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DrumCorpsRadio last won the day on August 11 2020

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  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    Caballeros 1999-2001, Crossmen 2002, Jersey Surf staff 2004, Spirit of Newark/NJ staff 2007
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    Somerville, NJ

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  1. Thanks to reading comments on Facebook and Twitter, we only spent about 15 minutes in line around 5:40pm by going allllll the way around the stadium and entering the relatively short express lines. The problem was that people just lined up in the giant snake lines as they arrived without realizing those lines were feeding just a couple entrances and not all of them. This is a terribly designed access route that is probably a non-issue during sporting events when there are gates on all four sides open. This is likely a LOS issue more than a DCI issue but one that should and could be easily corrected. There were no waits at all on Thursday and Friday when people arrive over a longer period of time.
  2. August 14th Run-Down The 50th anniversary season is now over with Blue Devils crowned champions for the 20th time and a tie for second between Bluecoats and Boston Crusaders. This represents the highest finish ever for Boston. Phantom Regiment moved up to 8th place at finals, the first change in placement from semifinals to finals since 2017 (The Cavaliers moved from 5th to 4th). For the first time since I started doing this type of analysis in 2017, there were no two check-points with exactly the same top 12. New high or low performance in the current competition/scoring model (since 2011): Boston Crusaders - 2nd is new high (previous - 5th in 2018) Blue Stars - 7th is new high (previous - 8th in 2018 and 2019) The Cavaliers - 9th ties lowest (also in 2015) Mandarins - 10th ties highest (also in 2018 and 2019) Colts - 11th is new high (previous - 14th in 2014) Troopers -12th is new high (previous - 13th in 2013 and 2015) Blue Knights - 14th is new low (previous - 10th in 2012 and 2013) Music City - 17th is new high (previous - 21st in 2018) Gold - 20th is new high (previous - 22nd in 2019) Blue Devils B - 22nd is new low (previous - 21st in 2012) Guardians - 24th is new high (previous - 29th in 2018 and 2019) Les Stentors - 32nd is new high (previous - 34th in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2019) 7th Regiment - 33rd is new low (previous - 31st in 2011) Greatest performance above average by placement in the current competition/scoring model (since 2011): Music City +8.4 Gold +6.4 Mandarins +6.3 Boston Crusaders +5.4 Guardians +5.2 Greatest performance below average by placement in the current competition/scoring model (since 2011): Blue Knights -5.2 7th Regiment -4.1 Blue Devils B -3.2 Madison Scounts -3.0 The Cavaliers -2.8 Greatest performance above 2019 placement: Music City / Troopers +6 Colts / Guardians +5 Boston Crusaders / Phantom Regiment +4 Greatest performance below 2019 placement: Legends -8 Blue Knights -7 Pacific Crest -5 The Cavaliers / Louisana Stars / Spartans -4 See you next year! Thanks for reading along.
  3. August 13th Run-Down The stage was set for lots of drama at Semifinals, but things generally played out as they were in Prelims. The Medalists Blue Devils now lead the nearest competitor by 1.325 points. That expanded lead may not be a huge surprise, but it is an interesting twist to have Bluecoats and Boston Crusaders tied for the #2 spot. Carolina Crown lost ground on any outside chance at the bronze medal. It appears that Blue Devils are extremely heavy favorites for the championship and now a toss-up for second and third. 5-10 In fact Santa Clara Vanguard gained a lot of ground on Crown tonight. That spread is now closer than it is between Crown and the medals. Blue Stars gained on The Cadets; Phantom Regiment gained on The Cavaliers. The only spread here less than a point is between Blue Stars and The Cavaliers. 11-14 This was where the major action was anticipated. In the end, the placements stayed the same as Prelims. Colts and Troopers both made finals. For Colts, it will be the first finals appearance in Indianapolis. For Troopers, it will be the first finals appearance in Indianapolis since the first year (2009). This will be the first time since 2002 (my age-out year!) when two corps make finals that did not make finals the year before. Back then it was Magic of Orlando and Seattle Cascades. The good fortune for Colts and Troopers mean Crossmen and Blue Knights are on the outside looking in. Crossmen miss finals for the first time since 2013. Blue Knights miss for the first time since 2003. The Rest of the Field Pacific Crest and Gold each gained a spot in the final placements with Genesis falling two spots. Perhaps out of the spotlight but Music City finished in 17th place, the corps' highest placement by four spots over the corps' previous high in 2018. Gold also had the corps' highest finish ever at 20th. The corps' previous high of 22nd was in 2019. Likewise, Guardians coming in at 24th bested the corps' previous highest placement of 29th from 2019 and 2018. Blue Devils B finishing in 22nd place represents the corps' lowest placement in Indianapolis. The previous low was 21st in 2012.
