Drum Corps International
Number crunching

Number crunching

by Michael Boo


Crystal balls and tarot cards can't hold a candle to DCI.org
columnist Michael Boo's way of seeing into the future.
A year ago, I predicted on DCI.org that the Indianapolis Colts would win Super Bowl XLIV and DCI's Colts would make the World Championship Finals. But, alas, the football Colts lost the Super Bowl to the Saints after winning the AFC Championship game over the Jets, and our Colts didn't make the Finals with another 13th place finish in August. Now bear with me here, because I take it to heart when my predictions are off, and for the last year I've been racking my brain trying to make sense of it all. So here it goes ... Of great interest to no one but myself, AFC is also the initials for American Flow Control, one of the world's largest manufacturers of fire hydrants. AFC (the company not the football conference) is based in Birmingham, Alabama, the city that hosted the 1980 DCI World Championships. Perhaps I've been influenced by all the recent debate about the shift in zodiac signs, but this is where my personal brand of numerology kicks in, and gives me reason to predict that the Colts (the drum corps) will have the banner year this year that I had predicted for last. Let's start with the square root of 1980 (the last year the World Championships were in Birmingham), which is 44.497. For all effective purposes that's 44.5, which is only 0.5 from the number 45. Remember that back in the day, Colts used to be known as the Colt 45. In 2009, the Colts scored 85.60 in the Semifinals, exactly 0.45 higher than the corps' Quarterfinals score of 85.15. Even if you don't like to do math, it's apparent that 0.45 is related to 45. (Cue the Rod Serling sound effects on the synthesizers.) And what about the 0.5 that's remaining from the above equation? Well, the square of 45 is 2025. 2025 minus 2011 (this year) is 14. (Remember that number.) Colts first made the DCI World Championship Finals in 1993. 2007 (the last time Colts made the World Championship Finals) minus 1993 is 14. (Cool, huh?) The first DCI World Championship was in 1972. There have been 39 Championships since (and including) 1972. The Colts have made the Finals eight times, leaving 31 years that the corps wasn't among the top 12. Now hold on to your shako, because 0.5x31=15.5, and 15.5 was the total Visual score earned by the corps at the Finals in 1993, its first year in the Big Dance. (Colts received 7.8 in Visual Field and 7.7 in Visual Ensemble.) Of all the non-General Effect captions then, (Brass, Percussion and Visual), the Visual caption was the corps' lowest score, 0.6 under its Percussion score and 0.9 under its Brass score. 0.9+0.6=1.5, which, when multiplied by 9 (the number of times the corps would be in Finals if it makes it this year) equals 13.5. And while that's 0.5 under the 14 from above, we've already seen the significance of number 0.5. In addition, add that 0.5 to 0.85, the amount the corps needed to have been in the 2010 World Championship Finals, (since Glassmen's 12th place Semifinals score of 86.50 was 0.85 above Colts' 84.65), and you've got 1.35. Remember the 13.5 from the middle of this paragraph? Zowie! That's 10 times 1.35, and the last time the Colts made the Finals (in 2007), they finished in 10th place. And that doesn't even take into account that 2007 was the first full year DCI made plans to bring the whole enchilada (and some left-over taco salad) to Indianapolis, which brings us to 2011. (Trust me on this.) Colts finished in 13th place in 1997, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010. 5x13=65. And 65x65=4225. 4+2+2+5=13. (Uh-oh.) But hope prevails because 13x45 (Colt 45)=585. 2011–585=1426. If you add each of those numbers, 1+4+2+6=13. (Ta-dah.) However, 585/65=9. As I've already pointed out, if Colts make the Finals in 2011, it will be their ninth time in the top 12. After all that, do you need further proof? In 1993, the corps scored 81.60 in its first year in the DCI World Championships Finals. In 1995, the corps scored 86.30 in what remains the corps' highest placement ever (9th) in DCI. It's also the corps' highest score at the World Championships Finals. 86.30–84.65=1.65. 1.65x45 (Colt 45 again)=27.272727. It's apparent that number is trying to tell us something, but what? I've got it! Of course, it's trying to draw attention to the 27th Lancers, one of the most heralded corps from DCI's earlier years. In 1986, 27th's final year, the corps placed 13th with a score of 85.60 for its "Sunday in the Park with George" show. The Steven Sondheim production was also the theme of Colts' 1995 show. 1986+9=1995. Remember, that 9th place finish was the corps' highest placement ever, and if Colts make Finals this year, it will be their 9th time in the top 12. Conclusion: This is the year I had expected last year. For Colts, 2011 is the new 2010. The numbers don't lie. Another thing that doesn't lie is my head. It's throbbing with a terrible headache caused by all the number crunching. (I'm a lot of fun when I'm working on a recap analysis for DCI.org during the summer.) I think I'll go to bed and stay there…at least until March.
Michael Boo was a member of the Cavaliers from 1975-1977. He has written about the drum corps activity for more than a quarter century and serves as a staff writer for various Drum Corps International projects. Boo has written for numerous other publications and has published an honors-winning book on the history of figure skating. As an accomplished composer, Boo holds a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in music theory and composition. He resides in Chesterton, Ind.

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