Continuing the "College Town" theme in this week's Chicken-Fried News, you gotta give it up to "The Ultimate," Jim Traber. The WWLS sports personality has taken some shots for going out on a limb in the past, but now some Stillwater folks think he's really crossed the line.
Traber, a former Major League Baseball player and Oklahoma State quarterback, had the unmitigated audacity to heap praise on a college band that does not reside in Stillwater. Yes, sports fans, we're talking about Traber's love for Grambling State marching band. During his Fox 25 TV show in the "Final Thoughts" segment on Sept. 27, Traber said in his "Ultimate Blog" er "¦ blog that he opined about the world-renowned Grambling band getting only six and a half minutes to play during halftime.
"And while they were playing, the OSU band walked in front of the TV cameras that were trying to tape the show," he wrote on the blog. "Normally, they are very good at walking behind the cameras.
"I made it a point to say that my comments were not about OSU's band " I think OSU has a great band! But bands such as Texas A&M, Grambling and Stanford bring something unique to the table. The fans from other schools DON'T LEAVE AT HALFTIME! They want to watch these bands!"
Traber wasn't the only member of the metro media lovin' on Grambling's band. The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson (you may remember her drawing the ire of OSU's Mike "I'm a Man" Gundy a few seasons back) dared to write the following on Sept. 21 before the game:
"The Grambling band is coming to town, and you don't want to miss the show," Carlson wrote. "This bunch does more than march and play. It shimmies and shakes. It moves and grooves.
"So remember, Cowboy fans, they'll be no running to the restroom and no going to the concession stand at halftime this Saturday. Not if you want to see one of the greatest shows on earth."
To add insult to injury, The Oke's John Rohde reported Sept. 27 that the Grambling State band received three standing ovations during its Boone Pickens Stadium performance.
After Traber's Sunday night soliloquy, he claimed some musical Pokes were getting hotter than Eskimo Joe's Buffalo Chicken Dinner. "Trabe" described the band backlash in detail, dramatically peppering his punctuation on the blogosphere.
"Since Sunday night I have been berated not only by the OSU band members but the band director himself," Traber wrote on his blog. "They have even gone as far as to challenge me to come to Stillwater "¦ on the lawn in front of the library and 'say it to our face.' THE BAND!!! Say what to their face??? That a lot of people wanted to see Grambling's Band? Are they coming after me with their tubas and piccolos for that? I've never seen such insecurity in my life.
"Hey OSU Band "? I am not a band hater!!! I just enjoy watching the Grambling band!! I'm not the guy that gave you a Melvin in high school " I just wanted to watch Grambling's band!!! No one is saying that Grambling is better than you technically"¦ but they are entertaining and original in the way they perform. Their football team lost by 50 points " it was an embarrassment. Give the band their due!"
Bradley Snow, OSU's associate director of bands, did not comment. Gary Shutt, director of OSU's communications services, issued the following statement to CFN:
"Grambling and OSU both have great bands. Our band director was defending his students. Both bands worked extremely hard to entertain our fans, and we regret that this has distracted from the student performers."
All this Cowboy controversy reminds CFN's intern Bucky about this one time ... at band camp. Oh, never mind ...