The University of Minnesota Marching Band kicked off the football season on a high note Thursday with a tribute to new Gophers coach P.J. Fleck’s mantra.
During the halftime show at the Gophers win over Buffalo in Fleck’s debut at Minnesota, the 324-member band spelled out “Row the Boat” on the field, formed images of oars and a compass and a boat being propelled down the field.
A time-lapse video of the performance was tweeted by the Big Ten Network, and is getting some online love with more than 1,100 likes.
Band director Betsy McCann said the band decided on the theme in February after Fleck was hired and brought his “Row the Boat” motto from his previous post at Western Michigan University.
During the halftime show, the band played “Soul Sacrifice,” a Santana cover, “Gonna Fly Now,” the theme song from the “Rocky” movie and a world premiere arrangement of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” by U of M jazz professor Dean Sorenson.
Fleck’s “Row the Boat” motto, symbolizing teamwork and shared sacrifice, has also been showing up on shirts, billboards, wristbands and oar-shaped business cards.