We've received several angry e-mails from fans of both Missouri and Navy regarding the incident involving both bands at the conclusion of last week's Texas Bowl in Houston. Fans were upset that Mizzou showed "lack of class" in disrespecting the traditions of the Naval Academy; one even postulated that we had "hatred for the military" after a sequence in which both bands played simultaneously. While it should be noted that Mizzou has its own traditions that were interrupted as well, it is obvious that nothing could be further from the truth regarding disrespect for the military.
As is explained by Caitlin Carter in yesterday's Columbia Missourian, there was a misunderstanding between the schools.
At a game operations meeting that took place the day before the Texas Bowl, officials from both schools agreed that the losing team's band would play first. Marching Mizzou did just that immediately following the game, going through its normal sequence of playing the fight songs, singing the alma mater, then closing with the fight songs again.
It is apparently during the time that M2 was singing that the Navy band, positioned 130 yards across the field and unable to hear singing amid the celebration of the win, thought that Marching Mizzou was finished, and began playing itself.
We're proud of Marching Mizzou, which has been in existence for 125 years, and look forward to many more bowl trips with the "Big 'M' of the Midwest"!