Strike Up The Band

Blue Band 2

“It’s not Penn State without the Blue Band.”

Those are the wise words of my 6-year-old daughter, uttered as we walked across the Samuel Beckett Bridge on Thursday en route to a public display of American college football spirit. And indeed, it wasn’t really college football without a band, a fact the UCF cheerleaders tried to overcome when they opened the combined performance in front of the CHQ Building, an exhibition space on the north shore of the River Liffey. In front of a few hundred onlookers, a mix of traveling Americans— about 80 percent of them in blue and white—and locals out on their lunch hour, the UCF cheer squad did their best to rouse the crowd with some chants.

UCF cheer

This guy was there, too.


We’re just saying, they really could’ve used a band.

Penn State’s turn came second, and with a crew about 50 strong  — Lionettes, cheerleaders, and about three dozen members of the band — well, it wasn’t much of a contest.

Blue Band 1

It was the first of two performances in town today for the Blue Band and friends, and they’ll be back at it Friday for the official pep rally in Temple Bar. If you’ve ever traveled for Penn State games, particularly for a bowl game, you know how strangely cool it is to see them out of their usual element. Seeing them in a different country, performing in front of locals who aren’t quite sure what to make of it but end up clapping along anyway, was very cool indeed.

Oh, almost forgot: This guy showed up, too.

Lion 2

As usual, he was the most popular guy around.

For more on the The Football Letter, including online archives (requires Alumni Association member log-in), click here.

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3 thoughts on “Strike Up The Band

  1. Why wasn’t the Blue Band at RU?

    • The Blue Band was represented by the pep band, about 15-20 members who played throughout the game at Rutgers. Pretty sure that’s the normal routine for many (if not most) road games.

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