Four years ago, I ran out of the tunnel in Fauver Stadium and onto the field to play in my first-ever college football game. As a freshman, I spent a majority of the time on the sidelines, not really getting much of an opportunity to play. It gave me time to look around in the stands and see what the UR fans were like and what kind of support the football team got from the school. Overall I was a little disappointed, but I didn’t come here expecting that the stands were going to be packed, so it didn’t bother me all that much.

One thing in particular that I remember seeing in my sideline journeys was the UR Pep Band, a motley crew of about 10 or 15 brave souls who were willing to sit in the stands for the entirety of a game, regardless of the weather. The football team was not very good that year and the band was not much better, but at least they were both trying.

This past Saturday afternoon, I was at the football game and noticed that some things have changed. Although the team isn’t doing much better than four years ago, the band has gotten significantly better. The number of band members is probably three times what it was four years ago, and they look and sound like a professional band, playing in tune and wearing uniforms. Over the course of my football career, I have played against a lot of different Division III teams, and I can confidently say that we have the best band around.

The band has an essential role in creating the atmosphere of the student section. With a great band to rally behind, the student section is louder and more into the game, which makes a difference to the players down on the field. The band does a fantastic job of fostering a sense of school spirit and pride that is contagious in the stands, and they look like they’re having a great time doing it. They are very engaging and get the students at the game involved, which is essential to getting support for the team.

As I was watching the game this past Saturday afternoon, I realized just how important having a good band is. They are some of the best fans that we have, always staying and playing to the bitter end, no matter how bad the team is doing on the field.

When I was playing, I didn’t realize just how important the band was in creating the atmosphere for the game, but now, as a fan, I have a different perspective. I remember playing in the Courage Bowl in Fauver Stadium two years ago and hearing the band playing and the student section screaming, and now I realize how much that really adds to the overall demeanor of the team on the field.

As a former player, I know that having the support of the student section was an awesome feeling and adds to the sense of pride that I got out of playing here. I also now realize that the band is the foundation for support from the student body and is something that can be built upon. Now we have a great band so it’s time to build upon that and get more support for athletics on campus. Even if you don’t like football or basketball, come and check out a game or two this season and sit in the student section and listen to the band play, and I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Horowitz is a member of the class of 2009.

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