Jim Rome, one of the more controversial figures in sports commentary again found himself in hot water after tweeting his boredom with marching bands. We're not going to hate for holding that opinion—Lord knows we went to get a drink when the bands came on the field at halftime during the NCAA Football Playoffs last week—but he invited trouble by using the term "dorks" in reference to band members. Naturally band fans the world over brought hellfire down on Rome and he apologized.
The larger problem here: A large portion of the population agrees with Rome's sentiments. Keeping that in mind, we found six former band members that are far from being "dorks." They are, in fact, the exact opposite of everything we believe to be dork. Behold:
Let's start with an athlete, to keep in theme with the athletic angle. The stereotype is that the opposite of a band member is the football player: The guys people actually paid to watch perform at games. Basketball players tend to fit in the same "jock" category but NBA journeyman Vince Carter defied those trends. He was a saxophone player at his high school in Daytona Beach and yeah, he was kind of good at basketball at the same time. Like, three-time McDonald's All American good. He's also responsible for arguably the best dunk in Slam Dunk Contest history. Anyone who can do this is automatically not a dork:
Lil Wayne is renowned for his rapping ability and, well, reviled for his guitar playing. His first experience with music? Weezy played the cymbals during marching band. Granted, cymbals are not the quickest way to generate cash money but he took care of that soon enough, releasing his debut solo album Tha Block Is Hot at the ripe old age of 17, two years after Get It How U Live! with group the Hot Boys. Wayne definitely has some inner geek going on but we're not gonna tell him that to his face.
Samuel L. Jackson
Another antonym for the term "dork": "badass." It's tough to come up with a bigger B.A. in Hollywood than Samuel L. Jackson. The guy who plays Nick Fury in all of the Marvel films. The guy who dealt with all of those motherf----n' snakes on that mother----n' plane. Yes, the guy who played Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction. Clearly not a dork. Yet prior to that, Jackson played the french horn during high school.
Tom Selleck is, no offense to Tom Selleck, no Samuel L. Jackson. That being said, he's still pretty close to the end of the list in terms of people we'd get into a fight with at a bar. We actually kind of worried about even referring to him by his last name only...seems so unnatural. But yes, the star of Magnum P.I. was also a "band geek." He played the saxophone while attending high school but again, like Carter, his college time was paid for by basketball. He attended the University of Southern California on an athletic scholarship. We can't find his numbers but he could have conceivably competed against one Lew Alcindor AKA Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was with UCLA at the time.
If you joined us a few weeks ago, you noticed that Steven Tyler resembled Heath Ledger's Joker while in high school. Thanks to his marvelous lips, it's not surprising that he played the trumpet while in school. It's not entirely inconceivable that he couldn't have played two trumpets while in high school. Does this mean he wasn't a dork? No. But both we and Jim Rome can sympathize in that Steven Tyler has been with way more women that the both of us combined since fronting Aerosmith.
Our last comment both got us an angry e-mail from our editor and reminded us that we should highlight at least one of the very non-dork women who have gone on to fame and success following their time in a high school band. Halle Berry has dominated on all fronts, winning an Oscar (for Monster) and has been named both Most Beautiful Person in the World by People and Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive.