Respectable measures, controversy remains concerning ‘the chant’

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Fans cheer in the student section during the basketball game between K-State and KU in Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 20, 2016. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

There are hardly ever times when a student section can cause so much controversy, but every time the University of Kansas comes to visit Kansas State for a basketball game, there will always be questions concerning the students. You know what it is: the chant.

If you don’t know what the chant is, it’s very simple to learn.

“F*** KU.”

It quite simply might be one of the rudest but also most frightening three syllables in all of college basketball, especially when it rings to the beat of “Sandstorm” through Bramlage Coliseum, a place that is feared by almost every team that enters it. Georges Niang, a former Iowa State player, holds it in high regards of being a hostile place.

“Whenever you go to Manhattan, you’re going to expect a bar fight,” Niang once said to the Des Moines Register. “If there’s a prison ball league, it’d be in the Octagon of Doom. It’s always tough down there.”

The Octagon of Doom has been called the angriest place in all of college basketball, and that’s not when arch-rival KU comes to town. There’s Bramlage during a basketball game, and then there’s Bramlage against KU: two entirely different levels of intensity.

Many, if not all, of the student section takes part in the chant when “Sandstorm” comes on. Even times when “Sandstorm” doesn’t play, the students usually find a way to get those three syllables in almost anything else.

“I think it makes us look kind of bad, but everyone here loves it, so I think it’s fine,” Kasey Robinson, freshman in chemical engineering, said.

There are also some that enjoy doing it, but think the idea of it and location could be improved upon.

“I am torn on the usage of the chant,” Christian Stromgren, senior in finance, said. “I believe it has a time and a place, and I don’t believe either of those are on national television. A better setting is a house party or in Aggieville after we win.”

While many students love it, there are some that don’t think too highly of the chant.

“I do not appreciate the chant,” Allie Deiter, sophomore in journalism and mass communications, said. “Regardless of how much you dislike KU or any other team, I think it’s more respectful to cheer for your own team.”

The chant became a big deal after K-State upset KU in 2015 and the students rushed the court, causing a national outcry to ban court storming and put the title of “classless” on the student section.

“I don’t think it’s a very good chant because it doesn’t promote good sportsmanship or a friendly atmosphere,” Julia Jorns, freshman in journalism and mass communications, said. “Promoting these qualities does not represent our school in a positive way in how we want to be seen.”

The matter even has drawn views from faculty at K-State.

“I am into the K-State-KU rivalry as anybody is, and I must say when I hear something like that come out of my TV set, I’m a little off-put by it,” Steve Smethers, associate professor of journalism and mass communications, said. “Emotion is the thing that guides any basketball game, I understand it all, but I think I’m a little bit on the side of ‘let’s keep in mind who’s out there and that there’s an audience of people,’ and that’s not the type of thing most people would expect to come out of their television sets.”

Regardless of a person’s view on the controversy, one thing will always remain the same: an entire student body cannot be changed. A select few might not shout the words, but as long as one person chants it, more will follow. No matter what a person thinks, nobody needs to go out and chicken-wing anyone over three little syllables.

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