Archive for Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Heard on the Hill: Fans grumble about ‘Woo’ in Rock Chalk Chant; law dean search loses one candidate; KU alumnus becomes president of National Press Club

December 14, 2010


Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• So, do you say “WOOOOOOO” after each iteration of the Rock Chalk Chant?

If you do, a whole gaggle of angry KU fans is trying to tell you to stop. As with any good cause these days, a Facebook page has been created to raise awareness of the issue.

I haven’t personally been to a KU basketball game this year, and haven’t really noticed this in other places.

But a trip over to the Internet message board shows a typical overreaction to the issue.

One Internet poster suggests — and I think he/she/it is serious, though it’s really hard to tell in these kinds of situations — that cheerleaders create helpful signs that say “PLEASE DON'T WHOOOOOOO” at the end of games when the chant starts up.

Another suggests that the board immediately write the University Daily Kansan, the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Lawrence Journal-World and the Kansas City Star.

(No one wrote to me! I’m hurt. It took a colleague at the Journal-World to alert me to this travesty).

“Saying 'whooo' ruins the whole thing,” wrote a poster on the site who goes by “birthdayboy.” “We've got to do something.”

The excess wooooo-ing appears to be mostly coming from the students, according to the Internet posters.

So I haven’t been to a game, and I haven’t heard this firsthand, but speaking as a KU alumnus who’s been to a fair number of basketball games over the last 10 years and as a true lover of the chant, I think I can say confidently:

Seriously, people. There’s no woo.

• The search for a new KU law dean lost one of its finalists last week, after Michael Moffitt agreed to become dean of the University of Oregon School of Law.

Moffitt had been serving as Oregon’s associate law dean for academic affairs.

The scuttlebutt I’m hearing says that he was KU’s top candidate, and that the school may reopen the search after it became clear Moffitt was no longer a possibility.

No word on that yet through official channels — search committee chairman and distinguished law professor Chris Drahozal referred all questions to the provost’s office — but if they do decide to reopen the search, it just shows how smart Heard on the Hill tipsters are and you can say you heard it here first.

KU has been looking for a new law dean for nearly a year now since Gail Agrawal announced she would leave for the University of Iowa.

And if KU doesn’t reopen the search, and KU Provost Jeff Vitter instead hires one of the remaining three finalists… you didn’t hear any of this from me.

• A KU alumnus has been elected as the 104th president of the National Press Club.

Mark Hamrick has worked for The Associated Press for nearly 25 years, according to the AP, and currently works as a national business reporter in video, radio and text media.

The theme of his inaugural Jan. 29 celebration is apparently “We’re Not In Kansas Anymore,” and will feature Kansas food.

If I had to pick foods from Kansas, I don’t know what they’d necessarily be. Thoughts on what a Kansas feast might entail?

• Got a tip for Heard on the Hill? E-mail me at



Tyson Travis 7 years, 4 months ago

I haven't noticed this, but I'll listen for it on the next telecast. As a KU grad living in Arkansas, I 'root' for both teams. I think KU and the UA have the two best cheers in all of college sports, 'Rock Chalk' and 'Woo Pig Sooie' are very well known, can you think of any others that are so famous? (Of course, 'rock chalk' is much older, having been called the best college cheer by Teddy Roosevelt over 100 years ago, and it wasn't new even then. I think it dates from the 1880's when the Razorbacks were still calling themselves the Cardinals.) I don't think a 'wooo' seriously detracts, to me it brings both cheers together. BTW, if KU and UA ever face each other, I can never root against KU, but I'm not challenged often. This year it was football for UA, now KU BB is center stage.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 4 months ago

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........this is all they can complain about?

LJD230 7 years, 4 months ago

And the former KU Provost now leads what university in the northwest?

Write2Know 7 years, 4 months ago

At least its not "Woo, rip his f'n head off."

Kaplow 7 years, 4 months ago

its OK to "whooooo" after the chant following the singing of "Crimson & Blue" before the game..Its NOT OK to "whoooo" after the chant at the end of the game, it screws up the flow. It does matter, c'mon people where's you passion?

WhiteDog 7 years, 4 months ago

Oh come on people. Get over yourselves.

I'm old. When I was in school, the crowd remained silent after each Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, KU iteration. It was kinda cool and eerie. The syncopated clap in I'm a Jayhawk has changed twice in recent memory. Kids change stuff. They get to. They're the current students at the university, after all.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Hyland,

I very much enjoy this new "Heard on the Hill" feature.

ahyland 7 years, 4 months ago

Thanks! I'm having a lot of fun with it, and I hope everyone else enjoys reading it half as much as I enjoy creating it.

MyName 7 years, 4 months ago

My 2 copper on the RCJH chant:

During pregame for basketball games, the Cheerleaders have all four sides of the court do the "Rock! Chalk! Jay! Hawk! Go! K! U! (whooo!)" chant. And that's probably how it seeped in to the rest of the chant. It might be more annoying to some people for them to woo! at other times, but it kind of makes sense that people would do that.

Not something to get that worked up over, unless you have OCD or something.

pace 7 years, 4 months ago

Telling students they should not woo, hopefully should make them wooo or they don't have any back bone. I like the original but it is not my business if the students want to wooo.

PugnaciousJayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

How could the KU beat reporter not be going to any basketball games? Your dreams of becoming AD are going to continue to pitter away unless you get more involved.

ahyland 7 years, 4 months ago

I couldn't agree more! I'm still waiting for a massive, reader-led, grassroots campaign to let my editor know that the company needs to purchase season basketball tickets for me.

alm77 7 years, 4 months ago

I concur. I love your writing style. You deserve tickets. Gotta keep your finger on the pulse, right?

TopJayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

It is about time someone says something about this besides me. We should return to the old way of doing the chant....Just like it is done in the pregame cheer. No WOOO. It should be done about an octave lower and in a different key.. Just like in pregame.
The chant used to be eerie, like the haunting of Phog's ghost. You lost due to the Phog.... Now it is an irritating "In your face" childish Na Na rant. I hate it and find it irritating.

merg311 7 years, 4 months ago

While we're at it, please refrain from "home of the Chiefs" during the national anthem...

Danimal 7 years, 4 months ago

I couldn't agree more, I started at KU a few months after I got out of the Marines following my second tour in Iraq. It immediately pissed me off and made me want to start injuring all the students around me when they yelled "Chiefs!" in the place of "brave" at the end of the anthem. I'm not a fan of the "Wooo!" at the end of Rock Chalk either, but it doesn't bother me that much. Yelling "Chiefs" at the end of the national anthem is basically giving the middle finger to anyone who has ever served this country, disrespecting our nation, and honoring a bunch of overpaid professional athletes in place of those that have fought for their freedoms. But I guess I can't expect a bunch of overpriveledged college kids from JoCo to understand any of that. There's no respect or decency anymore in our society.

JustNoticed 7 years, 4 months ago

All well and good but you can leave out the part about fighting for our freedoms. That's not what you did.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 4 months ago

makes me want to wooo more, just because I know it's really bugging the hell out of someone. but in reality, I don't care about the game, the team, the sport, the fans, the tradition of throwing tons of money at something just to fit in. woooo

TopJayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

You aren't butt out. You prove the point.

John Hampton 7 years, 4 months ago

I couldn't agree more with the previous two comments.

While we're at it... cut out the booing of opponents (unless it's MU) when then enter and exit the floor..... shows no class, and we used to treat the christians coming into the lions den with a little more respect... knowing what was about to happen to them. :)

John Hampton 7 years, 4 months ago

EDIT: previous two, excluding AreUNorml. Since you don't know, you don't understand.

John Hampton 7 years, 4 months ago

This is a quote from a KSU fan (no me, btw) and it totally illustrates the point the posters on are trying to get at:

"...The four (ok, seven) years I went to K-State, I would be sitting in Bramlage after you guys curb stomped us again, pissed that we were still irrelevant. Then the chant would start. it was chilling, it infuriated me, and it worked perfectly in putting KSU in "their place."

Now, with the WOOOOO in it, I laugh a little, and think "well, they won again, but they're still ghey."

You guys really need to stop the WOOOOOing somehow. Not helping your reputation any."

TopJayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

I remember going to games in the late sixties and seventies. Back when AFH still had dirt floors, elevated court, a track running where the main hallway is now. High school folding bleachers to move for indoor trackmeets, and protable carny-type consession stands.
We did not boo opponents. And the KU chant was quiet spooky, chilling and eerie. It seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. It was the Phog dude......the Phog, he was there with us. It was cool. Now it is childish.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Since the students are apparently tone deaf, and tradition challenged; maybe it is time for a refresher course on tradition.
They are like spoiled children. They have not known hard times on the court. They love to spout about tradition, but apparently they don't want to follow it. There has to be some old footage of the chant, done right.
Maybe the cheerleaders could start it with the help of the band to get them on pitch. Or just listen to the old-timers like me who still do it right. It is tradition, don't spit on it. The students today do not have the right to change something so unique to the institution and the fieldhouse.

nobody1793 7 years, 4 months ago

Next time I hear someone "woo" during the chant, I'm going to punch them in the face.

Point plankin'. [sic]

kernal 7 years, 4 months ago

Kansas feast? Is jello salad not the ethnic food of Kansas?

ahyland 7 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for reading all the way to the end. I was beginning to wonder if anyone made it that far. :)

scarletbhound 7 years, 4 months ago

Thanks you, Topjayhawk, for your comment. I too am an old alum who remembers the days when KU fans were known for class and sportsmanship, when AFH was considered almost holy ground where the fans appreciated basketball for the wonderful game it is. That was the era when the fans would even clap when an opponent made a good play. It was a time when pride came from defeating an opponent you respected, one who tested the Jayhawks and forced the team to play at the highest level to win. That attitude seems to have disappeared about the time the Muck Fizzou t-shirts started appearing. This generation simply doesn't respect or understand tradition and has no sense of school pride or honor in sports. Instead, it's all about insults, profanity and all-around boorish behavior by many of the students. Now they are even corrupting the Rock Chalk chant and assaulting the National Anthem. Sad and shameful.

independant1 7 years, 4 months ago

It sounds more like k u whooooooooo to me than k u wooo

booyalab 7 years, 4 months ago

This article is proof that sports is a religion. Now we've got denominations forming... Woopiscopal vs Purchalkitans

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