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Jersey Surf and competitive success

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ok then have fun being in 21st place then..and WHO is content being in 21st place? I dont think the mindset is " ok lets devote all of our time and efforts just to be a below average Corps"..I think there are better options thats all. I like Surf I just hope they can work harder to find that thing that can push them up a few notches in 2016.

As a point of order, a full 50% of corps are below average.

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I assure you that they do have fun. My niece marched their guard for 3 years and loved every second of it. The majority of the kids she marched with felt the same and were perfectly content with their lot. Those who wanted to be more competative moved on to other corps, but plenty who could have moved on stayed instead because they liked the environment.

Not everyone that marches is burning for a medal or a finals appearance. Some march for the simple joy of marching and performing and really don't care if they are "competative" as long as they are having fun and entertaining the crowds.

While I have ALWAYS been of the mindset that a corps' organizational and strategic plans are their own, I do have one point of contention with the philosophy you and maybe others state.

You seem to stipulate that "being competitive" (in what I assume from your context you mean to be ranking-wise competitive) and "having fun and entertaining the crowds" are potentially mutually exclusive. I don't think that is the case at all. From most accounts marching Blue Devils is extremely 'fun,' and they even entertain the crowds some years while being competitive enough to score the highest score of all time (as they did with a seemingly crowd-pleasing 2014 program). Crown had a similarly popular show winning DCI in 2013 (and almost winning this season), Cadets in 2011, Phantom in 2008, etc.

Those are extremes, and "winning DCI" is by no means the ONLY definition of competitive success.

SCV was wildly popular in 2013 and 2014 with their Top 5 shows. Madison Scouts in 2011 (among other years) were the talk of the season, and not just because their closer was forbidden and not included in archives. Bluecoats have had historic success for their organization with a 2nd place finish in 2014 performing an EXTREMELY popular show, and third place in 2015 with another popular show in 2015. Blue Knights seemed to entertain the crowds this year with their Top 6 show, and Cavaliers pleased the crowds in 2014 while placing 6th.

But maybe Finals is not necessarily the end-all definition of competitive success either.

Colts and Troopers seemed very popular in 2014 playing populist music (with Colts doing Pink Floyd, a band with one of the highest-selling albums of all time). Academy played 15th this season playing Mary Poppins music! Even one of the most non-Finalist shows in recent memory came from Semifinalist Jersey Surf's "Bridgemania" throwback a few seasons ago!

I don't think you'd find many casual Surf fans who would want the corps to radically change design philosophy. I do think you'd find many fans who would prefer Jersey Surf did a better job designing a populist show. Their brass and percussion scores at Prelims out-scored their overall score, which could be a sign that they have talented members who are lacking a better designed show (though their Vis. analysis might also indicate that they have serious visual deficiency that is holding them back, IDK).

But the overall point I'm trying to make is "competitive success" and high achieving + "entertaining fan-friendly" are NOT mutually exclusive and acting that they are is often an indicator that one is not ready to address and solve real problems

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As a point of order, a full 50% of corps are below average.

I guess if we're being honest and looking at JUST World Class corps, than there's no denying Jersey Surf is near the very bottom/significantly below average, and beat only one WC corps (Pioneer) in ANY Caption

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I guess if we're being honest and looking at JUST World Class corps, than there's no denying Jersey Surf is near the very bottom/significantly below average, and beat only one WC corps (Pioneer) in ANY Caption

While I have ALWAYS been of the mindset that a corps' organizational and strategic plans are their own, I do have one point of contention with the philosophy you and maybe others state.

You seem to stipulate that "being competitive" (in what I assume from your context you mean to be ranking-wise competitive) and "having fun and entertaining the crowds" are potentially mutually exclusive. I don't think that is the case at all. From most accounts marching Blue Devils is extremely 'fun,' and they even entertain the crowds some years while being competitive enough to score the highest score of all time (as they did with a seemingly crowd-pleasing 2014 program). Crown had a similarly popular show winning DCI in 2013 (and almost winning this season), Cadets in 2011, Phantom in 2008, etc.

Those are extremes, and "winning DCI" is by no means the ONLY definition of competitive success.

