Archive for Monday, October 20, 2008

Student newspaper offers options to obscene chant at KU football games

KU students now have a new list of options to replace a vulgar chant that currently echoes from the student section during KU home football games.

October 20, 2008


Reader poll
What do you think should be the new kickoff chant?

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The leadership of Kansas University's student newspaper and other KU and athletic department officials are hoping more students begin thinking like Logan Chamberlin.

The Wichita sophomore used to participate in an obscene football chant during KU football games. He stopped after football coach Mark Mangino asked him and the rest of the student body about 10 days ago to stop chanting "Rip his (expletive) head off" during KU kickoffs.

"I think we can change," he said. "I think we can show a little bit more class."

Kansas University's student newspaper unveiled on Monday five new options for a kickoff chant that would replace the obscene one that still persists in the student section during games.

The newspaper leadership took the initiative earlier this month to lead an effort to get rid of the chant, forming a committee to address the issue.

With this week's Homecoming game against Texas Tech, Kansan editor Matt Erickson said he hopes to bring forth an alternative for those who do not wish to participate in the chant.

On the student newspaper's Web site,, an online poll asked visitors to choose among options for replacements. Erickson said if a clear winner emerges, the paper will work with student government, KU and the athletics department to disseminate the message to students, in hopes of rallying football fans around a new chat.

The options ranged from the traditional, "Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU!" to the idiosyncratic, "Right between the eyes!" an homage to KU alumnus and sports broadcaster Kevin Harlan.

Erickson said the staff at the Kansan came up with the options, and included one suggestion from Todd Cohen, a university spokesman, "Make 'em weep!"

That is taken from a line in KU's fight song, "But I'm the bird to make 'em weep and wail," in reference to other conference opponents.

Cohen pointed out that the historic Rock Chalk chant has its roots in a newspaper contest similar to this one. In 1886, KU's weekly student newspaper, the University Courier, put out a call for students to adopt a yell for an oratorical competition.

While that contest did not lead to a cheer in time for the event, it helped prompt the university's science club to create the now-famous Rock Chalk, Jayhawk chant.

Cohen said the university would be willing to help the students however it could.

"We're happily letting students take the lead," he said.

The option that was leading in the poll Monday evening was "Go ... Jayhawks!" where students chant an extended "Go..." before the kickoff, and "Jayhawks!" after the ball is kicked. Erickson said that idea is taken from Notre Dame and other universities that perform similar chants.

Erickson said that from his seat at the Colorado game, and after watching videos of the crowd, it looks like no more than one out of every three or four students continued to yell the obscene chant.

"Right now, it's a minority of people participating in it," he said. "But that minority is all yelling," in some cases louder than before, he said, making the chant still audible.

Some students - including L.D. Williams, an El Dorado junior - yelled the obscene chant at the Colorado game, and have no plans to switch.

"I played sports in high school, and stuff like that always got me fired up," Williams said, before adding a line that rankles opponents of the chant. "It's something unique to Kansas."

Erickson, Cohen and others say they want to stop the chant before it rises to the level of a new KU tradition.

Williams said he wasn't impressed by the new options unveiled on Monday.

"They don't strike me as having as much power behind them as what's already there," he said.

Voting is available on the Web site until 5 p.m. Wednesday, and anyone may submit ideas that could be included in the poll by e-mailing

One option not likely to make the Kansan's final cut was presented by Kansas City, Kan., freshman Amber Schaber. She admitted to yelling the obscene version of the chant at Buffalo Wild Wings during away games, but at home, she and other members of the KU Marching Jayhawks band have taken to yelling something else at home.

"Give him a hug!" she said.


