September 03, 2008

Phantom Phan!

Back in 1976, when I was just a young duckling, my family moved from Chicago to Duckford.  On July 4th of that year, Momzerduck and I went downtown for the parade, and that is when I was first exposed to the wonder that is drum & bugle corps.

More specifically, I heard and saw a corps known as the Phantom Regiment, which is based in Duckford.  In fact, their offices are just down the hall from the Duck U Bookstore these days.  I've usually managed to catch their full show at least once every year since then, and with them on campus during the summer, a bunch of their practices to boot.  I never got the chance to see this year's program, "Spartacus", though. 

That's a damned shame for a couple of reasons.  First, it broke my personal string of 32 years of seeing them.  Second, they were picked to be one of the teams in this year's Drum Corps International.  See, DCI is the SuperBowl of Corps competition; you take the top 10 "World Class"-level corps, and in the course of one night, all ten do their routines while judges grade their performances.  It's the Big One... and while the Regiment has tied for first once, they've never won it flat-out.  They've come in second and third a number of times, and they are probably the single most popular corps, but they've always fallen just slightly short of winning.  These days, there's almost a feeling that they'd never win one... not that they're not good enough, but, just like a batting champion getting close calls from an umpire, teams like the Santa Clara Vanguard or the Blue Devils of Concord, CA might get a break here or there... because they've won before, and the Regiment hasn't.  Now, I'm not knocking those other teams, don't get me wrong.  The Blue Devils have won 12 DCI championships, the Vanguard six.  You don't do that by being lucky.  But bigger fans of DCI than myself have said that the Regiment has deserved to win more than a few times, but haven't for one reason or another.

So this year looked like maybe more of the same.  A great program of classical music and the Regiment's usual precise staging, a killer performance, and a solid third place.  But then... something special happened:




Banner courtesy of regiment.org
I already have my championship T-Shirts, and I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the DVDs... congratulations, Phantom Regiment, and thank you for all those years of entertainment!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:34 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 Two one-hundredths of a point, they squeaked in by? Yow!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 03, 2008 10:38 PM (+rSRq)

2 98.125 vs 98.100, yep.  I don't know the scoring system all that well, but I'm pretty sure .025 is the smallest fraction possible in DCI.

That they beat the Blue Devils (the New York Yankees of Drum & Bugle Corps) makes it all the better.

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 03, 2008 11:48 PM (AW3EJ)

3 OT: I bet you're behind this.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 04, 2008 10:20 PM (+rSRq)

4 You're learning, Steven... you're learning.

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 04, 2008 10:35 PM (AW3EJ)

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