Have we got bowl memories – you bet!
“All-American” Marching Band seniors in the Class of 2003 were asked to share a favorite memory - funny, nostalgic or otherwise - from the many Bowl trips they’ve made with the band. Here’s what they said:
One of my favorite memories was the Outback bowl my freshman year. The Purdue fans greatly outnumbered the Georgia fans everywhere we went, especially in the stadium on game day. The Purdue section was just enormous and everyone was wearing gold. It was an amazing experience being on the field and looking up and listening to them sing and cheer.
My freshman year at the Alamo Bowl holds my favorite memory. I was an alternate for that game, and along with some other people, was in charge of keeping the beach balls that were going to be used for halftime from blowing away. We chased them around for a while, and then we began setting up tables around them to hold them in place. The graduate assistant came over a little later, and said two words... “Damn engineers!”
My favorite bowl memory is probably from the Outback Bowl in Tampa, FL. At midnight on New Year's several of us from the trombone section dove into the Gulf of Mexico to celebrate the year 2000. That was something really unique that I will always remember about the turn of the century.
The Ybor City Parade at the 2000 Outback Bowl was unbelievable. The streets were packed with Purdue fans. They were screaming so loud, I couldn’t even hear people playing around me. That’s never happened before! It felt like Mardi Gras. At the end of the parade we did a “Battle of the Bands” with the UGA Marching Band. Our fans started chanting, “Our band’s better!” It was the most fun I have ever had performing.
It was the eve of the millennium in Clearwater, FL during our trip to the Outback Bowl and we were out on the beach. I celebrated New Years by kissing a girl in the surf, under the moon on a perfect night.
I think one of my favorite moments was the parade in Ybor City, Florida (Outback Bowl). It was crazy; the people were so close they could touch us, and everybody was yelling, clapping, singing and seemed to be more excited then us. Even the Georgia fans had tons of energy and all that together made me feel like we were big time.
My favorite Bowl memory is performing to “The Horse” at the Rose Bowl. Every time I hear that song it takes me right back to Pasadena. I also have many fond memories of the 2002 Sun Bowl.
I remember going to the Rose Bowl two years ago. It was amazing walking into the stadium for pre-game, seeing all of the gold in the stands. It was such an honor to play America the Beautiful. I remember our fans joining in when “I Am an American” was read. It was so loud that I couldn't hear the band playing. At that moment I was so proud and it may sound corny but I had tears in my eyes. Then hearing our fans singing along with “Hail Purdue” afterwards was music to my ears!
I think the best memory I have from any of the bowl trips is from the Alamo Bowl my freshman year. Kansas State was ranked #4 in the nation and Drew Brees put together a perfect two-minute drill, ending with the winning touchdown catch 10 feet in front of me.
Being able to watch our directors enjoy their time and relax just like us students. We are all there for the same reason after all.
The best parade ever was the Ybor City New Year’s Eve parade in Tampa. The Purdue fans outnumbered the Georgia fans so badly and they all poured into the streets behind us singing along to all the fight songs and cheered like hell. It was so loud and an absolute blast. And how can anyone forget the Rose Bowl trip otherwise known as the world’s longest day. But the best memory will be this year when we finally pull out the win on the field!
It's so hard to pick one favorite moment. There are so many...spending time on the river walk in San Antonio and visiting the Alamo...sitting on the beach and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico...spending an afternoon on the Santa Monica Pier and marching in the Rose Bowl Parade are just a few memories I will take with me.
At the Sun Bowl they told us we would be going to a dance club and we decided to get “dressed up” for this occasion. So we did what any college kid would do, we (including the guys) went to K-mart and all bought leather pants and tight shirts. This attire was totally opposite of the old t-shirts and jeans we wear to band, so when we got on the bus to head to the club, some people didn't even recognize us!
There are two memories I have about our bowl experiences. First, was Big Ol Theo and his wonderful validation incident in Pasadena, and the second was Bill with his infamous words of wisdom at the 2001 Sun Bowl. “This morning, I woke, rolled over, puked in my trashcan, and said “Damn it’s another day in paradise.”
