Sports commentator offends band kids everywhere with tweet


Drew McWeeney – Special to the Southern News

I was both upset and angry after hearing CBS commentator Jim Rome’s remarks about the students involved in marching band. His comment on Twitter stating “Is there anyone not in a marching band who thinks those dorks running around with their instruments are cool,” proves no doubt that he has hurt and infuriated a lot of people by referring to marching band members as uncool “dorks.”

Editors note: Rome deleted the tweet from his Twitter account. 

Rome, like some sports fanatics who do not appreciate the arts, is an overgrown bobble-head that chatters constantly about a game. It is a sports game! When it is over, it is over! A bully like Jim Rome can apologize, but it does not undo the damage, nor mean the bully behind the words has changed.

Connecticut produces a lot of music students and music majors, and Rome’s comments insulted those of us in a number of excellent Connecticut programs. His apology seemed about as sincere as Nixon’s “I’m Not a Crook” speech. I understand sports and how much it can mean to people, having been an athlete since I was little. I was a swimmer, and understand the effort it took.

However, some sports lovers like Rome have no idea how much dedication, hard work, and passion it takes to sing, play an instrument or what it takes to be part of a family in a marching band. Rome’s comment showed his ignorance and negativity. Band, for us musicians, is a place to experience life in a way we never dreamed possible.

We make friendships that will last a lifetime. We learn to appreciate the smallest of details as well as the largest ones. We learn to take time out of day-to-day life to experience joy. Being in band, for me, is being involved in something bigger than myself.

Being in band, for me, is being “in the moment” of doing something I love whether people get it or not. I plan someday to be an educator – to teach people how to appreciate others, understand others and accept others – which is something Jim Rome has apparently failed to figure out.

You know that Rome’s life has an issue, since he is an old man poking fun at music students who have worked harder than he has in his entire life. How childish is that? This is a grown man making his living obsessing about other grown men in tight pants trying to get a ball across some imaginary line, but he has the right to criticize people like me who hone musical skills since birth? Wait – Jim Rome does what for a living? That is right – a sports commentator!

Now that is a socially-relevant occupation! I can appreciate the world of sports, even though I can have a hard time appreciating it. However, at least I respect people that work as hard as I do. Now, how come this is hard for Rome to do?

Music education opens doors that help people pass from school into the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation, according to former President Gerald Ford, depends on providing our children with a complete education in music, art and movement.

Music students and marching band members simply want to be appreciated by everyone for what we do. Unfortunately, Jim Rome’s callous and insensitive remarks have made that more difficult.

Rome should stick to sports and not venture his opinions on music, in which his “great” knowledge is non-existent on. Jim Rome would do well to try to appreciate something other than sports. If more people in this world did, maybe one day football might be played at halftime.

Photo Credit: Tennessee Journalist

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