Insanely insane Pride Fiesta Bowl Online Coverage!

It’s quite likely that even once you see this, you won’t believe it:

It takes seven buses and a tractor-trailer rig to haul the 300-member Pride of Oklahoma marching band halfway across the United States. Is it a long, grueling bus ride? Or, a giant slumber party on wheels?

Three hundred college students equals how many iPods, ringtones, laptops, PSPs, DVDs and MP3s?

How many dead cell phone batteries constitute a crisis?

Inquiring minds and News9.com’s INsite Team wanted to know. So, we asked OU band members to chronicle their daily adventures in this blog.

“This blog” features KWTV’s “iNSite” crew that’s traveling with the band, posting video reports, feature articles, and providing blogs of the trip from six members of The Pride: drum major Chauvin Aaron, pit performer Caitee Boxeur, trombone player Michael Harp, mellophone player Jensen Mecca, trombone player Jason Marshall, and trumpet player Margaret Perry.

There’s also video from Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl Parade, a history of the Pride, and much more. This is, as one alum put it, awesome. No RSS feeds, so be sure to go read it all.

This is part of the launch of “news9.com”, as KWTV ends its partnership with The Oklahoman in the “newsok.com” Web site. It’s brand new, so you have to expect a few things to be messed up. In particular, being TV stations and absolutely obsessed with things like advertising and copy protection, they’re using Windows Media for video (ironic, since the entire OU School of Music, much less the band department, as well as this Web site are all Mac-based and have been for pretty much the entire time).

Because of that, Mac users actually have to download Windows Media Player for Mac. The “news9.com” site does not support the more common Flip4Mac Windows Media plug-ins, even though for well over a year, Flip4Mac has been Microsoft’s recommended Mac software for viewing Windows Media. The player you have to download has not been updated in over four years, but KWTV can’t figure out how to make you sit through the commercials using Flip4Mac, so you have to use the older player if it’s supported on your system (it’s not universal; it will run on Intel-based Macs, but it’s slow). It obviously will not work on iPhone.

I’m not sure why they haven’t figured out how to do this, since every other video news site on the planet seems to have it, but there ya go. The non-video parts don’t require any special software, so you can read all the reports and the blogs from The Pride members right now. Here’s hoping KWTV gets a better clue about online video so we can all see it more easily soon, but either way – YAY! Thanks, channel 9!

2008 Fiesta Bowl details

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, when our beloved Sooners take on the Big East champion #9-ranked Mountaineers of West Virginia in a nationally-televised football showdown on the FOX network. The Fiesta Bowl is the new Orange Bowl, for those who were members during the days of the Big 8 Conference—the bowl that the conference champion always attends unless playing for the national championship—so the Sooners attend by virtue of being repeat Big 12 Conference champions!

For those who went last year, you’ll find a similar schedule, with the Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade being one day earlier so it doesn’t fall on Sunday. The men and women of the 2008 Pride of Oklahoma are thought of so well that the bowl and the university took extra care to make sure they’d be in Phoenix a day earlier than planned just so they could participate in the parade! (Sadly, the longer distance for their compatriots in The Pride of West Virginia Mountaineer Marching Band can’t make the trip that fast, but will certainly be showing Mountaineer spirit during the block party and the actual Fiesta Bowl! If you have a chance, be sure to stop by the West Virginia University Alumni Band site and say “hi!”)

We have updated our Events calendar with all of The Pride of Oklahoma‘s public rehearsals and performances during the bowl trip. If you subscribe to the calendar in iCal (Mac OS X) or Windows Vista Calendar, you’ll automatically get everything, including URLs with maps and other information. A few notes for those planning on making the festive trip:

  • Our calendar contains time zone information. For example, the game kicks off at 7:00 PM CST, 6:00 PM MST, 8:00 PM EST, etc. If you subscribe to the calendar and view it in iCal or Windows Vista or another similar program, it should display times in your computer’s current time zone. If you go to Phoenix, change your time zone to Mountain Standard Time when you get there and all the times should update to match local time.

  • If you’re reading the online version, note that by default, all times are displayed in US Central time. We’ve hacked in a new version of the calendar software that supports time zones, so if you want to read the page from the bowl site, scroll down to the ‘preferences’ link and set your time zone to something appropriate (like “America/Phoenix”). If you get errors on setting preferences, delete all cookies in your browser from “static.oubandalumni.org”. The only cookies from that domain should be your online calendar preferences. (The cookies from “oubandalumni.org”, though, include your login session, so if you delete those, you’ll have to log back into the site next time.)

  • The Fiesta Bowl Committee runs two bowls: the Fiesta Bowl and the Insight Bowl (formerly the Insight.com Bowl, formerly the Copper Bowl). This year’s Insight Bowl is on December 31 in the Phoenix area, and features Indiana playing (wait for it) Oklahoma State. In other words, there will be lots of Oklahomans in orange floating around during the days before the Fiesta Bowl, so don’t be surprised to see them.

  • The Pride‘s planned halftime show ends with a certain number that has, in the past, featured a certain dance. All plans subject to change, your mileage may vary, void where prohibited.

The Fiesta Bowl is a great experience and a fantastic bowl trip to the Valley of the Sun during a time that, as we’ve seen this week, can be a bit frozen around these parts. They’re excited to welcome back the Sooners and The Pride of Oklahoma, and we hope all alumni who can make the trip can support the bands in the various parades, performances, and spirit events. And as alumni, feel free to drop by rehearsal and say “hi” if you want, but don’t try to vote for next year’s drum major. Let’s not get into recounts and hanging chads and the like, thanks! :-):

So BOOMER SOONER and we hope to see you at the Fiesta Bowl! GO SOONERS!