The Big Game

by John Riggio

It's time for football! As you know, January is Super Bowl month, so we thought we'd invite you to take a spin to the Avocado Bowl for the thrilling championship game between the Milwaukee Mugwumps and the Nome Frostbites! You'll probably see a lot more of the game than our hero does in this humorous rock piece for your youngsters. Each quarter of the game is met with disaster as anything and everything keeps him from sitting down to enjoy the championship! (Although you could use the song for just about any football game, from homecoming to "the big game" with your school's own rival team.)

If you've picked up the P/A cassette/CD, you'll hear neat sound effects, crowd cheers and the voice of our ever present announcer giving you the play by play - and everything you just missed!

The effects and commentary are as follows:

During the intro, with cheers behind:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen! We're here at the Avocado Bowl for the championship game between the Nome Frostbites and the Milwaukee Mugwumps. This promises to be an exiting day of football!

During the 4 bars at measure 14 the first time the effects are football players "in action."

During the 4 bars at measure 14 the second time, the announcer bellows:

Unbelievable! A 98 yard kickoff return for the touchdown by number 42! Too bad our instant replay machines aren't working today!

During the 4 bars at measure 14 the third time, as our protagonist is out fetching his dog, Ray, we hear:

Incredible! Number 83 for the Frostbites just broke the all time rushing record! If you only see one play this year, that's the one you wanted to see!

During the 4 bars at measure 14 the fourth time, and just as the fourth quarter is getting tense, the extremely excited announcer tries to say:

He's to the 20...the 15... the 10! He's going all the way! (He is cut off by a lightning strike and the TV goes to static.)

At the very end, after the singers whine in unison and the last punch is played in the music, the "white noise" of the static on the TV (which is genuine, by the way) comes back in full force for the final insult.

Please note that the left hand part in the music is intended to be played on bass guitar, or at least sequenced on a synthesizer. This may be rather unwieldy to play in conjunction with the right hand (unless you're incredibly ambidextrous). If you prefer to play this yourself, you may want to enlist the aid of one of the above. In the studio recording, the left hand piano part was ad libbed in accordance with the appropriate chord symbols. So you have a choice as to how to perform this.

If you wanted to "dramatize" this piece, you might try recreating the storyline. For example, you might bring in a simple living room setup consisting of a chair, an end table, a lamp, a phone, and an old television (or a mock one made out of a cardboard box). You could introduce the main character trying to watch the game, perhaps wearing a football jersey to show his or her support. Have him be interrupted each quarter of the game as in the song, having the rest of your class act as a "chorus" off to the side.

In measures 20 and 21, there are four spoken solo lines for your students where they can assume the roles of 1) the mother who wants her child to clean his room, and 2) the friend who wants our hero to go get his dog. The 3rd and 4th solo lines are spoken by our hapless fan, who has regrettably run out of snacks, and who bemoans the loss of television reception during a crucial play in the 4th quarter. This has the potential to be hilarious, and your students should have fun singing it. Please note that the rhythms indicated on the music for the spoken lines are not necessarily meant to be used exactly. Listen to the P/A recording for a sample of how they can be performed casually, but within the time allotted for them.

By the way, not that any self-respecting football fan doesn't already know this, Super Bowl XXXI is (or was, depending on when you read this) Sunday, January 26, 1997, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

(Special thanks to Paul, Teresa and Mike for adding their creativity to the announcer's commentary...)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.