The Florida A&M University "Marching 100" band performs on Sunday in Orlando.(Photo: John Raoux, AP)
By Jordan Culver, USA TODAY Sports
(USA TODAY - ORLANDO) Fans piled into the Citrus Bowl in droves in anticipation of Florida A&M University's first game of the year.
Florida A&M interim president Larry Robinson said this game holds plenty of excitement for fans because it's the first game of the season and because of the return of the famed Marching 100. The band has not performed at a football game since the Florida Classic in 2011.
Robinson attended a pep rally with the band on Saturday. He said the group still sounds like the best band in the nation.
"They have a sound you can hear a mile away and say, 'That's the Marching 100.'" Robinson said. "The band is back, now we need the fans back."
All band performances were halted for FAMU's famed Marching 100 shortly after Robert Champion collapsed and died following a hazing ritual on a bus parked at an Orlando hotel in November 2011. The ritual occurred shortly after the band had returned to its hotel.
Nirobi Robinson, a FAMU junior who attended ever football game last year, said the games were missing something important last year.
"The entertainment wasn't cutting it," she said. "We need the band."
Jordan Culver writes for the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, a Gannett property