February 3rd, 2014
Superbowl 48 may not have been an enjoyable game to watch when the Denver Broncos forgot to bring a challenge for the Seattle Seahawks. However, it definitely was a life changing experience for the Rutgers Marching Band, who were invited to playe five songs with the Syracuse Marching Band during the pregame show.
Although the Superbowl begins at night, wake up call for me, a color guard member for the RU band, was 6:35 AM. The bus would take us to to the indoor football field at 7:00, and like every other unorganized college student, I packed everything that morning and ran for the bus. The Syracuse Band met us at our indoors field to get our FIRST and only one hour practice together. That’s right, we only practiced the show with Syracuse once! So all of the time the Rutgers Band dedicated practicing previously (there were six practices about 2-3 hours each), had to be precise so that we would work with Syracuse perfectly.
Afterwards, our buses lead us to a ‘secret location’ where that Superbowl rented for every band member. Guess where it was… the AMC in Clifton NJ. This was considered ‘secret’ because the staff did not want friends or strangers to ‘hitch a free ride’ to the stadium by hopping on our bus, nor did they want a mass amount of people to arrive in excitement to see what was going on. As you would assume, we were asked not to use our phones.
At AMC we were ID’d and given wristbands that said ‘half time show.’ This was like a gimmick, and it disappointed me because we were not going to see Bruno Mars because we had to leave after pregame, nor were we going to see a movie. Lunch was also served at the AMC. We were all given water bottles and choices from different Panera Bread sandwiches. This distracted me from my dismay over the false wristbands and movie hopes.
After a few hours, around 3:00, we were off Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford. We had a police escort for all the buses. I was told that they closed down the highway our for travels to the stadium. When we arrived, every band member was taking photos of the Stadium with their smart phones. Everyone crowded near the windows; it was like we all saw unicorn. The staff made us wait another hour or two on the bus. When we finally departed the buses, the band was guided to another security point. This area reminded me of the airport. Each member had to be patted down, and had to walk through a metal detector. Once finally inside my heart continued to beat fast. We were finally here, and the weather counted have been better!
There was no time to stop. Again, we were escorted to a another closed off area, this time with fences, and were told to wait. At first we all just stood around. Then we realized how long we would be would be waiting, and the color guard found an open area to practice.
The time was finally here, we gathered up in lines. We patiently waited in the tunnel that leads to the field. Suddenly I heard the speakers announce f the Rutgers and Syracuse Band. I was ready to preform. My smile widen as I the entered the field and stadium cheered. Never have I heard a football stadium cheer for a marching band so loudly before. The people looked like a pattern of orange, blue, and white. I was in awe, but I felt even more amazed when the crowd began to shout a signature Rutgers chant: “R……U…..R…..U.” There must have been so many Rutgers alumni!! I could not believe it. The performance was over within minutes, and every second felt sureal. All my practice was worth the six minutes on that field. It was an experience that no Rutgers Band member will forget!