CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When The Pride of West Virginia performed its halftime show on Sept. 10, paying tribute to the Armed Forces and honoring the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the marching band had no idea it would become such a big deal. But it has, with the YouTube video"2011 WVU Marching Band Armed Forces Salute" garnering more than 1.6 million hits.
Now, fans hope to gain even more attention for the show -- with a performance at the Super Bowl.
On Tuesday night, Daniel Miller created a Facebook group for the cause, spurred by a comment from Robin Sisk suggesting the idea of a Super Bowl performance. Access it by searching "Send the WVU Band to the Super Bowl to play the Armed Forces Salute!"
Both Miller and Sisk are WVU alumni and former members of The Pride, but the Facebook group's popularity shows how widely their sentiment is shared. It had more than 2,200 members after only 17 hours in existence, and that number is climbing rapidly. (Within roughly 20 minutes, it gained more than 200 fans.)
"The YouTube video of the 2011 Pride of West Virginia performing its Armed Forces Salute show has been watched over 1.5 million times to near-universal acclaim. What better addition to America's most-watched sporting event could there be?" Miller wrote in the group's description.
"If Facebook posts can get Betty White the opportunity to host SNL, why can't this work?" he added in the page's first post.
"We've decided to give this a push. It's a long shot, of course, but let's spread the word and try to make it happen!" Sisk wrote in a message on the West Virginia University Facebook page.
Group member Kimberly Nicola had another suggestion to help spread the word about the cause: "How about a showing at a Steelers game to let them get a little more attention as well?"
The halftime show celebrated, in turn, the Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force and Navy. The band transformed itself into a symbol representing each group: an Army tank, a Coast Guard tugboat, a Marine Eagle, an Air Force jet and a Navy submarine.
Shawn Jacobs of Jacksonville, N.C. commented on the performance on the group's wall. "As a active duty marine that is crazy cool to watch and know the USA has love for us like that. It keeps us going it really does, [sic]" he said.
Reach Amy Robinson at flips...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4881.