OT: Lions player accused verbally harassing UW Band

Submitted by SamirCM on October 7th, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Didn't see this on here, but Lions Center Raiola has been accused of verbally harassing members of the UW marching band prior to the beginning of the game. I don't know much about him and I didn't see the game, did anyone hear anything about this? 


The Lions are investigating this. 


Doc Brown

October 7th, 2013 at 6:36 PM ^

When there are one or two witnesses there is a question. But to have several witnesses from outside the band, I think I am willing to take the Wisconsin band's side for the first time in history (especially knowing the history between the UW band and Michigan). This is not Raiola's first incident either. 



Just part of Raiola's ignorant, jackass MO. He is a pro bowl lineman. It is time he starts acting like a professional and not like a hick from the backwoods of Nebraska. 

I don't twist things around to fit anything. I am a scientist and a teacher and the only thing I care about are facts. I am just surprised anyone can support raiola anymore, when we have such high character guys like Bush, megatron, and Delmas on the team. 

You do have a point about how the lions get blown out of proportion when compared to the Pats. 


October 7th, 2013 at 6:43 PM ^

He yelled at a couple of unruly fans and flicked them off.  It astounds me that fans can throw crap in the stands and yell at guys and (typically) get away with it, but a player yells back or flips someone off and he gets hit with pretty substantial fines.  Spectators should be able to voice their displeasure with a performance without making asses of themselves, and the refrain that "they pay the ticket, they can do what they want" and "he should be a professional" rings hollow to me, considering you'd be escored from most premises for behavior 1/10th as idiotic as you see at professional sports contests.


October 7th, 2013 at 8:50 PM ^

What a hypocrite.  Raiola has been known for years to be a blowhard.  You critique a model franchise in the NFL for just about literally everything they have done questionably and defend the saddest franchise in the NFL.  The Lions are a joke, and will continue to be a joke in spite of your blind homerism until the Fords sell the team.


October 7th, 2013 at 9:01 PM ^

You have completely missed the point of anything I've said, and  it's embarrassing.

The Lions may be sad, but at least they haven't been cheaters, or put out hits on other players.

They also haven't employed (and continued to provide employment for) as many horrible people as certain "model" franchises.

At no point have I defended the Lions for being terrible, and so for you to continue to bring that up as if it's any sort of argument against my position is both fallacious and nonsensical.

Section 1

October 7th, 2013 at 5:49 PM ^

Verbal harassment is a way of life for the UW marching band.  They've gotten themselves introuble twice, and one time suspended -- that's the whole freaking band -- in mid-football season.  And I'm quite proud of the fact that both UW band suspensions occurred as a result of UW band trips to Ann Arbor.  Something about Michigan makes them crazy.

From a 2008 ESPN story:

MADISON, Wis. -- The University of Wisconsin marching band has been suspended indefinitely while allegations of hazing, alcohol abuse and sexual misconduct are investigated.

The band won't play Saturday during a nationally televised football game between the No. 18 Badgers and No. 14 Ohio State at Camp Randall Stadium.

The university made the announcement at a hastily called news conference Friday night, saying the behavior is consistent with conduct that put the band on probation in 2006.

Mike Leckrone, band director since 1969, said he made the decision and it was the first time in his tenure the entire band has ever been suspended and prevented from playing at a game.

Leckrone said he informed the 300 band members at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

"My feeling was I hit them between the eyes with a sledgehammer," he said.

No details were immediately released about the behavior, only that it involved inappropriate alcohol use, hazing and sexualized behavior. Leckrone said it involved only a small number of band members, but it was significant enough to warrant the suspension.

He and Dean of Students Lori Berquam refused to discuss any details while the investigation by Berquam's office is ongoing. 


ROFLMAO. In the back of the bus.


Bando Calrissian

October 7th, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^

The Wisconsin band is not banned from coming to Michigan, especially not for the piano thing. That incident happened, IIRC, in the 1980s, and they've been back multiple times since. Standard operating procedure when Wisconsin comes to town is to make sure everything that can walk away is in a locker, and someone keeps an eye on the piano.

