Saturday, September 8, 2007

Flip that Pep Rally

If the sole purpose of a football pep rally is to promulgate our love of the team so as to inspire them to play their hearts out in route to a victory, then our pep rally on Friday was an overwhelming success. The Unicorns thumped Seguin, ending a three-year skid in Texas' oldest high school football rivalry.

But if, in fact, the purpose of a successful pep rally is to rally pep, then I think we have something to work on. Being a graduate of NBHS, I have intensely fond memories of Friday afternoon pep-rallies. Back then, they were not compulsory--if you didn't want to attend, you got to leave school a bit early, but most students actually did attend . . . . because the pep rallies ROCKED!!

Back then, they were ran by the cheerleaders who spent the entire time doing one of two things: rallying pep or leading cheers. Today, the cheerleaders are just an act in the show. Granted they do a great job with their routine, but it seems like that's all it is, a routine.

In the newly renovated large competition gym, the intimacy of smaller quarters is gone, but it seems we have gone from intimate to strictly Platonic. It doesn't help that the microphone (singular) never works, and when it does, it's never loud enough. It might as well be a frozen banana (that might actually be a good first start to rallying more pep.)

As old traditions are brought back in an attempt to reconnect with the lost vim, vigor, and vitality of the peppy days of yesteryear, they are done so without explanation or enthusiasm. It's not surprising that the "RAH" toilet seat went down the crapper.

We need to get more people involved: football players helping to rally pep, cheerleaders cheering, student organizations participating, etc. The entire student body needs to develop a sense of ownership in the activity, rather than being forced to sit in the stands and pay homage to a group of stoic athletes. Many students, in fact, resent the venerable, glorious status we place on athletes, so their abstaining from being peppy is their way of "sticking it to the man."

After talking with some other teachers, here's what I suggest. Football players sit dispersed among the student body. Different student organizations or special classes take turns sitting on the court where the players typically sit. Cheerleaders run the show. We get two microphones (that work) so we can have playful banter between hosts or even one mike in the stands (with a football player, for example.) There needs to be a major skit each week, either involving faculty members, athletes, parents, etc. Something that imitates current reality TV would be Su-weet. For instance, "Dancing with the Stars", where athletes pair up with faculty and have a dance off. Something like "The Singing Bee" would be great. You could randomly select three students from the stands and let them have a sing off with the working microphones.

The key is getting everyone involved, even if it means taking some of the spotlight off the athletes (we all still know why we're rallying pep to begin with anyway.)

I think all it will take is for someone to step up and volunteer to be the overworked, underpaid, under appreciated producer the greatest pep rally ever. (All hands go down.)

For now, I'd be happy with a working set of microphones.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Brenda said...

I don't understand why I'm the only who finds these blogs so entertaining...or the only one who is willing to admit it?

So the pep rallies still suck, huh? I think you're right about the format, but the students also think they're too cool for pep rallies. It's part of their air of imaginary superiority.