Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mangino at center of drive to silence obscene chant at KU football games


Mark Mangino asks students to stop explicit chant

Mark Mangino filmed this video about a chant said at KU football games that has drawn the ire of KU officials and some students. He sent it to students in an e-mail.

Reader poll

Should Kansas University football fans stop yelling an obscene chant after kickoffs?

  • Yes. 54% 793 votes
  • No. 21% 315 votes
  • They should change the chant to something more family-friendly. 23% 338 votes

1446 total votes.

Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino will ask football fans this week to stop yelling an obscene chant after kickoffs.

Mangino will make the remarks in a video that will be e-mailed to students and displayed on the video board before Saturday's football game against the University of Colorado, said Jim Marchiony, an athletics department spokesman.

In the message, Mangino will ask the thousands of students who yell "Rip his (expletive) head off" after kickoffs to find something else to say.

"Students were on board with Coach and the players before anybody. He'll recognize that and thank them for their support," Marchiony said. "He's going to suggest that they think about what they've been saying and ask that they replace it with something else."

Wrong image?

The new video comes after the leadership at the University Daily Kansan initiated a meeting last week to brainstorm ideas that would prevent the chant from reaching the ears of young children at the games and national television audiences at home.

Matt Erickson, editor of the student newspaper, said the university has many more unique traditions to offer.

The Olathe senior said he didn't like the image the chant projects for the university.

Erickson said he didn't much care for the origins of this particular chant, either - it comes from the 1998 movie "The Waterboy."

"This is a line from a Rob Schneider cameo from the third-best Adam Sandler movie," Erickson said. "I don't see how that relates to KU."

Students' opinions

Students at the university had differing views on the issue on Wednesday.

"I'm all for the chant," said Paul Bickford, an Olathe sophomore. "It motivates the team. It motivates me. It gets people riled up."

He said he's one of the thousands who yell the words every time he attends a football game. He compared the atmosphere to a professional football game, where he said you can often find loud, drunk adults swearing all the time.

"It's become part of KU tradition now," he said of the chant, adding that he didn't know if anything short of the fans thinking their chant was annoying or bothering the players in some way would get it to stop.

Marchiony said that he hears from students who take a different view, including those who wonder how the chant sounds to outsiders.

"Is this really the way we want to portray ourselves," Marchiony said, echoing complaints he's heard from students.

Grant Treaster, a junior from Shawnee, said to count him among the students who'd like to see the chant stop. Typically after kickoffs, he'll chant along with the students and omit the obscenity.

He said he didn't find the chant appropriate given how many young children attend football games. On top of that, he didn't think that the chant was that original in the first place.

"I think we're all bright and college students," he said. "And we can come up with something better than that."

Finding an alternative

Erickson e-mailed some different people at the university and set up a meeting last Friday to brainstorm ideas on how to stop the obscene chant.

He said the group included himself and other student newspaper editors, Marchiony, Adam McGonigle, student body president, Todd Cohen, director of university relations, and KU linebacker Mike Rivera, among others.

"It's a student-led initiative, which to us is good," Marchiony said, saying he hoped students would be more likely to listen to other students asking them to stop the chant.

Discussions among members of that group came up with the video. Erickson said the student newspaper may have a contest to get some more creative ideas for a chant from the student body.

Wisconsin's experience

Obscene football chants are not unique to Kansas. At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, one group of students at football games will chant "Eat (expletive)," and another group will respond, "(Expletive) you."

"We get a lot of complaints," said Amy Toburen, a university spokeswoman, but that doesn't deter the students. "They're persistent about their words and they're persistent about their odd traditions."

Just like at KU, the university worries about the impact on families and small children attending games, she said. And it's also audible on television broadcasts.

The university has used a variety of methods to ask students to stop using the chants. Both the previous chancellor of the university and the head football coach have asked the students to stop, to no avail.

Some people have other ideas, such as an effort to get student leaders and players to put together a campaign to stop the chant.

"Everybody's been a little timid to try it because they don't think it'll work," Toburen said.


hawk_bred20 9 years, 6 months ago

I think this is a good thing and I hope the students stop. This is a little hypocritical coming from me, as I was in school the first year the chant started and thought it was real funny and kept doing it the next year after. Once it became a thing where the entire student section started doing it, I realized it was probably a little loud.Now a few years older and wiser, I cringe everytime I hear it on TV. I was part of the problem at first, but at least I can admit that. Hopefully students can see what I see now and think of something new.There should be a student contest to think of something new to say when they kick off, there are probably much better ideas, but why not yell "ROCK CHALK" one time really slow when the other team kicks off. That would pump the team up and be part of our tradition and the Rock Chalk chant doesn't get that much football time anyways.

DalTXJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

According to an assistant law professor at Florida International, it is protected under the first amendment. (I still think it stoops to the Antlers levels) Here is a link to his opinion. It even gives KU props for creativity in a basketball taunt to Bobby Knight (about tossed salad)

rockchalkAZ 9 years, 6 months ago

Rip his fu(king head off!!! It's a valiant effort by all those who oppose it, but it ain't gonna fu(king stop.... Sorry!!!

kansas22 9 years, 6 months ago

Thank you shawnee. I was absolutely appalled when students began filing out when we were up 10 at the half vs. Louisiana Tech. Out of all of the teams in the top 25 we probably have the worst fans for football. I mean, really, how hard is it to stay through the whole game?

bklacross 9 years, 6 months ago

I just want to comment and say: I am one of the parents who cover their child's ears. We have season tickets and sit in the family zone and we have a 8, 5 and 2 year old. I don't want my kids walking around repeating what the students say at kickoffs. As it is, my 5 year old tried to repeat it at a local high school football game at kick off! Please, take the f-bomb out or find something decent to say!

bmcmich1 9 years, 6 months ago

First of all, I higly doubt a HS coach is going to deter one of his players from going to a certain school because of a freakin CHANT, give me a break. If KU is the best place for his player to go, then he's an idiot if he steers his guy in another direction because of a chant.Furthermore, any coach that "isn't impressed" by the chant is the biggest hypocrite on the face of the earth. I'll wager that 99% of all football coaches HS and up don't hesitate to throw out an F bomb during the course of a game or practice, which are both conducted outdoors within earshot of other people. Like it or not, the word is conducive to football.I've said this before; I'm not the biggest fan of the chant because I think it's unoriginal, but for god's sake - Memorial is not a freaking church - I'm sick and tired of people complaining about this.

Ryan Gerstner 9 years, 6 months ago

First off, someone in the World IT department needs to fix the link to the poll.I've seen this idea thrown out elsewhere, but as the team lines up, the stadium should all yell K--------- and then as the kicker kicks off, everyone should yell U-------. That's the best idea I've heard thus far anyway.

jmoore 9 years, 6 months ago

I definitely think the chant should stop. It is totally classless and downright offensive. KU fans - college students included - should have more pride than that. It sends a negative message to children and to national audiences. The students might think it's "all in fun" but it sends a bad message, which they should care about. The Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU chant is stirring and a much more suitable chant for KU to be identified with. This chant has no place at KU football games. I hope somehow the students can be convinced to stop it. Kudos to Mangino for making an effort!

LakeShawnee 9 years, 6 months ago

Maybe the video could ask them to stay past two minutes into halftime....

Carter Patterson 9 years, 6 months ago

Its stupid and it makes us look bad to those kids families outside of Kansas that we are trying to recruit whether it be for football or basketball or basketweaving.The Georgia Bulldawgs have a good chant, Alabama has a good chant. I'm all for having fun at the games, but the student body needs to understand that the big donors are mom's and dad's who like to bring their families to the game. The F-Bomb has no place in chants.

Mo Mosallaei 9 years, 6 months ago

How about "rip his freaking head off"?It wouldn't be too much of an adjustment.

Rivethead 9 years, 6 months ago

It definitely having a bad influence on KU football. Don't believe me?I watched Saturday's game at a sports bar. Also watching the game with me were Lake Travis High School's football coaches (for obvious reasons). They brought up the chant to me - and let's just say they weren't impressed.These are same coaches who have a big influence over what scholie offers their kids accept.

Ryan Gerstner 9 years, 6 months ago

Go Big Blue is certainly appropriate for KU although I think we should be able to come up with something else. Texas's cheer is "Texas Fight" that's divided up between sides of the stadium.

Erin Adams 9 years, 6 months ago

Boring!!!! try again!!!"I've seen this idea thrown out elsewhere, but as the team lines up, the stadium should all yell K--------- and then as the kicker kicks off, everyone should yell U-------. That's the best idea I've heard thus far anyway."

DalTXJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

You saying it is not a big deal obviously do not have children. As a parent, you do what you can to delay exposure to certain things in life. I am not ready to explain the birds and bees to my 7 yr old. When the time is right, I certainly will. While I have explained they will be able to expand their vocabulary as they get older, I try to limit exposure to such things. (It's hard sometimes for me to watch my mouth)On your 'big deal' scale, I give it a 7. I save a 10 for the suggestion of DocH, to have them watch the act to better understand it!!

KSev4KU 9 years, 6 months ago

Keep doing it, we're KU and we can do whatever the (expletive) we want!

imnotpaulpierce 9 years, 6 months ago

I have never seen parents cover the ears of their children. I call b.s. on that.

JBurtin 9 years, 6 months ago

Testament to how lousy our cheerleading coach is. He should have offered a clever alternative long ago.I wrote to him to try and start some other chants that would echo side to side on the stadium (similar to husker power, or boomer sooner). I thought the Go Jayhawks one was kind of lame, and perhaps we could start the Rock-Chalk-Jay-Hawk-Go-K-U that we use at basketball games. The crowd would already be familiar with the tradition, and you could split the stadium directly in half to make it easy to know what you were supposed to yell and when.He responded by trying to start some stupid chant where instead of the stadium simply being cut in half he tried to cut each side of the stadium into thirds and get people to yell (GO, Big, Blue). Nobody knew where the cutoffs were on each section, so nobody was yelling at the right times. Further, last I checked, this is not the University of Michigan.It's the cheerleading coach's job to start new cheers and get the crowd involved. It seems that our current coach is only interested in the handstands and pyramids and doesn't really care too much about actually getting the crowd involved. They offer the same lame cheers year after year, and the entire stadium ignores them because they are incredibly unoriginal.

kvskubball 9 years, 6 months ago

Rolo,That would be a great replacement! I know college students get a herd mentality and don't care too much about their "image", but I hope they will change and make us proud!

rolo2383 9 years, 6 months ago

Half the stadium yells 'ROCK' the other half then yells 'CHALK' followed by the whole stadium yelling 'JAYHAWKS'. Or whatever.

railer1122 9 years, 6 months ago

Great point Shawnee... Our students are terrible about leaving early. They left early when we had a 10 point game with La. Tech. The chant needs to stop now. It is classless. I see time and time again parents covering their 5 year old's ears or something like that. We should bring a cannon in, like OU, and just shoot that off whenever we kick it off.

Bob Zielinski 9 years, 6 months ago

i could see high school coaches being unimpressed by the chant and having that be an those of you who are calling out coaches and asking if mangino's halftime talk during the iowa state game was 'G' rated, you are kidding, right? let's say mangino did slip in a few f-drops, does that mean you can run up to an elderly person wearing k-state purple and yell "F--you, you geriatric piece of dookie"? well, mangino said f--k to a group of players during halftime so what is the difference, right?

sdoyel 9 years, 6 months ago

It's obvious Mangino is being pressured to say something. Any bets that his halftime speech last weekend in Ames was rated G?Chances of that? 0.

Jonathan Kealing 9 years, 6 months ago

KU released the video it's hoping to use to persuade students to stop the chant. You can see it here: KealingOnline editor

sdoyel 9 years, 6 months ago

Although I think it's a stupid chant to begin with I think all of this has gone way overboard.... Because after all, it's just a chant.College kids do things like this because (no offense DalTXJayhawk) when they were 7 year olds their parent's covered their ears.Football is a rough sport. What are they supposed to yell? "KICK IT FAR AND PLEASE TACKLE HIM GENTLY! HOORAYYY!!!!!"The world is full of over-sensitive people.

railer1122 9 years, 6 months ago

I think the K------------- U----------- thing sounds good. OU does it. But a lot of people are mistaken. This is for kick-off, not before the games. So Go Big Blue wouldnt work, neither would Rock by one side, Chalk by the other, and Jayhawks all together.Or have the drumline do a cadence as soon as its kicked. Just something besides our current chant.

rockchalkAZ 9 years, 6 months ago

as good as we have been at football for the last year and a half, you can't really hold our football fans to high standards. we will always be a basketball school, no matter how good our football team is. yea i know we can be both a bball school and football school, but be real... basketball is king, football isn't. and i think the fanbase is reflective of that

Jim Pendleton 9 years, 6 months ago

While I am all for everyone having fun and throwing out a few nasty cheers now and then, I do think this particular one needs to go away. Frankly this one is worse than the M*ck Fizzou shirts, mainly because it is verbally expressed.I was at KU in the era where at KSU games we all yelled eat st, eat st, KSU after a certain part of their band's songs were played, followed by the KSU fans eat em up chant. I think most of you who went to KU in the 70's & 80's know what I am talking about. Not real classy, but much better than the current kickoff chant.But let's remember, very few of ours or anyone else's games were on TV back then. Now we are on a lot. As a result more people around the country are hearing that, and I totally agree with rivethead. There are lots of high school coaches around the country who have a big impact on recommendations for their players, not to mention parents.Here's an idea, although it may be too goody goody for some of you. Before every basketball game, the students all yell and jump up and down until tip off. Why not do the same thing before every kickoff, and follow that up with a loud ROCK CHALK!Let's have fun, but not be vile about this. It does concern me that parents have to feel the need to cover their child's ears. These are younger people we need to be ticket holders for many years. We don't want to give them a non-on the field issue reason for not coming in the future. And students, and anyone else whom this applies to - stay longer than a half or even three quarters. The product is much better, as are other programs who come in. There will be plenty of time to have a few after the game is over. ROCK CHALK!

Lawrence49 9 years, 6 months ago

It may be necessary to enforce the stadium code of conduct rules announced before each game.

frompekka2sasha 9 years, 6 months ago

I want the kids at KU to have fun at the game but this seems pretty classless. I know the students will do whatever they want regardless of the advice from Mangino but let's hope that most of them refrain.

John Strayer 9 years, 6 months ago

I think it is more of a testament of where our society is..."I don't care about anyone else; I will do what I want".Its the same mentality the Wall Street "big wigs" have...but truthfully you find it in every level of our society.

Mark Anderson 9 years, 6 months ago

One of my favorite quotes: "There is a big difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do." Justice Potter Stewart

TKELuke 9 years, 6 months ago

I am fine with the chant. Everyone knows it is coming so just make sure you ear muff the kids. Actually, they should probably start selling beer at the games too. We could use the extra revenue and it would save me from having to walk out to the car during games.

hawk_bred20 9 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, of course it isn't going to kill anyone. But I think it's much cooler when you listen to other schools and they are doing something at the kickoff that has something to do with their school. bmcmich1 - I don't think the recruiting thing is that crazy. While I'd bet most recruits would think it was funny or cool, parents of the recruits might not so much, especially a mother who has a lot of influence (seems to be quite common among many recruits these days). I'm not saying that it would be a thing where it would affect recruiting in a big way, but to me, all you have to do is miss out on one recruit whose mom or parents don't like it and then it is a bad thing.

imnotpaulpierce 9 years, 6 months ago

Honest to God. If a seven year old hasn't been exposed to the word, he/she is not going to pick up on the fact that the students are yelling it. If your child asks what they are saying, you should promptly respond,"Who f*cking cares?!"

imnotpaulpierce 9 years, 6 months ago

No one actually cares. Fans of opposing teams that watch or attend the games probably do not even understand what they are saying. And when they leave, they certainly aren't thinking, "Man, those KU fans are classless because they say the F word." They might say "Man, those KU fans are classless because they spilled beer all over me" or "Man, those KU fans are classless because they shoved me down the stairs." But not because the students say "Rip his fcking head off".I'm suggesting a poll: On a scale of 1-10, how 'big of a deal' is the "rip his fcking head off" chant? I bet the avg score would be around 2.

JBurtin 9 years, 6 months ago

"But a lot of people are mistaken. This is for kick-off, not before the games. So Go Big Blue wouldnt work, neither would Rock by one side, Chalk by the other, and Jayhawks all together."No were not mistaken, we're well aware of when any new chant would be used.My point is simply that it's the cheerleading coach's job to offer clever cheers for the fans to get into, and ours isn't doing his job. The yell leaders are out there yelling the same lame cheers through their megaphones game after game and nobody gets involved.Honestly my high school had much more imaginative cheers than our cheerleading coach has come up with.BTW, I offered the coach the Rock on one side, Chalk on the other, and Jahawks for both sides. He thought that the timing would be too tricky.I still think that Rock-Chalk-Jay-Hawk-Go-K-UUUUUU on alternating sides could work well at several points of the game. I don't know what to offer for the kickoff situation, but it wouldn't be that hard to get the rest of the stadium involved in a good chant and get the students to follow suit.The fact of the matter is that up to this point, nobody's even tried.

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