To the beat of a different drum


Twenty-five thousand Rattler fans roar in Bragg Memorial Stadium. It is Homecoming. The student body of Florida A&M today, and the alumni of FAMU yesterday cheer their team. There are 10 minutes left in the first half of the game and Rattler fans will soon be taken on a musical journey known as halftime.

Rattlers, old and young, push their way through long concession lines, not to watch the star football player score a touchdown, but the Marching “100” storm across the field.

With intense energy, an announcer shouts the arrival of halftime, but the crowd does not respond because there is no sight of the Marching “100.”

This Rattler nation will face this dis0appointing scenario on Saturday.  Watching a FAMU football game can be nerve-wracking when there are random thoughts of the Marching “100” making an appearance.

Homecoming without the band is going to be strange. Alumni and students know what awaits them this homecoming, but no one can predict if they will be satisfied.

Homecoming transforms FAMU into a place of worship, and current and former students become true believers in their institution. Rattlers praise, dance, and celebrate their university with full faith, but there is one thing missing from a week that honors FAMU this year – the Marching “100.”

What organization represents the rich tradition of FAMU better?

Graduates of FAMU remember the first moment they heard the Marching “100.” That moment brings alumni back every year during homecoming for a taste of the life they once lived.

The sound of the Marching “100” is nostalgic to graduates. It brings back warm memories of their college experience. The absence of the band this homecoming could possibly disconnect an older generation of Rattlers from celebrating the university they have grown to love.

A huge part of FAMU’s pride and tradition is missing, but this does not mean that our purpose of uniting to celebrate FAMU is lost. This university, with time, has become more refined and is at 125 years of success.

That success should be enough for all Rattlers to collectively come together and celebrate the tradition they have.

The Marching “100” will not physically be present during this year’s homecoming, but the magnitude of this organization can never be forgotten. This year, the Marching “100” will continue its legacy as it is kept in the memory of all Rattlers, and its significance will be reaffirmed as it is greatly missed.