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.


Reader poll

What do you think should be the new kickoff chant?

  • "Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU!" 13% 166 votes
  • "Rock Chalk Jayhawk!" 6% 74 votes
  • "Go ... Jayhawks!" 13% 156 votes
  • "Make 'Em Weep!" 4% 52 votes
  • "Right Between the Eyes!" 6% 79 votes
  • These all make me want to rip my head off. 55% 663 votes

1190 total votes.

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.


John Mueller 12 years, 1 month ago

What if they yell Obama, Obama, goooooooosocialism!!!!!!!that should get this party started......

John Stowell 12 years, 1 month ago

Just like when the other schools fire a cannon at kickoff, they can ring the campanile or have some other loud noise to drown out the chant.

sdoyel 12 years, 1 month ago

What if they just did........."ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"and then after he kicked it. go silent.then when the guy gets tackled........"BBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM"Nevermind. That's lame. :)

minipman 12 years, 1 month ago

or...just leave out the F-word....and his head off

TKELuke 12 years, 1 month ago

How about we just chant.Rip his f***ing head off!!

imnotpaulpierce 12 years, 1 month ago

Here's one:"PLEASE JUST TACKLE HIM"or"JUST TAKE IT AT THE 30"or"FORCE A TURNOVER BECAUSE OUR DEFENSE ISNT GOING TO STOP YOU"or...what if everyone yelled "SHHHH" really loud right when we kicked off. Seriously, would that be cool?

Matt Kenton 12 years, 1 month ago

How about "Knock his focking socks off!"

Jonathan Allison 12 years, 1 month ago

I'm no proponent of the yell. But I think we're gonna have to do better than Gooooooo... Jayhawks! After all, why on earth would we want to copy Notre Dame. Make 'em Weep just doesn't seem like it would sound good as a yell. Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU! would work, but it's kinda sacred and I don't think it would catch on in this service. But in order to get anything started you just need a group of really loud people. I remember in 2005 there were like 5 guys that were yelling "Rip his F'ing head off!" At first I was like, "wow, that's just wrong." Then the following year it was like a quarter of the crowd. Then it just spread.

Jeff Hargate 12 years, 1 month ago

Where is Carl "the Butcher" Nesmith when you need him? He came up with his own nickname so you would think he could help us out here. Maybe we should leave it the way it is. I mean, the quicker people learn quotes from movies like "The Waterboy" and "Caddyshack" the better the world will be.

plotku 12 years, 1 month ago

How about, "Break his Face" I tend to say that when I am angry. Ok Ok it is more like "I am gonna break your f-ing face" But for simplicity "Break his face"

actorman 12 years, 1 month ago

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KUFan90 12 years, 1 month ago

Did anyone else think the chant was less noticeable in the 2nd half of the Colorado game? I was watching on TV and heard it clearly the first couple of kickoffs, but it was basically gone for the 2nd half.

jacqueshock 12 years, 1 month ago

I would say the extended "Go" and then the "Jayhawks" after the ball is kicked, followed by a quick "Rock Chalk."

imnotpaulpierce 12 years, 1 month ago

I actually kinda like "Right Between the Eyes"

Michael Leiker 12 years, 1 month ago

Seems like a serious lack of creativity from the UDK in those options. Not that I have anything better.

AtlantaHawk 12 years, 1 month ago

ttoulouse - I totally agree that we can be a little more creative, and not totally obscene.How about we shout - "I smell p*ssy?That gets everyone riled up!

shannyvan1 12 years, 1 month ago

How about "Rip his __ head off!" Leave a pause where the obscenity is usually yelled. Everyone knows what goes there, but nobody can be offended.

Blake Post 12 years, 1 month ago

don't be like missouri stinking dogs. be classy like hawks.hit em high, hit em low, in the ground you got to goMed School cheer: Hit em hard, hit em fast, in the sacroiliacI can imagine a lot of them. Can you?Students, make your folks proud... you will find you make yourself proud too.Any stinking tiger can cuss, as they did when they threw ice at me at arrowhead and insulted the team.I was much better than they and we all should beI vote we cheer "Missouri stinks" at every kickoff... no matter who we are playing :D

kuex77 12 years, 1 month ago

How about something simple, similar and with a KU twist like "Beak their freakin' head off"

gleece 12 years, 1 month ago

Hmm, I like "Beak their heads off"!!! Of course, the f-bomb will be added anyway...

bennettcl 12 years, 1 month ago

How about just "RIP HIS HEAD OFF" and leave out the F***ing.

Chris Kurtz 12 years, 1 month ago

You would have to chant "Let the bodies hit the floor" over and over again until the kickoff and then finish it.

DocBean 12 years, 1 month ago

Could just do something as simple as:K.............. - pre kickU! - on kickwhooo! - on tackle.

Chris Kurtz 12 years, 1 month ago

Let just chant "Let the bodies hit the floor" as they are lining up to kickoff and then say "Rip his head off" or "Missouri Sucks". That would work.

bklacross 12 years, 1 month ago

While I understand where people are coming from this chant has been around a while, KU is in the National spotlight now and when this chant originated, it wasn't. Now, we want to project KU in a positive light and we really need to show the nation that we are way better than Missouri. Yes, the chant was much quieter in the second half of the Colorado game and I hope that this week there will be a new chant to take it's place that I won't need to cover my kids' ears during. I understand college kids are going to feel good getting away with saying "bad words" but there are little kids who attend these games and look up to those students and you all need to set a good example. I'd expect this from MU fans since at the game last year there was a group that got into my 7 year old daughter's face and told her she sucked and some things I can't print. Let's not be like them, let's present KU in a positive manner. Please

tvf2k 12 years, 1 month ago

How about "Score fing fast so we can play fing offense again!"?

Jayhawk444 12 years, 1 month ago

When my kid asked what the students were saying, I said,"IT'S GREAT TO BE A JAYHAWK"that one sort of fits the cadence of what the students already yell...could work.

Ted Toulouse 12 years, 1 month ago

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DocBean 12 years, 1 month ago

how bout:1st Kick - absolute silence until the guy is about to catch the ball. then everyone yells "LOOK OUT!"2nd kick - Silence, then "YOUR FLY IS DOWN!"3RD Kick - silence, then "DROP IT!"4th kick - silence, at kick "rip his ___ head off!5th kick - drawn out "K....." ... at kick - "U!"6th kick - silence, at kick - "Look at the Freaking score!!!"we'll need to come up with some more with Reesing and Company out there.

lance1jhawk 12 years, 1 month ago

I think we should all yell MUCK FIZZOU at kick off.

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