Sheila Hooper White 8 years, 10 months ago

What is so unique, Mr. Williams? It was taking from a movie. It is always the one bad apple.

greenworld 8 years, 10 months ago

How about just RIp his head off w/o the F**king. What's wrong with that? Oh yeah I guess that would still sound to much like the original chant. How about the students just throw oranges on the field after we kick Tx ass. Horns down when I show up to the stadium on Nov 15th.

castarke 8 years, 10 months ago

I think I just ripped my head off HA HA HA HA

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years, 10 months ago

Colonel Kurtz: "We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won't allow them to write "FLICK" on their airplanes,because it's obscene!"It's a word... an utterance.( I'm not in any way invested in the chant, but... really.... )

nobody1793 8 years, 10 months ago

"Rock Hudson them, Rock Hudson them, Hit 'em hard from behind, Huh!"-Northwestern University Marching Band, ca. 1990.

castarke 8 years, 10 months ago

How about "fight, Win, Kick A__!!!" or "Beak'em Hawks!!" just suggestions, but i still like the one that is currently being used.

phoenixforce 8 years, 10 months ago

Seriously it looks like the writer scratched out the interviewees the Kansan used, replaced them with their own random students, called the UDK's editor, and called it their own story. Then stealing the poll is just over the line. Perhaps they should pay the UDK if they decide to steal their stories... or just fire the current staff and hire all the UDK writers when they graduate because they just admitted that the UDK writers are better than their own I think.

beatrice 8 years, 10 months ago

Instead of ""Rip his (expletive) head off!" why not go with, "(Expletive) rip his head off!" That way, the emphasis is on the ripping, not the head. It somehow seems to be grammatically preferable.

hawkman8950 8 years, 10 months ago

The same people spear heading this effort probably use just as much profanity at parties they may go to and in everyday life. I understand from a family aspect and childrens aspect on the chant and yeah it needs to go but it's gonna take time and some people don't realize that. Now i know a football game chant versus everyday life is comparing apples to oranges. I know it'll change but everyone press the issue by not pressuring people to conform. To make people conform is only gonna cause more resistence, make suggestions, make it something important to be dealt with but don't blow it out of proportion. Peoples sensitivity levels are way out of whack these days. Just relax and go with the flow from time to time. Sure things are serious and need to be treated as such, but for godsakes simmer down a bit. The chant will go away just hate to break to you all it won't be overnight. We'll see how it turns out this next saturday and just go from there.

mom_of_three 8 years, 10 months ago

who cares what the people do in their private life. In public, they want to stop the chant, because perhaps the language doesn't belong in public. Some students think it's a tradition, but it;s only been for a few years. That's not a tradition.

packs_of_wild_dogzz 8 years, 10 months ago

how lame. of course a bunch of 17-18 year old kids are gonna say "yeah let's change the chant from Rip His F**king Head Off! to Rock Chalk Jayhawk!" What world are you living in?

phoenixforce 8 years, 10 months ago

Wow. Coming up with a poll to see what people want for the chant was a great idea. Glad the Kansan came up with it and the LJW ripped them off.Here's a link to the REAL poll.

XEPCT 8 years, 10 months ago

lol phoenix, usually about the Kansan is a better newspaper than the LJW half the week (and there is no Kansan on Saturday or Sunday)

Snoop 8 years, 10 months ago

C'mon folks this is a You Tube generation.If you want to stop the profanity chant, point every freaken camera in the stadium at the student section, post the videos or pictures on You Tube or the student newspaper and just have the rest of the stadium just Boo like hell!Peer pressure is a U know what.The cheer is just retarded anyway, if you don't want our team to get abused on the road why act like jackasses towards the visiting teams when they come here.If you are someone that places a higher importance of yelling this crap at the opposing team, despite our coach asking politely not to do it, then you are not there as a true fan to watch a good football game.This is the kind of crap hillbillies do shouting profanities out of the back of a pickup truck.

Ryan Shumaker 8 years, 10 months ago

this chant was only funny the first time it was used- The game after Callahan made the throat slit gesture when we played Nebraska the next week. It seems now that everyone just yells it b/c they think it's cool, but it was only funny or cool that one game.

Raider 8 years, 10 months ago

You wouldn't hear this sort of thing at more tradition-rich programs such as Nebraska. KU fans are just experiencing "new money syndrome". They've had one good season in a long time, and all of a sudden they think they are world-beaters and can treat opposing fans/teams like dirt.

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