OK, students, settle down.
Your grade depends on the answer to this one question:
Which of these doesn't belong? Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Tim Camper.
Easy, right? Rodgers, Brees and Brady are all NFL quarterbacks hoping to take the field at next month's Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
Tim Camper knows he's going to be playing there -- and with a lot less chance of pulling a hammy or having some angry 300-pound guy fall on his head.
A sophomore at Indiana University, Camper is a member of the school's award-winning marching band -- known as the Marching Hundred -- that will perform during a five-or six-minute slot before the Biggest Game in the Universe and Points Beyond.
"The whole thing is going to be pretty awesome," Camper says. "I'll be able to say I was at the Super Bowl and that I was on the field."
Jay Cutler, are you listening?
If you plop down in front of the 46-inch flat screen on Super Bowl Sunday, you probably won't catch the Marching Hundred (which actually includes more than 300 musicians under the direction of David Woodley) because they'll be performing during commercials before the game.
But Camper says his parents -- Tim and Joan -- already are checking out websites that may stream the entire pregame extravaganza and there's always the chance some folks at Lucas Oil Stadium may be taking videos of the whole thing.
A Carol Stream resident who began playing the French horn in grade school, Camper switched to the mellophone when he began performing with the Glenbard North High School marching band.
For those of us not overly familiar with it, the mellophone is kind of a marching band version of the French horn. If you're actually at the game, or maybe watching the pregame festivities on the web, and trying to pick Camper out, look for the musicians who seem to be playing really big trumpets.
"The mellos are pretty obvious," he says. "There are about 30 of us."
Worst kept secret
Don't tell anybody, but if Tim Camper had his way, you wouldn't be reading this story.
He'd tell you it's way more appropriate to talk about the overall success and popularity of the Marching Hundred than any one member -- especially him.
But word is spreading around town and he knows why.
Um, Mom, is that you?
"My parents are even more enthusiastic than I am," he says. "That's how the information got out there."
"He's a bit shy and a little bit worried about how it might look like he was bragging," his dad says.
For the record, the Marching Hundred can trace its roots to 1896 when 22 musicians got together at Indiana. Nobody's exactly sure when it took its current name, but in 2007 the band won the Sudler Trophy as the best college marching band in the land -- kind of the musical version of the Heisman Trophy.
As careful as he is to remind you that he's just one of hundreds of musicians in the band, Camper takes justifiable pride in the group's success.
"At the U, the students love us," he says.
And his dad says even visiting fans sometimes celebrate the band's performances. He says he was on hand when the Hoosiers hosted Illinois and "the Illini fans came down after the game and started chanting 'Marching Hundred.'"
A touch of Indiana
Now in his 19th year as the band's director, David Woodley says he first heard from the NFL's Super Bowl producers around the beginning of December. The organizers apparently learned about the Marching Hundred from the Indianapolis Colts front office, which usually invites the band to perform at one game a year.
The producers offered the Marching Hundred the five-minute pregame segment along with a few tips on what they'd like to see the group perform.
"They want us to be as Indianish as possible," Woodley says.
Exactly how that will translate into what the band does on Super Bowl Sunday probably will be decided in the next few days.
"We still need to see how what we'd like to do meets with what they would like us to do," the director says.
Woodley says he knows his musicians will want to incorporate "Sing, Sing, Sing," the band's signature song for the past 30 years, into their performance.
When the final decision is made, he says, the band will rehearse its new routine on two Saturdays, including the one immediately before the big game.
If anybody's nervous about the relatively short time frame to get ready, Woodley and Camper don't appear to be among them.
"We perform a different show at each of our home football games, so we're used to putting them together in a week," Woodley says. "We'll have enough time to pull off the show we want to do."
Members of the Marching Hundred have performed at enough Colts games to know they won't see much of the actual Super Bowl except on TV.
When the band isn't going through its paces on the field, it likely will be sequestered in a room beneath the stadium.
Camper won't have a direct rooting interest in the game, but even if the band is stashed away in some windowless room, he'll be a lot closer to it than most members of his favorite team.
"I watch the Bears a lot," he says, "but I can't remember stats for the life of me."
It is, of course, far more important for him to be able to memorize the band's music and steps.
"Memorizing the music is the most difficult," he says. "Some of the pieces we play are challenging -- challenging enough to keep it interesting."
Woodley agrees. "We're trying to do music you hope both the audience and kids will enjoy."
It's just a little bit possible the IU Marching Hundred won't be the best known musical group on the field on Super Sunday. There's some girl singer -- Madonna is it? -- who's slated to perform at halftime.
But that won't keep the Indiana kids from playing and shouting and generally having the time of their lives.
It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Woodley says, and Camper is not one to argue.
Press him and he'll admit it's pretty neat to exchange high fives with friends who know he'll be performing on the very same field where Peyton Manning once threw touchdown passes and to hear his friends say, "Dude, it's cool."
Better still, he says, is the opportunity to share it all with his fellow musicians. You can scoff at calling them a band of brothers -- and sisters -- but Camper says their camaraderie and sense of shared purpose is what makes it all worthwhile.
"The music is fantastic," he says, "but I just like being with all those people."