My favorite memory has to be last year in El Paso when we were at the ranch and the tuba section went up and sang to "Stand By Your Man." Then Bill Kisinger (Asst. Marching Band Director) got up to the mic, with his beverage of choice, and belted out a jazz number that would have given Louie Armstrong a run for his money.
Wow, there are a lot. My most favorite memory I will never forget is from the Rose Bowl parade. We were making the turn approaching the last street that we marched on before the end of the parade. After the turn, I remember looking straight ahead only to find myself staring at the mountains that were outstretched across the background. I don’t think I have ever seen anything so breathtaking and beautiful in my life. I was just overwhelmed at how amazing the mountains were; they were just so huge and beautiful. Another favorite memory of mine is from the Outback Bowl at the Ybor City parade. It was a nighttime parade and the streets were filled with Purdue fans. The fans were so loud that when the band started to play “Hail Purdue,” I couldn’t hear the music. That was the first time I ever realized how much our fans love this university. One more favorite memory would have to be last year at the Sun Bowl when we were at the Cattleman’s Ranch, and many students including our directors, Bill Kisinger and Boyd Loughrige, decided to sing karaoke. Bill sang a Frank Sinatra song (of course), and Boyd sang, “Play that funky music white boy.” I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard.
My favorite memory was when we went to the Rose Bowl. One of my friends had never seen an ocean before and we didn't have a whole lot of free time that trip, so we got up about an hour and a half early one morning and hiked down to the ocean from the hotel. The water was really, really cold, but we all waded in up to our ankles anyways. We took pictures of everyone in the ocean. They're some of my favorite pictures from that trip.
The Ybor City parade from the Outback Bowl is one of my favorite memories. The place was packed with people and looked like Mardi Gras. The best was the roar that went up when we started “Hail Purdue!” The crowd was so loud and full of energy; they drowned out our drumline.
The funniest memory from the Sun Bowl last year in El Paso was when we went to dinner at a Cattleman’s Ranch. They had a karaoke machine. There were some pretty crazy performances but one was the crowd favorite. Matt Conaway (our graduate assistant) got up there and sang “I Like Big Butts” by Sir Mix A Lot. I have never laughed so hard in my life, I was literally crying.
One of my best memories is after we performed at the Santa Monica Pier, at the Rose Bowl, a group of friends and myself went to wade in the ocean with our khakis still on (brrr...the Pacific Ocean is cold in December).
Matt Conaway (our graduate assistant last year) singing “Baby Got Back,” very well I might add, although he hates rap.
The whole Rose Bowl was amazing. I remember marching in the parade and coming up to the wall of TV cameras. I have never felt so famous in all of my life! I also remember eating three In and Out burgers afterwards, I was so tired and hungry. Then I was recharged as we walked into the Rose Bowl and saw so many fans. The whole experience, with mountains all around us, was so surreal and something I will cherish for a lifetime. It was also a time for me to reunite with a friend from California who went to Purdue but transferred. It was a very emotional and sentimental time due to the magnitude of such an event. Wow!
Scott Maxwell, Tenor Drum
Here in Indiana there is not much to do. When we go to a large city and a bowl game, we get the opportunity to do things that we normally don’t. I have been parasailing in Tampa Bay, performed in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, been on television countless number of times, and seen Hollywood, CA. I can’t narrow it down to just one thing. There is so much that comes from bowl trips that are so great, that it’s hard to pick just one. It’s going to be hard to graduate and not get this opportunity anymore. So I am glad that I have taken advantage of it while I could.
Marching down Colorado Boulevard at the Rose Bowl and seeing my parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle, and brother in the grand stands was more than memorable. I can still picture them waving their arms like crazy to make sure I saw them. My family has been the most supportive people in my life and I will never forget how much they love the band – just as much as I do!
