Texas and A&M: Divorce in Church of Football

Texas and A&M: Divorce in Church of Football

The band on the field is not playing "Bohemian Rhapsody," or dancing, or high-stepping, or even thinking about playing "Don't Stop Believing." They stand in neat files, stock still in the endzone. No one is leaving to get hot dogs save for a few Texas fans, but even most Longhorn fans are agog and watching.

I wait. The front line of trumpets hold white placards with a gigantic block "T" on them. They waggle in a coordinated pulse, and the signs flip over, and then back with another flip of the wrist. The band members look indistinguishable from the ranks of some branch of military only extant in movies: brown pantaloons tucked into polished leather cavalry boots, brown short-sleeved shirts, and drummers with marching snares slung low over one hip.

The show begins. They march with precision and decided slowness, like an old screensaver of brick tunnels leading into brick tunnels. They play the same songs they always have, and march in the same formations they always use: meshing lines, interlocking diagonals, and in a finale an "X" that rotates like a conveyor belt, turning in on itself. It is the marching band equivalent of running the Notre Dame Box Offense against Pete Carroll's 4-3 Over defense.

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