December 14, 2011 — EVANSTON, ILL. — "Spread far the fame of our fair name! Go, Northwestern, win that game!" sang Nick Arcos, a mellophonist from the Northwestern University "Wildcat" Marching Band, as he appeared on KHOU-TV's Great Day Houston program Tuesday. The purple-clad Northwestern fans in the television audience burst into applause and cheers.
Arcos represented his alma mater while competing against one, then two, contestants from Texas A&M University in a challenge to see which school's fans could better sing their school's fight song.
Host Deborah Duncan first introduced Bill, an Aggie fan, who could not find the words as a recording of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band played.
"Any Aggie fans in the audience here? Come on down and help Bill out!" cheered Duncan. Soon, another fan joined Bill, and together they sang "The Aggie War Hymn" as A&M fans clapped along in tempo.
Then, Arcos was introduced, even wearing his Wildcat Band t-shirt, which read "NUMB 1911-2011."
"All right Nick, here comes your music cue, and you sing that fight song," Duncan said. After several seconds waiting for a recording of NUMB to begin, a surprised Duncan said, "Oh! It's locked up!" The music would not play.
Arcos squelched a nervous grin.
"Do you think you might be able to do that a capella?" asked Duncan.
"Sure!" said Arcos , who, like all members of the Wildcat Band, had learned the lyrics to both of Northwestern's fight songs and the University Hymn.
And so, Arcos succesfully sang "Go U, Northwestern!" without the benefit of accompaniment, as Wildcat fans cheered him on. The audience chuckled at the "U, Rah, Rah!" fist pumps, but celebrated Arcos 's good nature.
Each of the contestants won four tickets to the Meineke Car Car Bowl of Texas, and they shook hands in a show of inter-school sportsmanship.
Duncan also interviewed Heather Houston from Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, one of the organizations which presents the Meineke Bowl.
"This is our sixth year to do this bowl game," Houston said, "The community has really embraced it."
One community organization which provides foster care and health services for kids, DePelchin Children's Center, is the game's charity partner. "When the teams come into town, they actually come and visit the kids," Houston said.
The teams "come with their cheerleaders, their bands, and their mascots," she said. "It's such a nice day...the kids get a lot out of it."
As for the game, there are "still tickets available, though right at 60,000 seats sold right now, I encourage people to hurry it up."
Northwestern fans are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets online through the Northwestern Ticket Office. Tickets also may be bought by calling the NU Athletics ticket office at 1-888-GO-PURPLE (467-8775). NUMBALUMS should request seating in sections 115 or 116 near the north end zone, and mention that they would like to be seated with the NUMBALUMS block near the band.
—Daniel M. Reck (GSESP08)
Good Day Houston images and video from KHOU-TV, Inc.