The two times they came when I was in the band, it didn't matter much. Most of them were out in the Gray Lot downing beers in full uniform.

Doc Brown

October 7th, 2013 at 10:27 PM ^

this friend was a trumpet player that graduated in 2008. I see no reason they would lie. Guess what history repeats. Criminal organizations like the UW band will continue their behavior. 

For me to side with the UW band in this thread is a miracle in itself. Although we are talking about the Lion's resident homophobic, sexist a hole. nothing surprises me with Raiola anymore. 

Bando Calrissian

October 7th, 2013 at 11:17 PM ^

Guess what? I was in the band with that person. I was there, too. And I'm telling you they're mistaken. No one tried to steal a piano when Wisconsin visited in the 2000s. It happened in the 1980s.

EDIT: Here's a reference, from right before the 2008 game, to the piano story. Dating it from before the 1990s:


But, hey, your friend told you, so it must be true. 


October 8th, 2013 at 9:58 AM ^

Brian had this article on the UW band back in '06:


I helped the band out with security for a couple years after I graduated.  The first year, the Badger mascot got on the field and ran through the Michigan Band disrupting the pregame show.  I was assigned to shadow the weasel during the half time show to make sure a repeat didn't happen.

The cheerleaders grabbed him later in the game and "poled" him on the goalpost.  It seemed a bit rougher than what they had done with other mascots and cheerleaders.  No one complained.


October 7th, 2013 at 5:52 PM ^

I found SBNation's piece on the subject - (HERE) - and it directs people to a Facebook entry from someone who was supposedly a victim of Raiola's words. That link is (HERE), and if it is to be believed, Raiola went over all sorts of lines, but we'll see what the investigation turns up. 

Michigan Eaglet

October 7th, 2013 at 6:22 PM ^

I would give you he stepped way over the line when yelling at the girl, but as for the rest of that facebook post, there was nothing that was described that was any worse than what a lot of fans say at game to opposing fans and bands week in and week out. I'm not saying that I would say these things at a game because I go to actually watch the game and analyze what goes on each play (I know I'm in the minority), but I've had a hell of a lot worse yelled at me regularly by opposing fans. Try going to East Lansing or the Horseshoe wearing anything Michigan and then you can talk about "verbal abuse". It seems like the band member had some pretty thin skin if all it takes for someone to be "literally the worst person I have ever had the fortune to encounter" is to call someone in the band fat, say they can't play a real sport and to talk about someone's mom/sister.


October 7th, 2013 at 6:34 PM ^

i was in the band and in 2011 in east lansing they honored their baseball team for something and some of them spit on some picc players as they walked past us. then after they won their team ran over to the band and basically taunted the trumpet section in the same way raiola did here. so yeah it could be worse, if your in the band you can be seen as a pretty easy target. this is relatively mild in comparison


October 7th, 2013 at 6:00 PM ^

I went to a seattle v detroit game in seattle and Raiola keep turning to the crowd and telling the fans to "SUCK MY MOTHERF***IN D*CK"  over and over so the second I saw the post I knew it was Raiola.  ha

Bando Calrissian

October 7th, 2013 at 6:28 PM ^

Not defending Raiola at all, but my level of outrage over this incident is directly proportional to the reality that the Wisconsin band is essentially the Regina George of the Big Ten marching band landscape. 


October 7th, 2013 at 6:33 PM ^

Yeah, um, Raiola annoys the shit out of me because his talk-to-talent ratio is far too high, but even I have a hard time believing he simply ran up to a bunch of innocent, angelic band members and cursed them out for no reason at all.  I fully support any action the Lions will take against him, because he was out of line, but I also refuse to pretend there wasn't an iota of culpability from someone in the band.


October 7th, 2013 at 8:01 PM ^

Yeah, that's where I stand on this as well.  Typically, people don't get verbally abused for no reason.  It's not like Raiola verbally abuses every single person he walks past, so there's probably a reason he did so here.

I'm not saying his actions were in the right or that he's not set off a little too easily, but I'd be willing to bet a literal buttload of money that there was plenty of shit talking on both sides.