Archive for Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rivalry reborn: K-State fans have returned to chicken-throwing roots

The Kansas State student section yells at Kansas guard Russell Robinson after Robinson picked up his fifth foul during the second half Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008 at Bramlage Colliseum.

The Kansas State student section yells at Kansas guard Russell Robinson after Robinson picked up his fifth foul during the second half Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008 at Bramlage Colliseum.

January 30, 2010


KU basketball makes trip to Manhattan for physical marquee showdown

Forget being just the fight for the state of Kansas' crown: Saturday's Sunflower Showdown might be the nation's marquee game. Enlarge video

— Kansas State nemesis Wayne Simien dodged some debris tossed from the Bramlage Coliseum stands during pregame Sunflower Showdown warmups on Feb. 9, 2005.

“A rubber chicken on a noose,” recalled former Kansas University power forward Simien, who went on to hang 23 points and 13 rebounds on the Wildcats in the Jayhawks’ 74-65 victory.

It was all in good fun, said the former Leavenworth High standout, who needed no extra incentive to defeat his in-state rival.

In perhaps the greatest three-game stretch against K-State in a single season, Simien as a senior scored 25 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in a 72-65 victory in Allen Fieldhouse and went for 28 points and 14 boards in an 80-67 first-round Big 12 Tournament win in Kemper Arena.

On the street

Who will win the KU-KSU basketball game and by how much?

KU will win by at least 7. It’s my favorite number and I think they’re playing well.

More responses

“Being a Kansas kid, knowing what that Sunflower Showdown meant and understanding no matter their record going into the game we’d get their best shot ... it was pretty important to get those bragging rights,” said the 26-year-old Simien, who went 9-0 versus KSU.

He’s a generation removed from a time in which K-State fans — who will again pack Bramlage Coliseum for today’s 6 p.m. battle between the No. 2-ranked Jayhawks and No. 11 Wildcats — pelted KU players with live ammo.

“I remember our 105-year reunion a few years back. I met with Clint Johnson,” Simien said of the former KU guard from Leavenworth, who told stories of dodging bananas and live chickens during player introductions in the mid to late 1970s.”

K-State fans back in the day — and still today — refer to the Jayhawks as Chickenhawks.

“One year, I thought I’d be a good guy and I picked a chicken up and rubbed it,” former KU coach Ted Owens said with a laugh. “I was carrying it back to the bench when I said, ‘What if he has a few droppings?’ I put it back down pretty quickly.”

As far as the bananas?

Owens remembers them being hurled as missiles in just one Sunflower Showdown in his 19 seasons — KU’s 75-63 victory on Feb. 11, 1978, in KSU’s Ahearn Fieldhouse.

“I had gotten a call the week of the game warning me that the stores in Manhattan had sold out of bananas,” Owens said.

Fruit-loving KSU fans apparently were miffed that a handful of hot dogs were tossed at Wildcat forward Curtis Redding in the Jayhawks’ 56-52 victory on Jan. 21 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I instructed our guys to go shake hands with coach Hartman as they were introduced. I figured no way they’d throw anything at coach Hartman. I think Jack thought, ‘What a nice gesture.’’’

The fans ended up hurling the bananas in the second half.

“There had to be a 20- to 30-minute delay while they cleaned the floor. The TV network was upset about that — think of all that air-time wasted. Coach (John) Wooden was doing color at the game and wasn’t too pleased (at the lack of sportsmanship),” Owens said.

A KSU fan wore a gorilla costume to the game and stalked the KU bench.

“It ticked us off,” former KU power forward Donnie Von Moore said in a 2007 interview with the Journal-World, “because at first we thought it had some racial connotations. They were basically calling us gorillas. Later they said we threw hot dogs so they threw bananas. It’s just food. We beat them, so that’s what mattered.”

The tradition of hurling live chickens on the court was rekindled — KSU security had put a stop to it during the Roy Williams and Bill Self eras — two seasons ago. That’s when a solitary chicken hit the hardwood on Jan. 30, 2008. KSU fans were all fired up as the Michael Beasley-led ’Cats downed KU, 84-75, to end KU’s 24-year dominance in the Little Apple.