  4. August 12th Run-Down This is not a drill! Finals week is upon us. I enjoyed all of the drum corps action live and in person from 10:30am on. It is always great to see the die hard supporters in the stands all day long. There was a nice core group in my section (239). No one cares, but I'll repeat it anyway. If all you ever see are the top 6, you are missing out on the heart and soul of drum corps (now and in the future). I give a ton of credit to the two performers who can play and march a show as an entire section of a hornline for 13 minutes or as the only weapon in a color guard. If you heap praise on the Bluecoats' keytarist or Troopers' cellist (as you should), then you might be shocked to find out that there are people like that in every corps that marched on Thursday and will not be marching on Friday. Rant over. It was a great day of drum corps! Let's start from the bottom and work our way up. The Battalion, Southwind, Legends, Louisiana Stars, River City Rhythm, Les Stenrors, 7th Regiment, Raiders, and Colt Cadets performed their final shows of the season. There was some movement in placements compared to Open Class finals earlier in the week. The Batallion moved ahead of Southwind and Les Stentors moved ahead of 7th Regiment. Congratulations to all of these corps on their seasons. The Battalion came within two points of beating a World Class corps and taking a spot in Semifinals. (I ignore International Class corps in these posts because they do not compete by the same rules and restrictions and do not end up in the final rankings. That said - Calgary Stampede Showband put on a great show that I'm looking forward to seeing again tonight.) What looked like an opportunity for at least two World Class corps to miss semifinals was resolved with the annual decreaes of Open Class corps' scores coming from Marion to Indy. The adjustments were larger than usual as you can see in the 2019 chart. Guardians gains entry for the first time in the corps' history. Vanguard Cadets maintained its lead over the other Open Class corps and enters semifinals in 18th place overall with what appears to be a decent chance to move up a spot. The World Class corps put up huge score increases this year, likely a reflection of the several shows that were rained out earlier in the week. It has been clear that the 11-14 race would be tight this year. After finishing in 11th in San Antonio, the Blue Knights have been out of the finalist spot now in Atlanta, Allentown, and Prelims. Sitting in 14th and 1.425 points behind 12th place, the corps has a big task ahead of it to avoid missing finals. Crossmen have been up and down - beginning in 13th in San Antonio, then 12th in Atlanta, and 11th in Allentown. The corps is back to 13th now but just one-half of one-hundreth of a point behind Troopers. Troopers have now been in 12th for two "regional" type events in a row and, from my vantage point, have the biggest crowd support behind them of the corps in this grouping. Colts have some storming back from Allentown, moving from 13th to 11th with a little more than half a point lead over Troopers. You don't want to be out of your seat from 4:30-6:00pm ET tonight when these corps take the field and lay it all on the line. The Phantom Regiment - Mandarins battle for 9th and 10th place is one of two fan favorites. Mandarins are on track for no worse than their third 10th place finish in a row. Whlie Phantom Regiment's placement may be equal to or only slightly higher than 2017, 2018, and 2019, there's a definitely feeling of a corps on the rise again. The Cavaliers have created a fight for 7th with Blue Stars that definitely did not seem in the cards a few weeks ago as The Cavaliers struggled to come back from Covid-related issues. A spread of just 0.237 points separates the two while The Cadets have opened up a spread to put themselves on what appears to be a 6th place island. Speaking of islands, Santa Clara Vanguard has been on the 5th place island all season long and that does