It's no secret that, as a sports guy, I've not always had the best relationship in the world with the local high school bands.

It's no secret that, as a sports guy, I've not always had the best relationship in the world with the local high school bands.

There have been times when I may have too quickly criticized based on my observations of events unfolding at a football game.

I've written of halftime shows going too long and bands not being in tune to what's happening on the football field as they've played in the stands.

But today I have nothing but praise for Crestview High School's Big Red Machine Marching Band for their efforts at Crestview's game at Navarre on Sept. 20.

The Big Red Machine has never been better at helping the Bulldogs with timely playing than it was against the Raiders.

The volume and impact of the tunes coming from the band overpowered whatever the Raider band could muster. This was especially true in the third quarter when Navarre was driving for the end zone.

On cue, when the Raiders were in front of the band, The Big Red Machine powered up and drowned out any possible chance the Raiders had of communicating with one another. I was in the press box at the time and the Navarre announcers even commented on how much louder the Crestview band was at that key moment in the football game.

There are times when bands and football teams can be competing siblings, each wanting more attention from family and friends. Even in the best of families there can be a little conflict.

Ultimately, it might be safe to say, the football team and band need each other.

A strong high school or college band enhances the game experience. I still get chills down my spine when I see the University of Tennessee's Pride of The Southland Marching Band form a giant "T" and start playing "Rocky Top" as the Volunteers take the field.

And hearing one's school band play the old fight song or alma mater often sends a tear rolling down the cheek of even the most grizzled ex-ball player.

A good band, like the Big Red Machine, remains a source of pride to the school and community when the football team might be going through lean times. That same band can make a difference in helping rally the team late in a tight game.

I also think it's safe to say the Big Red Machine has never lost a halftime show.

I'll always see things from an old football player's perspective, but maybe there is something to this band stuff.

Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletinís sports editor. Email him at, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.