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Best Damn Band in the Land
“We’ve always had the best damn band in the land; now we’ve got the best damn team in the land!” Jim Tressel after Ohio State won the 2002 national championship
To say Ohio State has a fine marching band is like declaring the Queen of England has nice jewelry. There are marching bands, and then there is the Best Damn Band in the Land. Fans can hear the band at the Skull Session in St. John Arena before every home game and then follow it across the street as “The Pride of the Buckeyes” makes it dramatic entrance from the north end of the stadium. With the drummers doing a cadence of 180 beats per second, the 192 members file in 2 by 2 and the band strikes up the “Buckeye Battle Cry.” It’s a moment of incredible energy and one not to be missed. During the game you’re certain to hear the band’s signature tune, “Hang on Sloopy,” and at halftime of some, but not all, games there is the incomparable Script Ohio.
Started in 1878 as a 12-piece military band, the current group is all-brass, which fans will tell you gives it its crisp, incomparable sound. Just as fans expect to see the best 22 players on the field every Saturday, it’s the same with the band: 33 alternates challenge the starting-192 each week for a chance to march into Ohio Stadium. Any OSU student can try out for the band, and those 225 members receive class credit. They’ll have to work for it: just like the players, band members go through "Summer Sessions" to get ready for the season. Now you know how they earned that nickname.