In an unprecedented turn of events, the players are not having the most impact on the games played in the NCAA Tournament in Tucson. Sure they are the ones who put on the uniforms, lace up their sneakers and fill up the box scores; but they had little to do with the outcome.
Another group of people who put on similar uniforms and play the entire game just like the players were felt even more than Juan Fernandez of Temple; The Bands.
Did he just say the bands?
Yes I did and for good reason. Throughout the entire game possession after possession, the bands tuned up some good trash talk and fake shot-clock count downs that disrupted the games rhythm. Watching on TV that is hard to see or hear I am sure. You have distractions like commentators talking, commercials, camera angles dedicated to the ball-handlers and funneled audio letting you hear what they need you to hear. In doing so you miss some of the greatest trash talk never heard.
All game – for 40 minutes – these guys (and gals) were under the skin of their opponents and actually influenced bad shots. It is easy to blame referees and credit coaches for victories on the hardwood, but in this instance we need to look to the band for the melody of this game.
This game was a tale of two bands, one that wanted it and the other just showed up. In these difficult circumstances – win or go home – you cannot afford to have a band give less than 100%. Take Temple into consideration school bands everywhere, you have a voice and an opportunity to do something special. So put on your face paint, practice your screaming in the mirror at home and be prepared to wear your throat out; the team is relying on you.