“I think it was fuel to the fire once our football team became more successful than K-State’s,” Simien said of KSU fans becoming desperate to end “The Streak.”

The Bill Snyder-led Wildcats, who won 11 consecutive football games over KU, dropped three in a row in the series before bouncing back with a victory over the Jayhawks this past season.

“K-State fans always had football to hang their hat on. But when our team had that great season (2008 Orange Bowl) and had beaten them several times, I think it pushed them over the edge. It turned it into somewhat of a nasty rivalry,” Simien added.

KU’s basketball team recovered from that ’08 loss and prevailed, 85-74, last season in Bramlage.

“All streaks come to an end. It had to happen at some point,” said former KU guard C.B. McGrath, assistant coach at the University of North Carolina who hails from Topeka.

“I would say Missouri was more our rival when I was in school because they beat us. We never lost to K-State. I definitely wanted to beat them being from the state of Kansas, but the national media probably put more on KU-Missouri because we were a better team than K-State back then.”

KU senior Sherron Collins, who remembers dodging the live chicken in ’08, relishes every game in Manhattan.

“It’s always fun there. It’s always tough to win there,” said Collins, 2-1 at Bramlage and 6-1 overall versus the ’Cats., “If we do what we do, we’ll be all right.”

As long as nobody gets clawed by a chicken.


Scruggsy 8 years, 4 months ago

I have a feeling KU is going to be hitting on all cylinders today. They should be full of confidence after throttling Mizzou and I think they might play with a chip on their shoulder today, with the ESPN Gameday hoopla and all.

KU turns Bramlage into the Octagon of Gloom, 75-65.

Nikki May 8 years, 4 months ago

I think it will be a tough game. K-state did take out Texas. I can't explain how they let Missouri beat them.

tunahelper 8 years, 4 months ago

I have heard plenty of obscenities at Allen Field House directed towards whoever the jayhawks play. what a biased article.

The Wildcats will overcome the jayhawks: 69 - 63.


MrNoGuac 8 years, 4 months ago

@tunahelper - wait, are you telling me a Lawrence news source is a biased source of information about KU?

No way. You sure had me fooled. I thought all local papers were "unbiased" with respect to the local sports teams.

Hawktogon of Doom game - KU 87 -KSU 72

AnglNSpurs 8 years, 4 months ago

I agree, tunahelper, I think this was pretty biased as well. I have been to a handful of KU games, and the KU Student Population has their moments, and can be just as bad. Instead railroading K- State's student population and focusing on the "Bad Sportmanship" there, why not argue the extremes both schools go to, or for that matter, the Big 12, or the whole NCAA. K-State surely isn't the ONLY school who has peculiar rituals???

..... faithful to our colors, we will ever be, fighting, ever fighting for a Wildcat Victory.. GO STATE! EMAW!

trinity 8 years, 4 months ago

what on earth does "emaw" mean-or is that a typo?

riverdrifter 8 years, 4 months ago

I was there at the '78 game. We made a sign with a hot dog on it which had Redding's number. It said 'Who cares if we win or lose as long as I get my 30 points!'

Octogon of doom? Since when? It's still AFH West.

Alison Roberts 8 years, 4 months ago

emaw=Every Man a Wildcat...dumb saying if you ask me.

I'm pretty sure this article is "biased" because the kstate fans were the ones throwing live chickens and bananas on their home court. KU fans have more respect for Allen Fieldhouse to throw live chickens, fruit, or anything other than a random piece of newspaper that might get past the seats onto the court. But yeah, we might yell some things...better than throwing stuff.

I'm sure other teams have rituals but this article is about KU/KSU.

vermont 8 years, 4 months ago

Emaw = egregious malevolent artistic Worcestershire pretty dumb is right.

Rock Chalk!!

notjustastudent 8 years, 4 months ago

Vavs- pretty sure the article says we threw hotdogs at them, and then they threw the bananas. So apparently hotdogs are a sign of respect and bananas are not?