not appear to be changing. And then we have the top 4. If this is slotting, I don't know what that term means. I guess it just means, "I don't want Blue Devils to win" as that is the only corps in this group to have finished in the same position at every regional and prelims. Carolina Crown fell to 4th, its lowest finish of the year in a major competition. The corps trails Bluecoats by 0.150 points. Bluecoats put themselves into medalist contention for the first time since my midseason analysis ahead of San Antonio. They hold a slim lead over Crown and trail Boston Crusaders by 0.800 points. Boston returns to the #2 spot it held in San Antonio and Atlanta trailing the Blue Devils by 0.950 points. Could a corps come in second at prelims and win finals again? This is a much greater hill to climb than the 0.100 points Blue Devils trailed Bluecoats by in 2019... All in all - a lot of excitement and room for movement tonight. Time to head downtown!
  5. August 10th Run-Down Vanguard Cadets are the Open Class Champions with Gold in second and Blue Devils B in third. Spartans finished just outside the medalist, falling short of Blue Devils B by 0.563 points. Guardians had the corps' highest placement ever at 5th. The Battalion made a move up a spot in finals, finishing in 7th at its first ever DCI World Championships event. Louisiana Stars also gained a spot on finals night, moving up to 9th place. The 12 finalists will be joined by Raiders and Colt Cadets in World Class Prelims on Thursday evening. The top four Open Class corps enter that competition ranked 15th-18th, the fifth place Open Class corps ranked 20th, and Southwind and The Battalion currently in 23rd and 25th respectdively. This puts seven Open Class corps in the current standings for a spot in Friday night's World Class competition. Only four corps were in that position in 2019 and five if we go back to 2018 when Vanguard Cadets and Blue Devils B were last in Indy. Given the fact that the World Class corps have not competed in several days, it seemsl ikely that Genesis, at least, will move back into the Top 25, however, Jersey Surf's spot at 30th is tenuous for moving past Thursday night.
  6. There are seven fewer corps in scored competition in 2022 compared to 2019 (39 vs. 46). The corps not scored this year are: Spirit of Atlanta Seattle Cascades Vessel Shadow Watchmen Encorps Incognito There are two fewer corps appearing in Indy in 2022 compared to 2019 (34 vs. 36). The year by year Indy scoring corps' totals under the current model of all participation at World Class Prelims (not including International Division) are: 2022 - 34 2019 - 36 2018 - 39 2017 - 39 2016 - 38 2015 - 39 2014 - 36 2013 - 36 2012 - 35 2011 - 41
  7. August 9th Run-Down Two of four shows did not have scores due to weather issues so we are all going to have to wait until Thursday to get the answers to some of our questions about how World Class corps from different shows will line up. The scheduled but unscored shows are highlighted. In the Cincinnati show, we did see Blue Knights reassert its Top 12 bona fides, however, Troopers were just 0.150 points behind. There is going to be a real dogfight for 12th on Friday night! Vanguard Cadets came out on top of the Open Class prelims with a greater than 1.2 point margin over second place Gold. Vanguard Cadets won the last two Open Class finals the corps attended in 2017 and 2018. Although a large margin, the recent close competition with Gold suggests the top spot could still be up for grabs tonight. No doubt there's a wide open battle for two and three as Gold, Blue Devils B, and Spartans were separated by just 0.600 points. Even a second place finish would be Gold's highest placement ever. Guardians are also on track for a new high placement with a pretty solid 5th place finish. The Batallion made a strong 8th place finish in the corps' first appearance in Indianapolis. Les Stentors saw a big score increase at exactly the right time to take the last spot in Open Class finals.
