As you likely know, there was a weather delay during Maryland football's meeting with Texas at FedEx Field on Saturday.
Like plenty of students who were there, I waited it out and eventually returned to my seat when the weather improved. However, unlike many of the students in Landover on Saturday, I was there as an alto saxophonist in the school's marching band, the Mighty Sound of Maryland.
Here's what the experience was like.
It was organized chaos to get out of our section with our instruments, equipment and jackets, which we'd taken off before the second half began. We hung out on the auxiliary ramps bordering the outside of the stadium. There were two levels of ramps; most of the saxophones parked on the upper level, but me and a few other saxes went down to the lower ramp, where I laid down on the pristine concrete for 15 minutes.
The trumpets commandeered two golf carts, which had been dubbed "FanDuel Fanwagons." The ones at the wheel kept beeping their horns, with the other trumpets clapping and cheering whenever the horn sounded. It was pretty funny, and very characteristic of the trumpet section.
Someone made a paper airplane. I don't know where they found dry paper, but they did. The airplane got tossed to a ramp above us, but it didn't quite make it. It just sat there on the lower ramp, very sadly getting soaked. Poor airplane.
Once the rain came, no one was safe from it. If you haven't been to FedEx Field before, they never really figured out how to properly prepare the stadium for rain, and there was a lot of leakage. Great work, Dan Snyder.
Someone wanted to figure out how long the delay would have to last for the game to be cancelled, so I went on Google and found the exact NCAA rules on the matter. There were several different scenarios that the rules accounted for, and it was much more confusing than it should've been. I personally think rock, paper, scissors would've been the best way to solve the problem.
The rain was coming in like a waterfall. We went into survival mode to get all the instruments and uniforms out of the rain. People tried to block the stream of water coming down the ramp with their feet, to no avail.
As we continued to both wait and try to stay dry, the saxes above were racing paper boats (I still don't know how they got the paper to do it). Elsewhere, the feathers in our caps, known as plumes, were being raced in the river of water that was forming on the upper ramp.
The Maryland band staff decided to have the travel band play for fans inside the concourse, which was cool to see (after the fact on social media; I was napping at the time). Apparently, we got into a battle with Texas' band, and like the football team, we won.
Everything I've described above happened in about an hour or so while we waited for the game to restart. But it felt like it had been several hours, because we were hot and thirsty.
Still, it was weird and fun at the same time. You don't often get to experience stuff like that and still have nearly a full quarter of football left.
In conclusion, we are a fun, crazy, weird bunch of people and I'm still in disbelief from Saturday. If Maryland goes 1-11, the season would still be a success.