This interview with Blue Knights director Mark Arnold ran in a Blue Knights e-mail release:

Question: When we last talked with you the corps was on its way to San Antonio after Drums Along the Rockies. That seems like only yesterday, but you guys have really been putting on the miles, haven't you?

Arnold: We certainly have! Since that time we have participated in two major regional events, one in San Antonio and another in Indianapolis. Today the corps is in Pittsburgh, preparing for a show tonight. We survived the heat and humidity of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi last week. It was truly amazing to see the strength of this corps under such extreme conditions. After the show in Tupelo we drove through the night into Indianapolis where it truly was just downright cold!

Question: Tell us what you think about the competitive position of the Corps. It seems that you and Santa Clara are really battling it out right now!

Arnold: The important thing to remember right now is our overall relationship to the corps in our competitive arena. From the very beginning it has been very important for us to establish that we belong among the finalist corps. To date we have certainly accomplished that. However, of more importance was to build upon our growth last year and challenge our members to even higher levels of performance. I am very pleased with the progress of this corps. Every member is reaching deep down to obtain an even higher level of personal growth and performance. When you can see this happening on a day-to-day basis, you know you are accomplishing the most meaningful objective, regardless of your competitive placements.

Question: OK, that was a very diplomatic answer. What do you really think about the competition this year?

Arnold: Bottom line: All the corps this year are stronger then last year. Yes, the Blue Knights is a much improved corps over last year, but so is our competition. However, I truly believe if our members and staff stay the course and just keep their heads down and work hard, great things will happen. It's worked this way in the past and I really believe we are setting ourselves up for a great championships week in Foxboro -- I can feel it.