KU will fire a cannon when Jayhawks score this weekend against Duke

The National Guard ceremonial cannon will likely stay around for home games this season

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Those large booms echoing through Lawrence on Saturday won’t mean some kind of foreign invasion is afoot — they’ll just be a sign of happy Jayhawk football fans.

A 75 mm Howitzer cannon will be a part of touchdown and field goal celebrations at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

The Army ROTC program will test the cannon at noon on Friday in preparation for the 11 a.m. kickoff against Duke on Saturday.

It’s part of a Kansas University football commemoration of the armed forces on Saturday, said Jim Marchiony, KU associate athletics director.

The cannon might stick around after the Duke game, too, he added.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Marchiony said. “And then we’ll decide on the rest of the season.”

The idea came from discussions with KU’s ROTC program, he said.

“They seem very enthusiastic about it, and we certainly are excited,” he said. “So we’re going to try it.”

The Kansas Army National Guard is loaning the Army ROTC the Howitzer, which is used in ceremonial events.

Army Capt. William Chuber, a member of the Kansas National Guard and a KU Army ROTC instructor, is supervising the cannon’s use.

The cannon will be set up in a roped off area next to the football practice facility and will be in the stadium for home games this season.