Show Me My Opponent: Alabama State

Located in lovely Montgomery, Alabama is Alabama State University. There probably isn’t much you know about it if you know about it. It’s an HBCU most famous either for being the place 2 Chainz played basketball at, or maybe it’s Tarvaris Jackson, or, hopefully, Ralph David Abernathy. Maybe you know them because of the famed Magic City Classic. You probably don’t know about the basketball team; that’s not a surprise, considering they haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2011.

As part of my duties here, I am supposed to educate you about the basketball team a college has. However, I like advertising other stuff, too. In this instance, I find it much more important to tell you about the MIGHTY MARCHING HORNETS.

Alabama State’s marching band is one of the most beloved, well-respected, and flat-out wonderful bands you will find in this world. They are full of swagger, relentless play, and I’ve spent hours watching their walk-ins on YouTube. You know of the Human Jukebox, the Sonic Boom of the South, the Ocean of Soul, obviously. But you must know about the Mighty Marching Hornets.

Alabama State’s marching band has performed in the Rose Parade, a 2 Chainz music video, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, several NFL games, and they go to the Battle of the Bands – a real thing that sounds absolutely incredible – every year. Their danceline, called the Honey Beez, was asked to perform on America’s Got Talent. It is, uh, a slightly different experience than the Pride of the Southland Band, no disrespect intended.

The Fifth Quarter isn’t something that makes much of an appearance in high-major athletics, but it’s everything to these band members. After football games, Alabama State and their opponent march out, attempting to one-up each other with what they perform. Buddy, is it ever good stuff.

Will the Mighty Marching Hornets be on display in Knoxville tonight? Unfortunately, no; the band only performs for SWAC home games. The Alabama State Hornets, a basketball team that’s less explosive, sure will, though. They are coached by Lewis Jackson, they’ve made the NCAA Tournament four times, and they scheduled like crazy this year. Prior to Tennessee, they’ve played Gonzaga (lost by 31) and Houston (28); after, they’ll play VCU, Kansas State, Oregon, and several others. They won’t play a home game in the 2019-20 season until January 11, 2020. Tennessee simply happens to be another march, in and out, like it will be most nights.

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NEXT PAGE: Unfortunately, not about marching bands

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