Saturday, January 24, 2009

DCI Ties: 1999

Of all the ties that have occurred during DCI's years of existence, this one is the most obviously not. Oh where to start?! Ok, first of all let's look at the recap... Santa Clara beat the Blue Devils by 0.1 in both GE music and GE Visual. What were the judges watching?!!! After listening and watching both shows dozens of times I see there being no less than a 0.3-0.4 gap in GE Music and a 0.4 in GE Visual. What does that give us?... a gap of at least 0.7 in GE when the judges on that night in 1999 had the gap at 0.2.
Moving one caption over, it's time to look at Ensemble Music and Visual. Ensemble music was, as I see it, the biggest gap between the two in any caption. The judges nailed the Vanguard's Ensemble music score, but the Blue Devils was about 0.2 to 0.3 too high. So, instead of there being yet another 0.1 gap we would have a 0.3 or 0.4 gap... again. The Blue Devils Ensemble visual was great, but if you wanna talk about difficulty and accuracy, it was not a 14.9 out of 15. The difficulty was that of the 94 Cadets and the accuracy of the 95 Cavaliers. If you want to put that in terms of a score out of 20, the Cadets' difficulty was a 9.7 and the Cavaliers accuracy was a 9.9. You now have a score of 19.6, which translated to a score out of 15 you have exactly 14.7. I agree with the judge's score of 14.7 for the Vanguard's Ensemble Visual, so BD and SCV tied in Ensemble Visual, and SCV was ahead by at least 0.3 in Ensemble Music, so SCV wins the Ensemble caption by 0.3. 
The last caption is performance. Honestly, I think that looking at the scoring system, the judges were right on money with their scores here! So, instead of being critical... I will say... "Thank you for a great job and being honest!" So this brings me to the conclusion and the recap...
SCV 19.8 19.8- 39.6 14.9 14.7-29.6 9.8 9.5 9.8-29.1     98.3
BD   19.5 19.4- 38.9 14.6 14.7-29.3 9.9 9.4 9.9-29.2     97.4

Thursday, January 22, 2009

DCI's Ties 1996

Drum Corps International is 36 years old. In those 36 years there have been 3 ties "at the top." In 1996 Phantom Regiment and the Blue Devils tied with a score of 97.4. Three years later the Blue Devils and the Santa Clara Vanguard tied with a score of 98.4. The following year in 2000 The Cadets and The Cavaliers tied with a score of 97.65.
The Blue Devils entered finals night the favorite with the [then] Cadets of Bergen County just 0.3 behind. Behind the top 2 was Phantom Regiment, almost a full point and a half behind (BD 96.9, CBC 96.6, PR 95.5). But something special happened on finals night... 3 excellent performances and a crowd pleasing yet confusing ending. When the dust cleared and the scores were announced, the Cadets of Bergen County were 3rd with a score of 96.9. Then, there was the announcement for second place, which, as Brandt Crocker humorously put it, was actually a tie for first place. Phantom Regiment, long the beloved often a contender, but always a bridesmaid at best had finally won.
PR 19.6 19.7- 39.3 14.7 14.6-29.3 9.9 9.6 9.5-29.0 97.6
BD 19.3 19.5-38.8 14.5 14.7-29.2 9.8 9.8 9.6-29.2 97.2
CBC 19.1 19.6-38.7 14.8 14.4-29.2 9.6 9.8 9.7-29.1 97.0
I've always wondered if the Blue Devils are upset if they are tied by someone though. I mean, if you won in semifinals, and another group ties you, wouldn't you be a little upset because you weren't alone at the top? Maybe it's just me, but I might get bitter and being World Champion might lose some luster.
I do not believe that there was a tie. I believe that Phantom Regiment beat the Blue Devils in 1996. I believe that the Blue Devils GE Visual was 0.1 too high, as well as the Ensemble Visual by the same. On top of all that I believe that PR was underscored in GE Music by 0.1.
All I'm trying to add is that PR 96 was incredible. The music was perftct, the setting just right, and a raucous crowd.

2008 DCI Finals placement

Ok, so Phantom Regiment finally won one by themselves. As a purist and lover of Phantom's music for years... Congratulations! I am happy to see you all as champions. That being said I would like to congratulate DCI as a whole for going against the grain. Honestly, I never thought that DCI would let something like what happened to happen!
Let's look at the facts, Phantom Regiment was 2nd place entering finals. Fact #2, the second place finisher has not won in finals since 1983 when an up-and-comer, The Garfield Cadets, came from behind in Seminfinals to win on finals night. Fact #3, the shocker... DCI let it happen to The Blue Devils!!! Of all corps, the most honored corps, in DCI years, the defending champion Blue Devils!
Alright, now that that is over, let's get back to the nitty gritty. I, and I alone will hold this view... DCI gave Phantom this championship because they gave it to The Cavaliers in 2006. I have seen the scores, I have seen the shows, and my conclusion is that Phantom was actually the true winner in 2006. Why? Phantom was underscored in GE Music by at least 0.3 and The Cavaliers were overscored in Ensemble Visual by about at least 0.4. You add those up and you have a 0.5 swing (the 0.4 is cut in half because Both visual and Music totals are divided by 2) in Phantom's direction and that gives Phantom the championship by 0.15.
Does this mean that Phantom should not have won on Finals night?... NO! Honestly, I can't say, but the gap between Phantom and BD makes me wonder. On the other hand, I have not trusted DCI with their scoring as a whole for quite some time (2003) so for all I know, Phantom could have won by more, or should have won by more.
In terms of everyone else, I would like to begin by saying that Carolina Crown was fabulous. I saw the show about 3 weeks before Finals and loved it, and they clearly did very well in Finals. I mean, 96.8 is an excellent score, and it is now on my favorite shows list. Loved it, loved it, loved it!
I am a stated and unabashed Cadets fan! I love the Cadets and indisputably their biggest fan. Heck... my license plate honors them... but anywho... I enjoyed their show. It was solid, not spectacular, more of a 95.5 range, so yes I think the gap between The Cadets and Crown was too big.
Lastly, I will discuss the Bluecoats. When I heard what they were playing I was very excited! However, when I finally heard I was disappointed. Personally I don't think the music was arranged very well nor performed as well as it could have either, which is why it left me flat. But I must say... you can't go wrong with Rocky!