Given all the creative, often disturbing, ways people have found to be impolite to one another over social media, one might think that revisiting old, nonsensical battles like “jocks vs. the marching band” would be unnecessary.
One would be wrong.
Jim Rome, host of a long-running nationally syndicated sports-talk radio show and “Jim Rome on Showtime,” took to Twitter during the New Year’s Day onslaught of college football to post the following: “Is there anyone not in a marching band who thinks these dorks running around with their instruments are cool?”
Reaction was swift, and among the bands and band members that united behind a #MarchOnRome hashtag, one stood out:
— The Army Field Band (@fieldband) January 2, 2015
That tweet put the Army Field Band squarely on the 50-yard-line for the ensuing dust-up. The band’s social media director, Sgt. 1st Class Lauren Curran, appeared on Fox News to address the issue, inviting Rome to a concert (“We perform all over the country”) and calling his initial message “misinformed.”
“The skills and the hard work and the integrity and the teamwork that you learn in marching band, that served us well as soldiers,” Curran said in the interview.
Many other bands got into the act, including marchers at the U.S. Military Academy:
— West Point Band (@WestPointBand) January 3, 2015
Rome, perhaps sensing an opposing force of greater number and commitment than his legendary army of “clones,” deleted the offending tweet and put up an apology less than 24 hours after his original post:
Band nation – I hear you. I was out of line. I apologize. I do not condone bullying of any kind and that was not my intent.
— Jim Rome (@jimrome) January 2, 2015
Learn more about the Army Field Band here. Check out other responses to Rome’s initial message here and here. Also, for younger band members who may not have been paying attention during Rome’s initial rise to national prominence in the early 1990s, here’s some footage of your new favorite quarterback: