videopic.jpgHere is video commentary on the annual State Fair Classic held every at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. It’s an event that is supposed to be a football game between Grambling and Prairie View; instead, it’s nothing more than a circus sideshow. Take a few minutes to hear about some of the acts.


  1. On internet access…

    Have you thought about purchasing broadband?

    I would think that this would give you internet access at all of the classic games(they are in larger cities).

    Shouldn’t the the TSPN sports webmaster have this technology? Why should you rely on this being supplied in a pressbox?

  2. Yes Jackie, I have a wireless laptop card (as a backup) when WiFi access is not available. For some reason the AT&T network was jammed and those with cell phones on the AT&T network were not able to make outbound calls or received them. My argument is that the promoter ignored the request for WiFi access even after the request was made to have it available.

  3. That is so true about AT&T and not being able to receive nor make calls in a crowded arena.

    In an area where numerous people are on the same network or pulling from the same tower can pose problems.

    I tell my family if they need me, to just leave a voicemail, because the phone will not ring.

  4. Your commentary is on point. Even though I was not at the game you are preaching about the exact sentiments I have notice about HBCU football over the last decade. I have been to quite a few games that seems that it was invested more in the spectacle that the business aspect( spent on planes instead of internet).
    Example: I went to film a game at Morris Brown a few years ago(this was when the new stadium was given to them from the ’96 Olympics and there was not a decent place to film , no place for TV crews to setup . As a business person, I was very disappointed and mad that this took place. I am sure the powers behind this or any classic will not like the comments you made or anyone who agree with you but if the powers wants the game or events to be take serious like a business and get top corporate sponsors some changes must be considered. In close, I am a African-American, who loves HBCU football and will continue to support it. Thank you for your voice on this matter and hope to see you down the road.

  5. I thought I was the only one, who thought this was a circus. I feel you on every point, hopefully next year it will be better, cause after all it is about the game.

  6. Charlie hit it on the head as it relates to the business aspect, I want to address something more personal to the schools. There seems a disconnect between the football team and thier schools marching band. Everytime I go to a HBCU football game, I notice that one band will be playing while thier offense is on the field only to have players and coaches have to locate the band director and ask them to not play. Then on the next drive, they have to ask for silence again. Thanks for your commentary Kenn.

  7. Good points Kenn… During the game, you and I both discussed how the officials failed to do their job in controlling the bands from playing during live action. I noticed Brandon Landers on several occassions attempt to request that the official stop the band from playing. He was ignored. Grambling’s band was just as guilty of the same infraction…they played while PV’s team was attempting to call signals. At least though, PV’s band had the good sense NOT to play while their team had the ball. Grambling played regardless.

    Let me get back to the officials… If I was either coach, I would have been highly pissed with how the officials failed to promptly notify the teams that a television timeout was taking place. On numerous occassions, the teams broke the huddle and showed their offensive formation before being told that the “tv timeout person” was standing on the field. One might say that the players should have noticed that fact. However that is not the players job and is outside of the norm. They have to be concerned with getting out of the huddle and getting the play ran within the confines of the 25 second play clock. Where this would have bothered me as a coach is that offensively, I have shown my formation and personnel grouping to the defense for too long of period. It takes away one of the advantages that an offense has…formation, alignment and personnel groupings.

    Bottomline: Kudos to Kenn for voicing these concerns. We really need to get the focus back on the game and away from the sideshows.

  8. I missed the game this year for the first time in years, but I did listen to the broadcast and noticed that the bands were being allowed to play alot.

    As a former member of the WF band I must say that it is a good feeling to be able to play doing the game because this was one that we usually did not or could not stay long after the game and battle. However when I played in the band and we were playing doing a play we would atleast bring the volume down as low as we could until after the ball was snapped to show some form of courtesy. I do agree with Kenn, this falls directly on the band director because we did nothing unless we were told to do so. I don’t think that the bands should just be silenced because it does add to the atmosphere of the game (see AA@M game), but I think that the bands need to come up with things that support the team while play is going on and not just playing a pop song during play.

    An example of what I’m refering to is like at LaTech when they get a first down, the band plays a “quick” number and the crowd participates with the band by chanting “move the chains” or I’ve heard LSU band do something similar when their team makes a first down or the defense comes up with a big stop.This is what’s called complementing your team. Do not get me wrong, we can stil play “Neck” and things like that at the beginning of the game to get the team hype but let’s show that we also know what’s going on doing the game. Actually I noticed doing the Bayou Classic su plays their fight song after first downs and big plays, atleast showing their paying attention. We use to do the defense chant all the time but now I hardly ever here it or by the time the drum section begins playing it we have the ball back or the other team has scored. I get upset now with our band because we could be in the red zone on 1st down and score on 3rd down and the band still is not ready sometimes to play TigerRag after the TD.We also miss out on oppurtunities to play doing timeouts because the directors are not paying attention to the fact that the team is huddled up on the sideline and the coaches are halfway on the field, until it is to late and they only get to play about 3 bars of a song. If you go to the game this weekend (HS Day) you will notice this. Something that needs to be addressed.

    And Kenn as far as the circus atmosphere, sadly I only see it getting worst next year, especially now that the crowds may grow do to the game being more competitive. The promoter may lose his mind!

  9. Kenn I applaud your commentary! The Chicago Classic was a monkey show too!!!!! The play-by-play was done by a popular morning show deejay team. They were ridiculous and irritating. The mocked both teams whenever a mistake was made. Several times they discussed how they play games on their Playstations. They even talked directly to the cheerleaders and dancing dolls, telling them how fine they were and to “holla”. Everyone was screaming at them to STFU! It was buffoonery at its best.

    I could only hope that this was the first time AND LAST time they chose them to do the announcing.

  10. I have been thinking about this for a long time. I am a graduate from Grambling. I am very disappointed with black college football. I can not stand the lack of professionalism at the games. I have to feel sorry for them because of the lack of support they get from the fans.

    OU vs. TX game….there will be way over 80k on hand for that game. More money more support….I am sorry that HBCUs are not at level. Not to make excuses be a show sells tickets. GSU vs. PV has not been an entertaining game for a long time. The Evening NEWS broadcasted that the bands are the feature of the event and game is the supporting story. Sad but true. I wish the presidents of these schools would take ownership. The Bayou Classic is a game that is a good example of what I dislike about HBCUs football…..side shows from hell…but televised….

    Regretfully, internet support is not part of the entertainment and does not sell tickets.

  11. Lmao!!!

    I think it is a circus also. I love the Fair. I love the food also.

    I hate those Radio personality dude during PA for real.

    Kenn, You making STC proud!!!!

  12. Kenn,

    You must have been bored. Considering the fact that HBCU fans sit in the stands like bumps on a log, we need to bands to do something. PWC’s don’t need the band because their fans are louder than the band. We need to stop downing our product. We are NOT PWC’s. I went to a PWC game this weekend and we clapped and gave high fives….how nice (where is that rolleyes smiley when you need it)

    For the other stuff…yeah, you were real bored. Your only legit gripe is about the internet access. That was sad.

  13. I agree wholeheartedly Kenn!!!

    I did not witness the game but your comments paint a real sad picture of this event.

    IMO, these “side show” games are the main reason HBCU football receives a bad rap today. Too much emphasis is placed on events that are totally irrelevant as far as the game is concerned.

    Hopefully, there will come a day when more fans demand more from the promoters of these events.

  14. For the years that I have attended the Bayou Classic, I have seen none of the antics that were described here. Southern and Grambling bands respect the game, take their time at halftime, and get back to their main focus, supporting the team. The BC doesn’t have people coming on the field, other than State Farm as the sponsor, and they do it at the beginning of the game.
    I have never understood what makes people think they can play over HBCU games. However, it is a part of a disgusting cycle. Alumni don’t help their schools, schools need money for athletics, the football and basketball teams are “pimped” in money games, and we, the alums, complain about why things aren’t being done and why our games are in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Atlanta instead of Lorman, Tallahassee, and Montgomery. Start filling the Cramton Bowl, Mumford Stadium, Bragg Stadium, and Veterans Memorial and the stupidity of promoters and sideshows will go away.

  15. Kenn,

    Agree with you on the internet access. The promoter could have left Kelly Price. Parchute jump over was a nice touch. Give him that. A lot the kids and trivial fans thought is was great.

    Concerning the bands. The third quarter from football point of view was boing. About 25,000 walked out of the stadium after the halftime. The game was still 7-0 at the time. This tell me most people did not care about the game but the spectacle. I agree the bands may play too much but they need to play some. Maybe each band gets two songs a quarter.

    However, it can be improved. I am surprised you did not mention the Nation of Islam providing aisle security everywhere.


  16. I learned early on about the priorities of the promoters when I went to my first Atlanta Classic and found the the media had been kicked out of the press room so the 100 Brothers could turn the press box into a party room.

    All the media were escorted to radio booths while folk used the Georgia Dome press box as one big luxury suite.

    Then they complain about the lack of coverage.

    Oh well!

  17. YES SIRRRRRR!!!!!

    GOOD JOB KENN!!!! EVERYTHING you stated was on point! That sorry kelly price oogling the Negro Nat’l Anthem for well into 27 minutes had me about ready to take the field and slap her silly!

    All of those “fly-bys?” Man… C’mon now. EVERYBODY wants PART of the SFC, appears like. The local police dept’s helicopter unit? lol C’mon now. I can TRULY understand a fly-by (waaaaaay up top though because it looked like that one fighter jet was about to hit that radio tower/stadium on the one end lol) w/ missing-man formation as a SOLID tribute to Coach Rob followed by a traditional parachute jump w/ gameball. That’s cool.