Beau Moore, Trumpet
My best memory of a bowl trip was flying to LAX, getting on the busses and heading to Santa Monica to get our hotel rooms and our bus got lost and we spent the better part of an hour touring LA and to boot we had a practice from hell the same night. By the time practice was finished, it was around 12:30 in the morning back in Indiana.
The funniest thing was last year when we went to a dance club in El Paso. They had dance cages in the club and we had our Percussion Instructor Dr. Pam Nave get up in the cage and dance. Everyone was taking pictures and laughing because Dr. Pam is not big on dancing. It was great.
One of my favorite memories from any bowl trip happens from the time we exit the airplane to the time we arrive at our hotel. It is wonderful to soak in all of the sights and sounds of a new place. While this is always a favorite memory, it is not necessarily one of the most vivid. This is due to my trying to remember absolutely everything that I see. Experiencing new places is one of my favorite activities, and I being a part of this band has allowed me that opportunity several times.
My favorite memory is from the Parade through Ybor City at the Outback Bowl. We weren't expecting much of a crowd, but when we got there we were greeted with thousands of people, Purdue fans and just plain citizens, screaming and cheering for us being there. It was so loud and so exciting that some of the time we couldn't even hear the Drum Majors blow their whistle.
One of my favorite memories comes from my first bowl game. We had a pep rally on the beach outside of our hotel in Clearwater, Florida for the Outback bowl. It was a really exciting opportunity to spin flag in the sand!
I remember the fans for Kansas State before the second Alamo Bowl were so cocky and so sure that K State was going to blow our team away and then watching them file out of the stadium in the fourth quarter as Purdue sealed the victory.
I liked going to the Outback Bowl and marching the best show of my life. It was a personal high for me.
My sophomore year, when Purdue went to the Rose Bowl, my family had already committed to being chaperones for my brother's high school band to the Fiesta bowl on that same day. When we beat IU on November 18th to send us off to Pasadena, my dad looked at me and said, “I will find a way to be there.” On the day of the Rose Parade, as I was marching down Colorado Blvd., I heard a small crowd of people yelling my name. Looking over, I spotted my dad, who had recruited some strangers to help get my attention! He had flown out of Phoenix on New Year's Eve, to make the parade and part of the game, and was headed back to Phoenix that night to see my brother perform. All this to see his daughter become a part of something (the Rose Bowl spectacle) he had watched for years! Looking at him we both realized it was a moment neither of us would forget!
We always have to be on our better behavior when we're with the band because we're such visible representatives of the university. On trips we have to be extra aware of our actions. It's great to have fans on the street walk up to us and tell us how good a job we've done, or how much they like the band.
My favorite memory is coming from behind to win the Alamo Bowl in 1998. It was the most exciting game I have been to, and the win made it even better. I remember staying up all night because the game was being replayed on TV at like 2 a.m., and everyone wanted to watch it again.
At the Rose Bowl, we were the second band to go out for pre-game after Washington State. We started to do our run out and Roy Johnson, the Voice of the All American Marching Band, started the announcements and the crowd was going nuts. I had never heard our fans cheering that loud for the band.
One of my favorite memories was last year at the Sun Bowl when a group of us took a cable car to the top of the mountains and watched the sunset with the city of El Paso on one side, and Mexico on the other.
Kim Zumwalt, Trumpet
The Jolly Trolley that wasn’t so jolly. At the Outback Bowl 2000, we needed to ride the Trolley shuttle to the other side of town for dinner. We didn’t know what trolley to take to the restaurant we wanted to eat at. We asked the first trolley guy (Southbound) which one we needed and he told us Northbound. The next trolley came along and we couldn’t see his sign. Jamie Steffen got on the trolley to ask the driver if this was the Northbound. He proceeded to shove a sign in Jamie’s face that read Downtown and said, “Can’t you read!?” Jamie was speechless which I’ve never seen before. She got off the trolley and said, “He wasn’t so jolly.” We did finally make it to dinner.