Over the past year I have had the privilege of covering Broadway openings and award shows as a staff member at Times Square Chronicles . I have meet a small but extremely talented and hard working group of Broadway photographers. They have been welcoming and provided tips for a newcomer. As the process goes there is normally a down period at each opening between the end of the Red Carpet and the After Party photos. I mentioned to a few of my new photog friends that I shoot Rutgers Football and that this is the 150th Anniversary of College Football and that it all started at Rutgers. Now as nice as my new friends are this is where that all tend to roll theirs eyes and explain that they don’t follow sports. I realized that perhaps the Broadway audience in general doesn’t see the similarities between a big time D-1 B1G College Football Game and a Broadway theater experience. Allow me to highlight the similarities.
Theaters have the orchestra and the musicians. They aren’t the main attraction of a Broadway play, not on the stage as the main attraction but nonetheless equally as important to the life of the production. They remain out of view in a pit. Like theater, Football has musicians as well. Hundreds of them actually. They sit in a special section of the stands and play the live music during the game, inspiring the crowd with the sound track. They do get to take the main stage, The Field, for a short time prior to the game and and in the middle of the game, at halftime. Oh, halftime is in the middle of the Football game when all the players leave the Field and go inside to rest for a few minutes. At halftime the band, all wearing matching fancy costumes, very B’way right?, as they march in unison while playing four of five musical numbers. They have a color guard and flag twirlers and baton twirlers. Matching shinny hats with fine plumage. Now as much as the musicians in Broadway production are essential so is a solid Marching Band to a College Football game. Take a look.
The similarities don’t end there. Football has dancers and acrobats and costumed characters at the games. Even the main stars of a College Football Game Day experience, the Student Athletes playing the game, were uniforms or costumes if you will. Ask yourself this, would Hamilton the Musical be the same if the cast all wore gray sweats? I think not. Much like a dancer on Broadway these dedicated Student Athletes train for hours most days of the week similar to Theater rehearsals, training and as well as incorporating new elements on a regular basis.
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The National Champion Rutgers University Dance Team
Football has special effects and theatrical type performance intertwined with the Game. Smoke machines and giant pyrotechnics. Some of the College Football teams even have live animals, mascots, as part of the Game day production. Think Radio City Christmas Spectacular and their use of live animals in a theatrical production.
Now if all of these similarities between a College Football game and a Broadway Show haven’t piqued your curiosity, the Game itself contains so many theatrical aspects. Ballet like catches and a runner tip toeing down the sideline. Raw emotion on display. And drama? Some College teams have long histories. In all there are 119 Colleges with teams eligible to content for the coveted Nation Title. In reality there are 25 to 30 teams that will dominate the field year in and year out. These are the powerhouse schools. Imagine if you will the drama that can be created when one of the lesser teams beats one of these top tier programs. Doesn’t happen often but when it does the drama and excitement flow through from the student athletes to the Spirits Squads through the sounds of the Marching Bands often times culminating with “storming of the field”. During a “Storming” students and fans jump out of their seats and run on to the playing field at the conclusion of the match. Talk about drama.
Flashes of Greatness this season on the field.
Feel the Drama here !!!!
The drama of the contest itself can reach such a fever pitch it can cause 50,000 fans to jump and run onto the field in celebration. Much like a great musical makes people want to jump out of their seats and dance in the isles. Take a listen to this iconic clip from Rutgers Football Upset of Louisville back in 2006. If you don’t feel the drama in this clip you probably don’t have a pulse. Of course to put this historic upset in proper perspective for my new Broadway Friends – Rutgers is The Birthday Place Of College Football, having played the very first game 150 years ago against Princeton on November 10, 1869. The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers won by a score of 6 to 4. The next College Football game would be played two years later. The rest as they say, Is History. Truth be told the best of College Football quickly moved to other Colleges for the better part of the past 150 years. Rutgers remained playing Football but at much less competitive level then the National powerhouses, schools in conference such as the SEC and the B1G, Independent powerhouse Notre Dame, and all Division-1 schools. The B1G or Big Ten is the nations oldest and one of the toughest in the country. Rutgers had only moved up to the NCAA Division-1 football level in 1991 when they joined the Big East Football conference. In 2014 Rutgers left a collapsing Big East and surprised everyone when they announced that joined the B1G. When Rutgers first joined the Big East in 1991 many questioned whether or not Rutgers would ever be able to compete at that level. The first few seasons were rough, with the team ended up on the wrong end of a lot of lopsided scores. In the teams final year in the Big East they captured a tie for first place and a Bowl Game. Broadway Friends – Bowl Games will be explained in the next Football for Broadway lesson.
