON'T: Ask to hold or play their instruments!
Reasoning: This ties into the photos for one reason, members can't let you hold an instrument, neither can guard members or Crimsonettes let you hold their poms or batons respectively. It's to protect you, so you don't accidentally drop the horn! Instruments plus their repair cost more than you think.
DO: Cheer for the band during pregame and halftime!
Reasoning: Both pregame and halftime is what the MDB works every week to get it to the best of their ability. There is nothing like marching out on to Bryant Denny Field with an absolutely raucous crowd. Halftime is just as important, as the MDB sometimes be learning another show while performing a different one. So show them some love!
DON'T: Boo opposing bands!
Reasoning: Yes we realize this is the SEC and yes we are a very competitive conference. But opposing bands should be welcomed into Bryant Denny with open arms. They've worked just as hard as the MDB, so regardless of what team they are with, they're there to entertain so show them love as well!
DO: Ask questions about how they got into the band or about their experiences!
Reasoning: Incoming students or young children may aspire to one day wear the uniforms of the Million Dollar Band. Whether it be a young trumpet player or young girl wanting to spin a flag in the colorguard or twirl a baton as a Crimsonette, the best way to find out what to do to make it in, is to ask current members! They can answer whatever questions you may have. Just remember though, they may not have all the answers so don't be worried if they can't answer a specific question.
DON'T: Interfere with a member's ability to play or march.
Reasoning: This is potentially dangerous for both you and the member. Try to jump in front of them while marching and you risk getting tripped and injuring yourself while potentially harming members trying to move around you. Same goes for when the band is playing. Members do certain movements with their respective horns. Don't try to grab it mid-movement because getting hit with a horn is not painless. You don't want to get hit with a Tuba, I promise you.
And that's it! Hopefully this is helpful for all Tide fans. Ah, I almost forgot, one more thing you shouldn't do:
DON'T: Attempt to flirt with the Colorguard or the Crimsonettes!
Reasoning: Just...trust me on this one. Personal experiences from when I was in the band.
Have a great first home game weekend, and Roll Tide to the Million Dollar Band!