This Sunday is the start of the UK pipe band season. Usually Dunbar is the first contest, but this year the calendar makes it Gourock on the other side of the country. May the best bands win.
Anyone who follows sports knows the sense of anticipation that comes with opening day, when the bell rings on the new season. Even fans of the most woeful teams are optimistic about their club’s chances for improvement over the previous year, and want to see how the off-season acquisitions and departures impact the team.
The pipe band world is no different. Sure, there are the Yankees and Red Sox and Cardinals of the pipe band major leagues in FMM, Shotts and SFU (in no specific order or equivalent), but there are always the groups nipping at the heals, that could finally make the new season the year they turned the corner.
I’ve often thought that the RSPBA, PPBSO or whoever else could create more excitement over the results, over what band does what from week to week, with more analysis from expert commentators. What fun that could be, provided people weren’t afraid to speak their mind with objectivity and fairness – and actually sign their name to their words. Oh, well, just a thought.
The week before a season starts brings great positive tension, the optimistic dreams of competitors and supporters always spring eternal.