Brandt’s energy excites Falcon sports fans

A visiting hockey player heads to the penalty box at the University Ice Arena, and snippets from Inner Circle’s “Bad Boys” and Alice in Chains’ “Man in the Box” emerge from the PA system.

Then come four notes.

“What, the wha, wha, wha, wha? I don’t know what that is,” says Everett Brandt, bass player for the Falcon Athletic Band and creator of those short tones.

But those chords have been just about the least noticeable part of Everett Brandt’s performances at basketball and hockey games during the past three winters.

“He’s the spark plug,” said Carol Hayward, director of the Falcon Marching Band and Athletic Band. “The energy starts with him and we have several drummers who are very energetic as well. When you have that energy in the rhythm section, it passes easily to the rest of the group.”

Brandt says that his energy comes from the crowd, the game and the music, which typically keeps him moving for three hours straight.

“He really brings the energy and the crowd interaction into it,” said Zak Ryan, a senior drummer in the band. “He does the whole dancing thing that catches people’s eyes and brings them into it a lot more.”

With an apparently draining act often required three or four times a week during the winter months, he must have a secret formula for stamina, right?

“I get a little bit of sleep and I drink a lot of water,” Brandt said.

If the nation’s energy crisis were that simple, it would already be solved.

That’s not to say that, like the athletes he watches during games, the 21-year-old music double major doesn’t experience aches and pains after a game.

“I was so sore last weekend, after the three games,” said Brandt, referring to Jan. 17 when he played at the women’s basketball game against Akron at 1 p.m., the hockey game against Michigan at 5 p.m. and the men’s game against Akron at 8 p.m.

“But I’ll go run three or four miles at the rec to work everything out,” he said. “I don’t have time to condition. I wish I did.”

The quest for time plays a major role in Brandt’s daily life. Not only has he not missed more than three basketball (men’s or women’s) or hockey games in his three-year career as bass player, but his academic life is a whirlwind.

He finished most of the BGSU core requirements through Advanced Placement testing in high school, allowing the Rocky River, Ohio native to complete a double major in music education and jazz studies within four years.

But his degrees have not and will not be easy to finish.

Though he has passed all of his courses thus far at BG and even managed a 4.0 GPA last semester, Brandt failed to quickly answer a question that most students on campus know the answer to immediately.

How many credits are you taking this semester?

“Either 25 or 26,” he said, pulling out his three-page long class schedule. “Let me look. 21, 22, 23″ 26. Wait, orchestra’s not on here. That’s odd”

“This semester’s crazy. I realized I could get out in four years and so I’m going for it,” Brandt said.

He admits that he essentially has no social life outside of games, other musical performances and classes, but said, “I get that social interaction within those activities.”

Tonight, as the men’s basketball team takes on Ball State at Anderson Arena, Brandt will be lively as ever, entertaining the crowd with constant movement and helping to keep the band paced with low melodies and rhythm.

“He’s got a lot of skills. He’s very good and that’s extremely important,” Hayward said. “It’s just like in a jazz ensemble. Your rhythm is the soul of the group.”

Along with his bass and amplifier, he carries a straightforward motto to each game.

“Don’t be afraid to go out and do something that will make you look like a fool,” Brandt said. “Chances are you’ll find yourself smiling and having a blast.”

For news, notes and opinions on all BG sports, check out www.bgnewssports.com.

Contact sports reporter Ethan Magoc at [email protected]