Before their late-night matchup last Saturday, Arizona and Grambling State were two schools few would expect to have a historical relationship. Saturday was the first time the two met on the gridiron, but the schools shared a bond through instruments long before the two played football.
Let’s rewind the clocks all the way back to the first Super Bowl in 1967 when Vince Lombardi led the Green Bay Packers to their first title and both the Pride of Arizona and the Grambling State marching band joined forces to perform the halftime show.
Despite hailing all the way from Louisiana, Grambling State band director Dr. Larry Pannell is “very familiar with the city” and Arizona will always be “at the hip” in terms of familiarity, but banding back together with the Pride of Arizona after going decades without collaboration is a unique story itself.
“The most beautiful thing about it other than the city laying out the red carpet for us, is to have the great opportunity to reunite with the Arizona band 50 years later,” Pannell said. “We were in the first Super Bowl together and we were dealing with the Civil Rights Movement there and both of these bands were supposed to bring civil rest to this country.
“Now here 50 years later, we still have some problems going on and these two bands are back together again you know so it just fitted that if we had to be with a band this time, it had to be Arizona,” Pannell said.
Both bands performed the national anthem together and then the World Famed Tiger Marching Band took center stage for the halftime show and didn’t disappoint. From the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” to the Ghostown DJs “My Boo”, Grambling State left their mark in the Old Pueblo.
When’s the last you’ve seen a marching band do the running man?
Once the halftime show was over with, the Grambling State marching band received a standing ovation from 45,000 fans at Arizona Stadium. The Tigers trip to the southwest was short, but Pannell and the Grambling State band will always call Tucson home.
Source: Campus Rush