String Band Division Line of March is a Farce

Yes, that’s right, the way the line of march is determined by the String Band Division in the annual mummers parade is a farce, joke and we can add ridiculous and ludicrous and any other term that’s needed. The top bands from the previous year usually appear near the end of the line up and that my friends is an unfair advantage. That is why, in my opinion the Fralinger String Band has won eight consecutive first prizes. How the positions are determined may be a bit difficult to explain but I will try my best later on, but let me first say that the order of march by the other divisions in the parade are the result of simply picking a number out of a hat. Why can’t the String Bands do the same ? What if I told you that the 1927 New York Yankees arguably the greatest baseball team of all time batted in the bottom of the ninth inning of every game they played. Well that’s how it is when the string bands march on New Years Day. As stated before the drawing for positions is weighed heavily in favor of the top bands, here is my attempt to explain it. There are four sealed envelops, with the letters A,B,C and D. These envelops have four or five numbers in them ranging from 1 to 17, representing the number of bands in the parade in 2010. Envelop “C” may have the numbers 16, 12,7 and 2. The envelops are in the hands of city officials. Before the numbers are exposed the bands must pick a letter. After each band has their letter a representative walks over to the city official who has their assigned letter. In this case the four bands with the letter “C” will march in one of those above mentioned positions [16,12,7 or 2]. Here’s the catch. The band who finished higher in the previous parade will select first. Obviously the top band will choose the higher number. So as a result a band such as Fralinger will always march at the end of the String Band Division and the judges know this and as a result scores are held back on prior bands. I’ve listened to the judges tapes and have heard a comment such as; “Yes, that was a great performance, but there’s still a few good ones to come, but I’ll see what I can do.” What they should do is give you what you deserve and not hold back points. In any subjective scoring system such as gymnastics or figure skating the participants who perform near the end of the competition will generally score higher than those who start at the beginning. Let me add that this is by no means a knock against the Fralinger String Band. They are a very strong and hard working band. OK, they still may have won in 2010 but I doubt that they would have won 8 times in a row. It’s only human nature for one to express or write down that something that was just seen was the greatest that they have ever seen. How many times has an individual witnesses an outstanding athletic play and say; “Wow, that’s the greatest catch, dunk or whatever that I’ve ever saw.” In most cases it’s “What have you done for me lately? ” . Here, it’s ; “What have I seen or heard lately? ” Let me know how you feel. Your comments are more than welcome. Happy New Year.

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