    That SILLY mess w/ ghetto 97.9 and 104.5 has to cease! If we need to move the games BACK to our respective campuses, lets get’er done! I’m for it! If not that, maybe WILL BECOME the “OFFICIAL” promoter and one of the sponsors of the SFC. ::read::

  18. ^^TSPN becoming the official sponsor. LOL Crazy man.

    A sista can’t even get you to buy her a Snicker bar without you breaking camp… LOL πŸ˜‰

  19. Good point and well taken. This has been an ongoing problem with HBCU games for sometimes and I am glad that you took the time to point out many of the problems that exist.

    PS, do you have another shirt you can wear my brother!

    You know who this is! Much Love.

  20. I can agree with everything, EXCEPT the internet access… Actually that is something that is the responsibility of each individual media member’s organization… Do some of us provide it, yes, but it is something that most of us don’t provide… Even the larger pwc schools… Happens to us all the time… It is something that has to be arranged (payed for)… Try going to the NCAA’s or some of these other tourney’s… You are paying for everything from phone lines to internet access…

    And yes, the Chicago Football Classic was a mockery… But Kenn, you did make some very valid points on HBCU football…

  21. Rrraa, Sheila, me purchasing a snicker bar has nothing to do w/ the animal act last Saturday night @ the cotton bowl, dear. πŸ˜‰

    Kenn, you were RIGHT on point! I actually feel like those radio personalities @ k104 and 97.9 feel like the whole affair is a “joke” of sorts. I ALWAYS make it a point to inform and re-educate the masses that they are DEALING with EDUCATED people of color. Not ghetto dummies.

  22. TSPN would need a truckload of ‘donations’ for it to be considered the ‘OFFICIAL’ promotor, dear….:rolleyes: πŸ™‚

    Donations send help!

    With that being said, this video should be sent to all HBCU’s, especially those that host Classics. Let it be about the game! Everything else is secondary!

    Keep your old Snicker bar. Now back off! πŸ˜‰

  23. Kenn,
    As a Grambling grad who traveled with the band, who is married to a Grambling grad; whereas both of our parents are Grambling grads and we both have aunts and uncles and cousins who are Grambling grads (yes, we bleed Black and Gold); and as such have been attending HBCU games since before any other HBCUs teams other than Grambling were even on the map; and as someone who was actually in attendance at the game in Dallas and doesn’t miss too many home games at Grambling, I feel highly qualified and substantially driven to tell you that you are wrong on a couple of points.

    You ARE right about the whole Big Top feel of Classic games. Having attended the Bayou Classic pre-State Farm and pre-NBC, I can safely say the homey feel and original small Black college mystique is absent during the Classics. You will only get the quiet bands during plays, the fun in the stands, and commercial-free activity if you go to the piney woods and peach orchards of the tiny town of Grambling for a home game in Robinson Stadium.

    You are wrong, however, in saying that the bands are NOT the show and are alotted their spotlight only during halftime and they should stick to it. Poppycock. The bands are as much a part of the game as the featured teams, if not even moreso. If the bands don’t show up, the stadiums will be near empty and we won’t even have a classic to attend– note the way concession sales are DOWN during halftime, which is the complete opposite of “other people’s” games; note the way a crowd would run right past the football team and ask band and dance team members for autographs when we traveled. Grambling band members and alumni band members, holla and let him know what I’m talking about.

    One of the problems at the Classics is the Godforsaken Jumbotron and other commercial and moneymaking activities that help pay for these classics competing with the bands when the teams have a break in play. That has traditionally been the BAND’s time to strut their stuff. Whenever there was a time out, a drumline or the horn section or the entire band would jam and the crowd would dance and chant a traditional and long-standing cheer, and then we’d all shut up when the ball was back in play. The bands don’t have that time now at the Classics and they steal it whenever possible– sometimes during play. It keeps the crowds coming to the game.

    Anonymous has already mentioned that the press is to provide and pay for their own technology needs, and as an active alumnus who has participated with organizing classic games, I can back up his statements. The promoter has nothing to do with that. The question lies in how much the media wants to spend to give and receive info during the game.

    The fans and the schools get cheated during these Classic games. We don’t benefit enough from the amount of revenue we attract, and we don’t get to enjoy the games the way they should be enjoyed. Just give me my game against Prairie View on the yard or the True Classic with Southern at the dome and I will be satisfied.

    P.S. Prairie View, welcome back to the fold, we hope to see you win more– it keeps the SWAC fun. Now if we could only get Tennessee State back.

  24. I agree with your comments also. I know I will get jumped on for this. But I also think the referees were second rate, because it should have been 0-0 at the half. Them giving Grambling time back on the clock when time CLEARLY ran out on them without any timeouts was really bogus. Even if PV did call timeout, if they didn’t see it, why give the opposing team time back on the clock when they wouldn’t have been able to get the play off anyway. That would not have happened at the Texas-OU game. Boo for the referees as well as the other things you talked about. The fans that left really missed a good game, it’s a shame more real football fans weren’t there.


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