Approximate Level Of Fame

Being in the colorguard in the marching band at a Division I university means that there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be on national television at some point in your college career. It’s not like you might think, though. No one wants to interview you or anything, and you don’t play an instrument so you’ll never be in the “school spirit – band playing” bumpers, and if you’re in the colorguard, they won’t want to film you screeching and jumping up and down because, hello, there are cheerleaders and dance team members right over there, and those girls generally wear less clothing and more makeup than guard girls do. So you can forget about being on national TV in a way that your friends back home will notice.

No, instead, some random part of your body will be on national television, and it’ll be onscreen so very briefly that you’ll have to have a pretty intimate knowledge of the shape of your own body to know for sure that the side of an ass you just saw on TV was, in fact, the side of your ass.

We performed in white gloves, and we used to tuck the gloves into the front waistband of our uniform pants when we weren’t performing. So, at one game, there was a lengthy waist-down shot of me and two friends standing on the sidelines, and we identified ourselves by the size of our hips and the gloves in our waistbands.

There’s nothing quite so fun as watching your hips fill 1/3 of the screen on a 52-inch front projection television over and over again while your mom tells everyone, “That’s my daughter right there! On ESPN! That’s her ass!” and then they rewind and replay it. Because your parents taped every single televised Northwestern game in your four years of college on the off chance that this very thing would happen.

One time my mom called me at school and swore she’d seen my hair on ABC. I was like, “Why do you think it’s my hair? How can you tell?” and she explained that it was the right length, and it was blowing around in the wind all puffy and frizzy and she was sure that no one in the entire colorguard had hair as puffy and frizzy as her daughter’s. And she was right. It was my hair.

Pretty much every one of my 2,000 parts has been on national television at some point, but only for a moment, and never along with the other 1,999 of my parts. And, for the most part, if you didn’t deliver me from your own body, you’d never in a million years know it was me. So, yeah. I’ve been on national TV. In pieces.

Okay, so think about all the college football games that are televised every week, and how long they last (usually three hours or more, all told). And think about the thousands and thousands of people who attend those games, or who participate in some capacity. Think about all the random crowd shots you’ll see in the course of a single Saturday of college football, and consider that, every once in a while, you see the side of this one college colorguard member’s uniform-clad ass, or maybe some locks of her puffy, frizzy hair. Okay? Think about the relative level of fame this implies.

That’s about exactly how famous I am on the internet.

My site visits spiked today, and when I checked my stats out, I saw that I’d been getting a number of referrals from a pretty big website – AMERICAblog, to be exact. And for a little while I was like ohmygod I got a link from the comments on AMERICAblog holy crap that is so awesome it’s like being on TV holy crap my writing has sucked the big one lately I really should work on that whoa this is really cool and so on and so forth.

And then I realized that it’s kind of like the side of my ass was just on ESPN, and I got over myself really quickly.

Which is not to say that I’m not thankful to the person who linked me, who is an awesome guy indeed, or that I’m not thankful for the extra traffic, because I am, and it’s very cool, and I’d absolutely love to pick up a new reader or two as a result. Being linked by anyone, anywhere, is awfully flattering and the kind of thing that makes you feel really good.

But, seriously. My ass. ESPN. That’s what just happened, as far as the rest of the world is concerned.

Comments 11

  • Yeah but your whole self was on Oprah once.. and that’s pretty damn famous… I have “you see that speck down there in front of Macy’s, three people from the drums… that speck is me!” and that’s just not as cool.

  • and you’re pretty big among closet gay weathermen!

  • You were on oprah? Like a guest or in the audience? Either way, I was in the audience once and I taped it and I still have it. very sad. It’s cool when you get random and cool (read-YOU!) readers from other popular sites. It’s fun and it brings you to a whole new group of blogs to read.

  • OMG that’s too funny. Your ass was on TV!! :)

  • I’ve never been on TV. But that doesn’t stop me from watching.

  • i like your writing lately!

    also: you know the ESPN classic NU/Minnesota game? You know how I was on screen constantly?

    OH RIGHT YOU DONT KNOW BECAUSE I WAS WEARING MY PURPLE AND BLACK NINJA MASK.

    I thought Rosemary was going to kill me when I got home and she was like “you were on TV SO MUCH with that damn thing on!”

    Also, I got a photo that Julie Seward’s parents took of me on the United Center scoreboard. I have an Esch head coming out of my baseball cap.

  • so what context got you linked?

  • Kind of an awesome metaphor for weblogging isn’t it – a little piece of our asses, on the Internet, every day.

  • also, i was on oprah with NUMB once.

    and, the guard outfits were superhot.

  • dude, Jim, if you were on oprah with NUMB, then it’s the same appearance Ginny mentioned – that’s how I was on, too.

  • Lorie, thanks for making me laugh very hard. I understand the kind of “side-of-the-ass on ESPN” fame perfectly, as it is as close as I have come myself…

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