Why do we care about pep rallys for academics? My school used to do them and the kids thought they were stupid. I see write ups for successful kids all the time, (but not in newspapers as those are dead). They are plastered on school websites all over the place.
You are correct, they don't exist just for someone to run up and down the field. But what about those football players that are also the smartest kids in the building. My child is incredibly smart, (doesn't get that from me), and she hasn't had a pep rally for her but she doesn't care. Do you really think the "smart" kids want a pep rally just for them?
Football is a big deal in Texas. So what. What I have noticed in my travels and observations is that states where football is important so is band. And while some of us detest marching band it is what helps give us the budgets we enjoy. Where football isn't very important bands are often JUST another class with little to no budget or support. Be careful with "extra-curricular should stay in their lane." While we are "curricular" according to the state we are very much considered "extra-curricular" by those that fund and staff our programs. Last time I checked anyone could enroll in a math class and there were no fees to do so. And when the kid quits doing their math work they don't simply get a schedule change.
And you do know that there are schools that don't have a football team in Texas right?