Friday, August 21, 2009

Stories to follow in 2009


Odds and ends while daydreaming about the Kansas football team meeting Oklahoma here after a 6-0 start, including Big 12 victories over Iowa State and Colorado:

• Don’t cackle. That’s well within reach. With that kind of momentum, there’s no telling what the Jayhawks might do against the Sooners. Only thing is, I dread the prospect of KU players, as they too often do, using the old self-victimization bit about, “Well, nobody thought we could be this good but we always believed in ourselves.” Nuts! Fired-up fans think Kansas can start that fast; ought to, in fact, as long as there aren’t some crucial ACL cripplings. If KU is that well off by Oct. 24, win or lose against OU, it won’t need a pity party.

• Won’t be long now before we’ll be hearing a lot of KU’s famed, distinctive Rock Chalk Chant. I love it, like many, but it rankles the heck out of me how it’s been bastardized, a development that is repeated and repeated on those promotional audios. Some time back I got a note from Sarah Hill-Nelson, who shares my ire. Sarah wrote: “ . . . there needs to be some sort of tutorial. The final line of the Rock Chalk Chant is ‘Kay-You-OO.’ It’s a three-syllable word (by tradition) that is now being done as a two-syllable expression (Kay-You).”

Why some semantic dolt chose to streamline the chant is beyond me.

• The Endowment Association is one of the last places I’d have expected to hear a defense for highly paid Jayhawk basketball players who aren’t kicking back big sums to the alma mater. But a spokesman made a great point: For all the loot these guys get, they need to be investing and setting aside for the future so that THEN they can remunerate old KU for the foundation it gave them.

The KU pros who currently are raking in all the way from Paul Pierce’s $18 million-plus per year down to Darnell Jackson’s $450,000 have obligations to family, a sound future and are aware of the following:

Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60 percent of former National Basketball Association players are broke. Hope our guys can do a lot better and will keep KU in mind down the line — as many older Jayhawk jocks generously have done already.

• The microscope is on Kansas State and how it copes with the changeover in the presidency and athletic directorship and that incredible financial debacle mucked-up by Jon Wefald and Co.

Wefald once shared the mantle of Golden Boy with football coach Bill Snyder, now back in the football saddle. Discussing in 2003 how Snyder got things rolling at KSU, Wefald said: “When I got here, there was a sense of futility. If the old administration had stayed for three more years, I think football would have been dropped. We would have no marching band and we’d be at about 12,000 students.”

Since ’86, KSU enrollment soared from 13,000 to over 25,000, fund-raising began a push from $7 million to the $95 million-a-year level and Manhattan officials say the town’s economy benefited handsomely.

There were the worst of times, then the best of times. Now everyone’s waiting to see which way K-State fortunes swing from the current state of fearful limbo.


Ryan Gerstner 10 years, 5 months ago

Where did you get K-State's enrollment at? They've never touched 25k. I thought that was some ridiculous puffery.

Cody Stumma 10 years, 5 months ago

I never knew the Rock Chalk Chant Ending was a Three-Syllable word? I was taught it as Kaaaay-Uuuuuu during Traditions Night.

jakzhumans 10 years, 5 months ago

Well, if the chant is screwed up, then it's been screwed up since at least 1986 when I arrived on campus. I've never heard or been taught anything but Kaaaaay-Uuuuuuu. Tell me exactly how we're supposed to get three syllables out of two letters.

RckChalkJeff 10 years, 5 months ago

"Manhattan officials say the town’s economy benefited handsomely."

Have you ever been to Mancrappin?.....must have had dirt street before '86.

Michael Auchard 10 years, 5 months ago

This chant issue sounds like another case of where the world has turned and left certain people behind the times. Regardless of what it sounded like back in 1955, the current chant is an identifiable brand now. Maybe this point should have been raised before millions of people nationwide have heard it in its current incarnation.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 5 months ago


Same for me but make that 1966!!!

Go KAAAAAAY-Uuuuuuuuuuu

Jayhawk444 10 years, 5 months ago

Bill is right about the chant. Think of it more as three musical notes rather than three syllables. "KAY-YOU_OO" where the KAY and the YOU are the same note then the YOU slides down to the OO note. It's become(ing) a two-note chant, "KAY-YOU" each its own note. I graduated in 1987, btw.

KUbsee69 10 years, 5 months ago

I totally agree with Bill on the chant. The "you" was chanted (sung) in two syllables for decades, with the second syllable in a notably lower tone than the first. The first syllable was the same tone as the RCJH tone. It was way more haunting that way. I even remember a book about KU traditions, published just a few years ago, that points out that the chant somehow has been wrongfully changed.

So for all of you youngsters that don't care to remember the right way, let me point out that a change over that last couple of decades does not mean that "the world has turned and left certain people behind". Traditions are supposed to be enduring or they are not traditions.

It's bad enough that revisionists reinterpret history to their benefit, which is usually the sale of a new book. It's a tragedy that the U.S. Constitution is being stomped on by legislating judges, other liberals and their supporting media. But as bad as those are, it is a crime to revise 100 years of KU tradition by changing the Rock Chalk Chant (1886 to jakzhumans 1986??). The same chant that Teddy Roosevelt called "the greatest college chant he'd ever heard".

So, Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, Kay You-ooo!!!!!!!!

jakzhumans 10 years, 5 months ago

KUbsee69.....So, because the chant I was taught over twenty years ago is different than the one you remember, I am now thrown in with a group of criminal, liberal revisionists of history in general and the US Constitution specifically? Gee, thanks.

Oh, by the way, seek help.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm not too crazy about the about the "whooo" between each repetition either.

Ben Kane 10 years, 5 months ago

oldalum...i agree the whooo should go.

Joe Ross 10 years, 5 months ago

I HATE the "whoooo" with a glorious passion!!!

Kevin Kelly 10 years, 5 months ago

Traditions don't change? Where can I get my slaves and can we get wife back in the kitchen then? You can wish for the old days they are gone. Unless you want to start some kind of massive campaign to educate I don't see the thrird sylable or the 'woo' being changed. And it certianly won't come if it starts with name calling...will it Meyer? No one changed just changed. If its 3 sylables someone should tell the cheerleaders to make three movements.

And I, like many others here, are confused that you would miss the third sylable and not say anything about the complete negating effect having a high pitched 'WOOO' has on the chant?

Joe Ross 10 years, 5 months ago


"...a massive campaign to educate..."

I really wish there was something like that on campus, like maybe a TRADITIONS NIGHT????


jcepp 10 years, 5 months ago

Traditions evolve Bill. Otherwise, how'd I end up with a shirt that has 5 different Jayhawks on the sleeve? I love them all.

jakzhumans 10 years, 5 months ago

KUbsee69...Well then, allow me to correct you. First, I didn't change any chant, so take that up with whoever did so sometime prior to 1986 (and good luck figuring out whoever that was). Second, I'm not a criminal. Third, I'm not a liberal. Fourth, I think that both the US Constitution and history are great since I have degrees in both political science and history from KU.

So, in summary, there's not a single thing you said that applies to me, and yet you applied it all to me anyway, Next time, aim your narrow intellect elsewhere.

Joe Baker 10 years, 5 months ago

I've never heard or been taught anything but Kaaaaay-Uuuuuuu.

Michael Leiker 10 years, 5 months ago

Jayhawk 444 has it right, it's not a separation between different sylables, the note just drops an octave lower. I think half of the KU fans do it currently.

Toto_the_great 10 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Jayhawk444. Growing up in the Lawrence area, I have always done kay-you_oo. Ditto for the rest of the sports nuts in my crew. I think a lot of people do this and not realize it. Toto Class of '94 (and '98 and ''02)

mjlindsm 10 years, 5 months ago

Lets unite here. The "Whooo" must go! When I was young and watching the games, I don't remember that part at all. It's incredibly awkward, and it leaves interpretation for when the next "Rock" should start, which always makes that part a little quiet. It's so much better if it's all continuous.

This, right here, MUST be the start of a grassroots campaign to remove the darn "Whooo" from the Rock Chalk chant. I'm about 700 miles from Lawrence so I can't do too much from here, but c'mon locals, do something! Get organized! Get rid of that crap!

Joe Ross 10 years, 5 months ago


Yes, the "whooo" must go. Its dumb. It doesnt sound good, and I agree with mjlindsm's points on the issue which are very well spoken, indeed.

jcepp, you bring up a good point (that "...traditions change"). Sometimes, though, the change is a cheap knockoff of the original. People begged for Coca-Cola Classic once "New Coke" was introduced. To the company's credit, you cant find a can of the new stuff anywhere in the world today. I do recognize it's a debate, though. I was upset when the circus font was jettisoned in favor of this new trajan font. I was dragged kicking and screaming into the new era. But after all of that, I kind of like the new uniforms now.

Im somewhere between Bill Mayer and some fans who have posted here. Im not so much bothered by the "two-note" kaaaaay-yoooooou. However, I find the "whooo" just totally embarrassing. It makes the chant MUCH LESS MENACING. Its supposed to have a certain ghostly ring to it, and the "whooo" just totally removes that quality of the chant. So here's my thing. If by personal preference I can reason out why the chant should be conserved in a certain state, I can extend that same consideration to Mayer and recognize that he has reasons too--and perhaps very good ones--for his preference. Perhaps it's because the chant is a trade-mark, if you will, of this university. Its a "brand name" item.

...Coca-Cola Classic was definitely better!

LAJayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

The "whoo" is clearly a symptom of the infectious disease that is socialism. SOCIALISM I tell you!! The "whoo" is just the first step in the government's secret plot to turn us into mindless robots who will send all people over the age of 75 to death camps where they will be turned into a stew that will be our only food source. But it's people, I tell you! PEOPLE!!!

Seriously, though, the "whoo" really sucks.

bayareajhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Count me in with those who 1) drop an octave on U and 2) hate the whoo.

That's the way my parents and grandparents taught me to do it, and that's the way I will teach my nephews to do it (and my kids, too, if I ever have any).

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