When Rutgers joined the B1G in 2014 people again questioned the schools ability to compete at the next level. The Scarlet Knights have not only competed but have succeed in many sports at this level. Wrestling, Soccer, Basketball, others. Football has yet to fully catch up. It will. So now that you know some of the underdog status of the Scarlet Knights you can perhaps more fully understand the drama of this clip, Listen to Chris Carlan with this call.
So Broadway Fans do we see the comparisons between College Football and Broadway Theater. Very similar I would have to say. Musicians, Mascots, Performers, Dancers, Spirit Squads, Costumes, Uniforms, Theatrics and most import Drama. Oh and we have Traditions at Football as well. For example as Rutgers University was founded over 250 years ago, prior to the American Revolution, we have costumed period actors that fire a real canon after every Rutgers Score. We have a Canon.
Don’t let the friendly faces fool you, That Canon makes a heck of loud sound.
PS Note to all my new Broadway Photographer Friends, If you take me up on my offer to come shoot a game from the field level — DO NOT WALK IN FRONT OF THE CANON. EVER. In case I forget to tell you on Game Day.
Unfortunately, we have had the wrong type of drama lately as the football team continues to struggle to compete at the highest level of all of College Football. The thing is, eventually, they will succeed. In life people are always best when challenged to the highest levels of competition. The team will never improve playing lesser competition. The adjustments take time. In this world of instant satisfaction many fans simply do not understand that building a program to compete at this level will take time. This season is off to a rough start with the team falling to 1&4 dropping the last four games, and having changes at the Head Coaching position after a 56 to 0 loss to Michigan in the Big House.
Once the show draws you in you feel for the players when they loss, much like Broadway. But good news Broadway Fans. unlike Broadway Shows, the outcome is subject to change on any given Saturday. The better part, tickets are still available for upcoming games or “performances” if you will. Check here for ticket availability. The venue or Stadium as the Football fans call it, SHI Stadium, is located only a short car ride from Midtown Manhattan and is fully accessible via public transit. The Best Part?!?!? Upsets are brewing and you can be there to witness this spectacle first had, a must see bucket list items for anyone with even the most minute interest in sports. Your Scarlet Knights have four home games left this season. Call 1-866-GORU (4678) or click here. As an added bonus for Broadway Fans new to College Football and readers of Times Square Chronicles or t2conline only for the game against Liberty University on October 26, 2019 there are a very limited number of Family Four Packs available at discounted rate while supplies last.
Oh I almost forgot… We have Singers as well, man its down right scary how much College Football and Broadway Theaters performances have in common. Uncanny.
In Live Always…… Always….. bELieve
Flashes of Greatness have been witness this season.
OK Broadway Fans I hope this first lesson in College Football was helpful. Check back here at t2conline newly expanding Sports section for complete coverage of all Rutgers Football Games. Look for future lessons where will explore such topics as The College Ranking systems, power points, and The National Playoff system, which teams have the most stylish uniforms, and what beverages to consume to maintain proper body temperature during cold weather games. Most importantly click here to see what type of Fashions to wear to a College Football Game. Again Much like Broadway itself Fashion is ALWAYS Important. By the way I did mention that Rutgers recently changed coaches, I touched on this in a previous post I had wanted to keep the former coach for many reasons however now that he has been relieved off his duties I would like to openly state to Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs that he makes some effort to obtain the services of Urban Meyer #hiremeyer OK Football Fans I know. I know. But hey can;t hurt to ask, if anyone could make it happen it would AD Hobbs. Rutgers Football Fans help start this hash tag, #hiremeyer If you think about it, Rutgers has built everything already. Clearly Ready to go big time. And for Mr. Meyer its certainly a Win-Win, he has nothing to loss and everything to gain. He is a Coaching Mastermind. I think he could help here. Seriously. #hiremeyer.