The Texas Longhorns marching band has had a decades-long rivalry with the Purdue marching band over who has the bigger drum. ‘Everything is bigger in Texas’ isn’t just a phrase that’s thrown around casually in the Longhorn State. In this case, it’s a fact.
The two schools have been battling over the claim ‘World’s Biggest Drum’ since the early 1950s. But with the introduction of Big Bertha II, a bass drum measuring 114′ by 55′, the Texas Longhorns officially lay claim to the largest drum the world has ever known.
ESPN’s Dave Wilson recently published an article detailing the rivalry between the schools and their marching bands. Sitting on the trailer, Big Bertha II, the Longhorns’ newest drum, is 12 feet tall! And this description of just how immensely powerful it is will blow you away:
Aside from being the biggest, Big Bertha II strikes another claim: It can play the lowest note ever played on a drum. And with a new wireless microphone inside it connected to the stadium speakers (another first), it’s going to shake things up.
“The bigger the diameter, the lower the note. That’s drums,” said Antoun. “If this is the biggest bass drum in the world, then it’s going to be the lowest note. I don’t know what kind of subwoofers they have in that stadium. But it has the ability to break windows. Everybody’s gonna be feeling like there’s an earthquake in there. It’ll rumble.”
If that immense power of a drum sounds familiar it’s because it’s eerily reminiscent of ‘The Brown Note’ from South Park. And if the Texas Longhorns had any stones, they’d play the brown note in the stadium next time Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide roll into town:
To further give you a sense of just how large this drum is, the band had to construct new doors at their facility just for this drum. UT band director Cliff Croomes said “we’ve got a door that’s 12 feet tall that was built for Big Bertha to fit through. Big Bertha is 10 feet. Big Bertha II, is right at 12 feet [on the trailer]. So we were concerned that it wasn’t going to fit in the door. But it clears the door by maybe an inch.”
The Texas Longhorns sent out a press release on October 15th after Big Bertha II made her debut against Iowa State, a moment that will forever live in band infamy. Band Director Cliff Croomes said that “Bertha is loud. Big Bertha II will be cacophonous.”
If there is anything in College Football recruiting that should sway ‘croots right now in the Lonestar State more than the fact that A&M are a hot mess, it’s Big Bertha II’s arrival in Austin. This might be the secret weapon the Longhorns have been waiting for to turn it all around.