Woodling: ‘Muck’ slogan must go

Kansas University's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee wants to clean up distasteful T-shirts, including the popular Muck

Bless their pea-picking hearts, the budding journalists at the University Daily Kansan are on a crusade.

Is Kansas University’s student newspaper lobbying for a reduction of tuition and fees? No. They realize they have a better chance of forcing the administration to change KU’s nickname from Jayhawks to Persimmons.

Is the UDK pursuing better seats at men’s basketball games? Not really. They know Lew Perkins, CEO of Kansas Athletics Inc., holds all the cards.

Is the paper hoping to force the city to repave 19th Street, one of the primary campus access roads? Huh-uh. That isn’t it, even though one of Lawrence’s most heavily used east-west arterials has become a shock-absorber test zone.

But I digress. The Kansan is determined to come up with an alternative to what has become KU’s most recognizable T-shirt slogan. That would, of course, be “Muck Fizzou.” The UDK is asking students to submit less vulgar slogans on its Web site. Then they’ll pick the top five suggestions and announce the finalists during Saturday’s Kansas-Nebraska football game.

I should stress that the student paper isn’t alone in this quest. The Interfraternity Council, among others, is a booster, too.

“The Muck Fizzou T-shirt is five years old,” IFC president Ian Lang told the UDK. “Let’s get something new.”

Furthermore, Lang said, the student body needs “to display our pride in something that truly portrays the university we attend. It’s about sending the right message.”

It’s also about having your mug and your index finger waving on television because ESPN has announced it will direct its cameras away from students wearing “Muck Fizzou” T-shirts. This directive from the world-wide leader was issued primarily for men’s basketball, but surely also would affect the Kansas-Missouri football game, which almost surely will be on either ESPN or its daddy, ABC.

Yes, I know the KU-MU game will be played on Thanksgiving weekend and the weather isn’t likely to be conducive to T-shirts, but you know college students. They’ll slather their bodies in bear grease if they think it will lure a TV cameraman.

All of this brings to mind one question: Has there ever been a genteel slogan referring to the Kansas-Missouri rivalry? I know they euphemized the Border War by renaming it the Border Showdown, but all “Muck Fizzou” really did was replace “Sw Mizzou.”

Frustratingly for Missouri fans, it’s all but impossible to come up with rhymes for the words Kansas and Jayhawks. And there is no such thing as Kazzou, meaning MU students can’t wear a T-shirt that reads, “Kuck Fazzou.”

Still, I applaud the UDK and others for their efforts to come up with a clever slogan to replace “Muck Fizzou.” A refreshing change is certainly possible, but perhaps not probable.

Decades ago, for example, during Kansas-Kansas State games, you would often hear KU students chant the catchy: “Hey, wreck Silo Tech.” Yet we hardly ever hear that retort anymore. Or K-State’s equally clever rebuttal: “Kill Snob Hill.”

Nevertheless, here are a few suggestions: “Show Me? Schmo Me.” “Tiger Drag.” And “Missour-ugh.”

OK, they’re not great, but what the heck.