Drum Major Pawnage

There are many things I associate with game day in Ann Arbor from my youth: 

1) Waking up to my uncle BLARING The Victors at first light

 2) Little old ladies waving pom poms while they sit on lawn chairs trying to herd potential parkers into front lawns on Main St.

3) The Mud Bowl on Homecoming weekend (yes my parents took me to this annual event even when I was a little tot)

4) Buying Michigan apparel at Steve and Barry’s like we’d never have the opportunity to purchase a Michigan shirt again…

The list could continue for awhile, but you get the idea.

Despite my random memories, there was one game day tradition that I was adamant about never missing (well, until pre-gaming took priority) and goes above and beyond all other schools in the realm of pwnage:



DOWN!!!!!  WOOHOO!!!

In these pictures from the OSU pregame show, Michigan’s Man Up Front, Cody Martin from Plano, TX, continues the Michigan tradition* of bending backwards to touch his head to the ground.

One of the most infuriating things from tOSU’s current cough success cough  is their self-proclaimed “Best Damn Band in the Land” bullshit.  While the band from “that school down south” conducts a spelling lesson, our drum major does a back bend and puts his head, not plume, not hat, but HEAD on the motherfucking ground.  Pwnage at its best!

This gets me so psyched for fall I can barely contain myself!  At least the Big Ten Network is good for something!

*Apparently a Drum Major back in the day fell one week while attempting his back bend.  The following week he returned, removed his hat and touched his head to the ground to the student’s surprise and delight, and set a new precedence for the future MMB Drum Majors.  If any readers are band alumni, please feel free to add detail or clarification to this in the comments!


4 responses to “Drum Major Pawnage

  1. Band alumni here and you got the story right. Matt Pickus did the first hatless back bend in the earli 90s. The story is in the Tales from Michigan Stadium book.

    Since then, the drum major used to leave the hat on for the first couple games, saving the hatless back bend for the Big Ten season, but the new standard is to always do it hatless now.

  2. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  3. This was just forwarded to me recently.

    I performed the first hatless backbend in 1993 in the game against Notre Dame. In the first game of that season, against Washginton State, I kept the hat on during the back bend, so that I could get one complete pre-game performance under my belt prior to making any changes. I did not fall during that game (or any performance). I had prepared the hatless backbend for years prior to being elected Drum Major.

  4. Found this post while surfing the web for Drum Major tips…. I’ve wanted to be Drum Major for a while now and it’s currently my sophomore year (in high school) and I thought why not try out? The only thing that I’m afraid of is that if I do get elected, will I be able to do the backbend (which I’ve never been able to do)??? So I was wondering if any of you (maybe Mr. Picklus) had any tips for how to do the backbend properly…?


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