  8. August 8th Run-Down Just one show last night. The excitement around Troopers' appearing to be in the last finalist spot from the Allentown results was quickly tempered with Blue Knights winning a decisive head-to-head to match-up and both corps' scores remaining lower than the last scores from Crossmen and Colts. The two corps see each other again tonight in Cincinnati. Also in competition tonight? Every corps still competing except Blue Devils. What am I watching for? Carolina Crown - Bluecoats - Boston Cruaders. Without Blue Devils present, how do these three medalist contenders stack up? Can Boston reassert itself the corps on the heels of the Blue Devils, or has Carolina Crown retaken that role? Do Bluecoats have a push to make through friendly territory? The Cavaliers - Mandarins - Phantom Regiment. There has been a lot of movement among these corps. How does the relative newcomer handle the final week of the season against the midwest stalwarts? Blue Knights - Troopers. Blue Knights have not missed finals since 2003. Troopers have not made finals since 2009. Can one of these corps take a decisive lead tonight to set itself up to take on Colts (who have not made finals since 2007) and Crossmen? Gold - Vanguard Cadets - Spartans. The California corps are literally tied heading into Open Class Prelims. Neither corps met up with the defending champion Spartans so this is a toss-up.
  9. August 7th Run-Down After several hours catching up with friends old and new at the Crossmen picnic in the park, I enjoyed another great night of drum corps in Allentown. This was my first viewing of any kind of Carolina Crown and The Cadets. Personally, Carolina Crown is the show I am mostly looking forward to seeing again of the Top 8. The next few I'm mostly looking forward to seeing next week are Mandarins, Phantom Regiment, and Troopers. While the numbers will say it's a long-shot when I do my full Allentown analysis, my heart tells me there's a small chance of Carolina Crown surging over the next week. Even without a competitive victory, it seems the Crown show design will move the activity the most of this year's medalist contenders in my opinion. Now on to the objective side of things! Allentown, PA: As expected, Carolina Crown won the night with a healthy margin over Santa Clara Vanguard. Looking across the two nights of DCI East - as DCI does - Carolina Crown finished in second place. The placements stayed the same as they were following last weekend's regionals with the 5-8 grouping with more than a point separating SCV from The Cadets and Blue Stars from The Cavaliers. The Cadets and Blue Stars are separated by 0.425 points. The two corps had not met head-to-head since San Antonio when The Cadets led by a little more than 1.4 points. The fight for 12th place got even more interesting with Troopers jumping over both Blue Knights and Colts in score across the two-night regional. Crossmen also jumped Colts across the two nights. Crossmen defeated Colts exactly one time this season - way back on July 1st in Muncie, IN. Troopers have not been within one point of beating Colts head-to-head. The entire group will not come together again until Thursday in Indianapolis. Further down the World Class rankings, there were no key head-to-head match-ups. Jersey Surf put up the second highest score increase at 3.700 points compared to Troopers' 3.900 points. Charleston, IL: The fight for Open Class gold took on a fever pitch with a Gold-Vanguard Cadets tie in the corps' final regular season show. Gold defeated Vanguard Cadets on July 5th, 8th, and 10th by narrowing margins at each show and then did not compete for 20 days. During that time, Vanguard Cadets registered five appearances with a massive jump in scoring. When Gold returned to competition on July 30th, the corps' scores came in 6+ points lower than Vanguard Cadets. That all changed on August 5th when the two corps met up head-to-head again with a narrow 0.100 point win for Vanguard Cadets on August 5th and now the tie. Spartans have yet to see either corps in competition. Despite a large score increase after nearly two weeks out of competition, Blue Devils B lost ground with the leaders. When the corps last saw Vanguard Cadets on July 24th, the spread was 1.000 point. It is now 2.200 points. After trading victories early in the season, River City Rhythm has gradually expanded its lead over Colt Cadets to the point where the two corps no longer appear to even be in the same grouping of corps. Avon Lake, OH: Spartans saw another large point increase (2.100 points) without any direct competitor for the top of the show. The other corps put up relatively comparable gains raning from 1.350 points (Louisiana Stars) to 4.850 points (Raiders). Everything will come into better focus on Monday night in Marion, IN. Top 15 Allentown comparison over the years The spreadsheet below shows where corps stood at the mid-season mark and then after each regional with all of the standard caveats of comparisons across shows. I started doing this back in 2017 partially to fact check the wild claims made about slotting and other things. You can see that in 2019, 7 of the top 15 corps in Allentown finished in a different position in Indianapolis. In 2018, it was 9 of 15. And in 2017, it was just 2 of 15. That said, it's rare to see a corps move more than one position - just the 2019 Colts (-2) and 2018 Crossmen (-2). That's true even with Allentown always being a two-night, one-panel show, and even true when corps were not scored at a particular regional for one reason or another. It is also true that in recent memory, a corps won championships without winning any regional when Blue Devils did so in the last competitive season of 2019. Like Carolina Crown this year, Blue Devils were as far down as 3rd in these rankings although that was in the mid-season ranking and not head-to-head like Crown's third place finishes in San Antonio and Atlanta this year. It may be notable that no corps has made finals since in recent years that was not ranked in the top 12 after Allentown. I only went back one year further than this chart to check on that, but that means it has been true through at least 2016. As of today, there are only two corps in the same position as they finished the 2019 season - Blue Devils at #1 and Crossmen at #11. Full spreadsheet for today If the season ended today, the biggest improvements over 2019 would be: Columbians (+12 positions) Vanguard Cadets (+10 positions) Blue Devils C / Guardians (+8 positions) Raiders (+7 positions) Columbians may see this positional ranking fall one more spot if the Raiders can improve by another 1.100 points or more during championships week. However, Vanguard Cadets would need an epic finals week performance to overtake Columbians on this list. Guardians and Raiders could both move up further this week. In terms of regression: Pacific Crest (-8 positions) Blue Knights (-7 positions) Genesis / Legends (-5 positions) The Academy (-4 positions) Happy Finals Week everyone! I'll be in Indianapolis Wednesday night through Sunday morning enjoying the excitement and wonderful performances from start to finish each day.
  10. Absolutely correct. Not sure how I missed that. I must have just only looked at the list when Mandarins were on top. Thanks for catching that!
  11. August 6th Run-Down The weather gods were looking down on Allentown last night. An hour-long delay led to an uninterrupted night of drum corps with lightening in the distance all around the stadium. I had my regular seats about 80% of the way up the lower deck on the 50 yard line in section I. Oddly, the primo seats in front of me, behind me, and next to me all remained empty the entire night. I enjoyed the extra space and just hope those seats weren't for people whose planes were canceled! I also had the good fortune to be able to arrange for the Mandarins housing and rehearsal site in my hometown in New Jersey. Thank you to the Somerville school district for making it happen. Not only was it fun to see the Mandarins in town, I was able to answer some questions in a community social media forum as people excitedly talked about the source of the "beautiful music" they were hearing. Well done Mandarins! My analysis is nearly all numbers' based. I will interject an unpopular personal opinion that I think the placements were spot on last night in Allentown. I love a new champion and was all in on Carolina Crown and Bluecoats when they made their runs at the Blue Devils, but I did not find myself connecting with the Boston Crusaders the same way. I hope repeated viewings next weekend change that! I would also say that from my seat in the thick of things, Phantom Regiment was the crowd favorite. This was the only corps to receive a full on standing ovation early in the show. The corps brought an excitement and energy to the show that felt like a giant leap up from the corps that came before, including the Mandarins, the corps I was most excited to see again after being blown away by them