As far as the bias- it's an interesting tidbit of information, and the only tilt I get from it is quotes from individuals or observations that specific individuals (such as wooden and the TV people) thought it was disrespectful. If KU had a tradition of throwing something, they would probably talk about it. I thought it was a fun article about an interesting historically based tradition. You guys need to lighten up...

CLARKKENT 8 years, 4 months ago


Scruggsy 8 years, 4 months ago

I thought EMAW meant "Eyes of Martin Are Weird"...

ksjayhawk74 8 years, 4 months ago

Have to say that sometimes the crowd at Allen Field House is really nailing "AIR BALL - AIR BALL" and it makes me laugh.

KU Wins by 12 points.

Tyson Travis 8 years, 4 months ago

Even tho I'm a KU alum, I still think KSU pulled off the best prank without any harm being done on-court, when the KSU banners unrolled to cover the KU scoreboard, and the game had to be halted until the scoreboard was lowered and they were removed [but no athlete was in danger of slipping on a chicken or banana.] Anyone who was there will remember it, it was in the mid-to-late 60's. Well, KSU won that prank, it's a great in-state rivalry, hope KU puts this one away without any hard feelings. Go KU!

Freestater456 8 years, 4 months ago

This one applies to Lawrence ESMIN=Every straight man is nervous

puddleglum 8 years, 4 months ago

kittycats can hang their hats on the ONE victory in manhattan in 27 years.

If you ask me, the streak seems pretty much alive and well.

I was there at the beginning also. Last few years in Ahearn (which is way cooler than bramlage) As well as the first 10 years in bramlage. (allen fieldhouse west)

Kittycat fans are crude, but I feel sorry for them-and they aren't in the same category as Missouri-scum.

speaking of which, does anybody know who won the KU-mizzou game last monday? I fell asleep when we were ahead by 30 points.

lindseydoyle 8 years, 4 months ago

They should bring back Willie the Wildcat too. Anybody else notice how the powercat logo is a complete ripoff of the Melroe Bobcat (skid loader) logo?

kaderast 8 years, 4 months ago

I grew up in Lawrence and can honestly say that I hope for all hope that the Wildcats come out on top, KU gives me the dry heaves......Go K-State!

BruceWayne 8 years, 4 months ago

life does not have very many set're gonna die,it's all Bush's fault, and you CANNOT give yourself a nickname.No matter how bad you want to be like us. Traditions are born not forced. I don't have money on the game, but I will bet on this...Frank the Tank or the crowd will get a technical foul.

what do KState alumni and tornadoes have in common?

they just can't stay out of those trailer parks.

TheGreatOz 8 years, 4 months ago

What I want to know is how they managed to get live chickens inside?

JHawkInLA 8 years, 4 months ago

"What I want to know is how they managed to get live chickens inside?"

Maybe they were already in there?

Jeremiah Jefferson 8 years, 4 months ago

KU will get knocked out of the NCAA tournament by the 2nd round, I guarantee it, and no I dont like K State either. Tired of both KU and KSU.. The entire BIG XII is overated and weak.

Rickyonealku 8 years, 4 months ago

Hats off to both K-State and Kansas what a March Madness game in January... Rock Chalk Jayhawks....great great game KU

hesshawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Hey cat-----------ter. If you're so tired of them why do you continue to post your worthless drivel?

Leave this to people that have a clue and some knowledge of basketball. Your posts show how little you really know about anything. Big XII is far from weak. Keep watching til the end.

Rock Chalk

tdennehy 8 years, 4 months ago

Why would someone throw a live chicken? Yes, they have wings, but does that still make it right?

Take off your socks and throw them... or maybe your hat.

What planet are y'all from, anyway? On what planet is it okay to take a live animal and throw it on to the basketball court?

And was that a picture of a dead chicken in the newspaper? Didn't look like a rubber chicken to me.

Now I remember why I don't buy tickets to these games...

kujayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

The 70's are alive and well in Manhattan, KS.

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