SCV was wildly popular in 2013 and 2014 with their Top 5 shows. Madison Scouts in 2011 (among other years) were the talk of the season, and not just because their closer was forbidden and not included in archives. Bluecoats have had historic success for their organization with a 2nd place finish in 2014 performing an EXTREMELY popular show, and third place in 2015 with another popular show in 2015. Blue Knights seemed to entertain the crowds this year with their Top 6 show, and Cavaliers pleased the crowds in 2014 while placing 6th.

But maybe Finals is not necessarily the end-all definition of competitive success either.

Colts and Troopers seemed very popular in 2014 playing populist music (with Colts doing Pink Floyd, a band with one of the highest-selling albums of all time). Academy played 15th this season playing Mary Poppins music! Even one of the most non-Finalist shows in recent memory came from Semifinalist Jersey Surf's "Bridgemania" throwback a few seasons ago!

I don't think you'd find many casual Surf fans who would want the corps to radically change design philosophy. I do think you'd find many fans who would prefer Jersey Surf did a better job designing a populist show. Their brass and percussion scores at Prelims out-scored their overall score, which could be a sign that they have talented members who are lacking a better designed show (though their Vis. analysis might also indicate that they have serious visual deficiency that is holding them back, IDK).

But the overall point I'm trying to make is "competitive success" and high achieving + "entertaining fan-friendly" are NOT mutually exclusive and acting that they are is often an indicator that one is not ready to address and solve real problems

step it up, forget the Mr Rogers bit

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Here's what I don't get: If the corps administration, staff and marching members are happy with the status quo (ie entertaining light-hearted shows that are less competative than those who "take themselves more seriously") then why should they change anything? Where does it say that in order to be a world class corps going on a full summer tour that you need to compete to move up the ladder or you shouldn't bother to show up?

But what if the staff and members are NOT happy with such a de-facto "non-competitive" status ?

It's all well and good to say "this is who we want to be" but I don't think it's true -- certainly not true for entire membership.

Unless things change, Surf is going to one and done in Indy. Do you think the members are "happy" with that?

I'm not suggesting Surf should pursue medals (or for that matter make finals).

But it sure would be nice to not be "standing still" and getting passed by more and more open class programs every season.

And that appears to Surf's future if they maintain their current "philosphy".

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But what if the staff and members are NOT happy with such a de-facto "non-competitive" status ?

It's all well and good to say "this is who we want to be" but I don't think it's true -- certainly not true for entire membership.

Unless things change, Surf is going to one and done in Indy. Do you think the members are "happy" with that?

I'm not suggesting Surf should pursue medals (or for that matter make finals).

But it sure would be nice to not be "standing still" and getting passed by more and more open class programs every season.

And that appears to Surf's future if they maintain their current "philosphy".

This is the heart of the point I was trying to make. Neither I know nor does anyone else here know what is in the hearts and minds of the corps members and its staff. If they are indeed unhappy about their current status then by all means they should take steps to change it for the better. On the other hand, if the are happy with it, who the hell are we on DCP to tell them what the should be doing?

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Do you want to be a feeder corps or competitive corps? Both give a good experience but one you have to constantly rebuild.

This is an unfair characterization, IMO. There is another option. Your statement makes it seem that non-competitive corps only train kids for other corps, and that's not the case. There are lots of kids in this activity who have no self-delusions of playing on Saturday night, yet return to those corps for the great experience they have year after year. Many of us know them personally.

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This is an unfair characterization, IMO. There is another option. Your statement makes it seem that non-competitive corps only train kids for other corps, and that's not the case. There are lots of kids in this activity who have no self-delusions of playing on Saturday night, yet return to those corps for the great experience they have year after year. Many of us know them personally.

You are 100 % right. But there are also those who don't stay,( many ) a reason why some corps stay young or have continual turnover of many mm's year after year.

A corps can certainly choose for themselves and neither is wrong but either way there are always consequences to every choice and people have to realize this.

Edited by GUARDLING

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step it up, forget the Mr Rogers bit

OK.

Jersey Surf doesn't have to be the 2nd worst WC Drum and Bugle Corps while maintaining a design philosophy of entertaining the crowds. They can actually win DCI, place Top 5, or even just make Semifinals AND have a wildly entertaining show.

Better?

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