at DCI West in Stanford last month. On to the numbers. Allentown, PA: After seeing Boston Crusaders pull to within two-tenths of a point in Atlanta, Blue Devils roared back with a big statement win by 1.550 points. Bluecoats are now just 0.125 points behind Boston Crusaders, the closest the two corps have been since Bluecoats last defeated Boston on July 19th. The most interesting medalist outcome on night two will be where Carolina Crown fits into this math. Phantom Regiment trailed Mandarins by 0.325 points, the narrowest margin all season. Colts and Blue Knights both decreased in score. Will Crossmen follow suit or does this provide an opening for Crossmen to solidify Top 12 momentum heading into the final week of the season? Although it looks like a flip in the rankings, The Academy continued the trend of beating Music City in head-to-head competition. Cedar Rapids, IA: Vanguard Cadets and Gold met up for the first time since July 10th. Vanguard Cadets came out on top for the first time by a margin of just 0.100 points. Particularly notable is the apparant score correction that occurred. Although Vanguard Cadets had not competed since July 24th, the corps' score increased less than Gold, a corps that competed just a few days prior. This appears to be a reconciling of relative scores from different parts of the country with Gold having competing in different groupings. From both a relative and absolute score standpoint, this suggests that Gold is back in the conversation for a medalist spot with Vanguard Cadets, Blue Devils B, and Spartans. Gold has a "gold"en opportunity tonight in Illinois in head-to-head competition with Vanguard Cadets and Blue Devils B and a primetime last on in the competition spot after the other California corps open up the show a couple of hours earlier. The table is set. Portage, MI: There wasn't any significant movement here placement-wise. 7th Regiment competed for the first time in a week and a half and put up a large score increase to reflect that.
  12. August 4th Run-Down Glassboro, NJ: Boston Crusaders earned their highest score ever and their second highest margin over Bluecoats of the season. I'm happy to have been able to assist in locating housing/rehearsal facilities for Boston Crusaders in a beautiful indoor/outdoor turf facility for this show. Blue Knights retook the lead over Crossmen for the last finalist spot. Blue Knights have won three of four match-ups. Centerville, OH: Blue Stars maintained a 1+ point lead over The Cavaliers and The Cavaliers maintained a 1+ point lead over Mandarins. Apple Valley, MN: After splitting their first two match-ups, The Battalion moved of River City Rhythm by a slim 0.050 margin. Les Stentors and Colt Cadets have now split their two match-ups. There are no shows tonight as our attention shifts to DCI East in Allentown. I'll be happily sitting on the 50 yard line about 75% of the way up the bottom deck both nights. I'll also be at the Crossmen Alumni picnic in the park. Please say hello. I'd love to connect with you if you happen to be in town!
  13. August 3rd Run-Down A lot of scores. Little movement. The Open Class show scores appear to reflect unusually high increases. This happens a couple of times a season and usually gets corrected over the next several days. I wouldn't think too much about the relative changes in placement resulting from anything shaded in blue. Frankly, there's not a whole lot to write about from last night's results and tonight's shows have already started so I'm going to move along swiftly today! Tonight Centerville, OH: Three of the four 7-10 corps are head-to-head. Can The Cavaliers pull even closer with the Blue Stars? Are Mandarins in this group or out of it? Music City is within one point of Madison Scouts for the 15th spot. Is that still the last corps in the theater broadcast in two weeks? If so, this is an important line of demarcation! Glassboro, NJ: Bluecoats and Boston Crusaders are in a points' tie right now, but Boston Crusaders is cleary ahead in head-to-head competition. There's a sold-out show waiting to watch this battle go down. The Crossmen-Blue Knights match-up is one for 12th place. Crossmen have the edge most recently. Who is in and who is out heading into DCI East? And why not some home town love for Jersey Surf? The corps has been off to a bit of a slow start competitively. Maybe some Jersey style support can propel them into the corps' first regional weekend of the season.
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