Opinion: Save your hate for KU basketball

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A fan holds a sign during the basketball game between K-State and KU on Feb. 20, 2016. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

The video board flashed “K-S-U,” but on the wrong beats; the cheerleaders held “K-S-U” signs, but they were ignored. The chant from the student section was something much different but all too familiar at the men’s basketball game against No. 1 Baylor on Jan. 14.

“F*** KU.”

You have to admit the chant makes for a uniquely intimidating atmosphere, for both opposing players and families.

Only twice have I ever felt goosebumps crawl up my arms before a sporting event started. The first was standing in formation after pregame show with the marching band as Harleys roared past before the football game against Auburn in 2014. The second was as the loud and proud profanities of the unison voice of the students deafened all else during tipoff at a KU game.

Banning “Sandstorm” won’t stop it — it will only force the chant to find new homes, like the “Wabash Cannonball.” The chances of eliminating the profane chant are about as likely as KU winning the national championship in football next year.

Even if Bill Snyder taped a public service announcement where he pleaded with students to cut vulgar words out of chants because we are a university that prides itself on family, it wouldn’t work.

Nothing K-State Athletics or university administration could do would make the chant go away, short of kicking out everyone who participates in the chant. And if they did, the only students left would be the members of the Cat Band who are forbidden from participating in the profane theatrics.

As a member of the band, I have never participated in the chant. Personally, I don’t like it. I do think there is an appropriate time and place for it — maybe the sports bar or the living room couch when you’re home by yourself with a pizza and a special beverage — but Bramlage is not the place, and games against other schools are not the appropriate time.

Students at Iowa State reportedly copied our chant when they played KU on Monday. And the “Muck Fizzou” days leave Kansas fans with little room to stick their noses in the air and look down on what they consider “classless” K-State fans.

Personally, I would like to hear chants referencing “traveling” every time Kansas guard Svi Mykhailiuk touches the ball at the KU game. I know we wrote great 140-character tweets, so I am confident in our ability to come up with a new three-syllable chant.

But I’m not so naive as to think anything I say would make the least bit of difference on the student section’s word choice. I am a big supporter of the First Amendment, but the line needs drawn somewhere.

Stop chanting “F*** KU” when we are playing other teams, including Saturday’s game against No. 7 West Virginia. Save it for the KU game. Is it really all that unreasonable of a compromise?

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Jason Tidd
Jason Tidd graduated from Kansas State University's Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communication in May 2017. He was the spring 2017 editor-in-chief, fall 2016 news editor and spring 2016 assistant news editor. While at K-State, Jason played baritone in the Pride of Wildcat Land marching band.