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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Charlie Weis trying to drum up game-day tradition

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis watches over practice from across the field on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis watches over practice from across the field on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.

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Coming from a place like Notre Dame, where tradition drips off the walls of the football stadium, and operating in the shadow of Allen Fieldhouse, which he called “the Mecca of college basketball,” first-year Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis has his sights set on adding a little tradition to Saturdays.

With that in mind, Weis on Tuesday met with KU band director Matthew Smith to discuss the idea of creating a postgame ceremony in which Weis’ football players would walk to the student section on the east side of Memorial Stadium and sing the alma mater with their classmates while the band takes a spot on the field and faces the players and students.

“I know when you are 2-10 it is tougher for the students to buy in and show that same kind of loyalty and devotion to the football team,” Weis said. “I think we have to do something on the field to help that. I get it. But at the same time, if you don’t ever try to make that bond between the football team and the students and the band, then how is it ever going to happen? Just by accident?”

Weis continued: “It’s really tough to go up in front of your students after losing a football game to sing the alma mater. I have done it; it’s tough. It is also tough for the students to stay there until the end of the game to be a part of that. We are going to own up to our end of the bargain. We are going to be there. I am going to start Tweeting to death, to start working those students to make sure they are there, too.”

Comments

hawkfan20 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm really excited to see Weis take some initiative and try to start some new traditions. KU Football needs them. Here's to hoping that he'll have many more new ideas!

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phogthedog 1 year, 11 months ago

And if there was any way to put on the big screen the drum corps playing inside the stadium after they march down the hill, that would be awesome. These past two years, watching the drum corps was often the best part of the game!

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Geekinout 1 year, 11 months ago

Bring back the band entrance before games!! I remember when the band all lined up around the stadium entrance aisles before the games and made their entrance onto the field before the team. Names on jerseys and get rid of the black on the band uniforms. Oh, and get rid of the cheesy blowup entrance tunnel that the team runs through onto the field.

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trout984bum 1 year, 11 months ago

What's going on with Coach's pants/feet in the photo? It either looks like he's getting ready for the next flood or someone in the editing room was bored.

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Randy Bombardier 1 year, 11 months ago

I finally figured out why we didn't have the names on the jerseys for the last two years. In that one instance Gill really did know what he was doing.

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DWilly 1 year, 11 months ago

I want to know why Charlie only has one foot in that photo.

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Ray March 1 year, 11 months ago

This seems like kind of a half a$$ story by Tait. From the title of the article, I was expecting more. I expected a story about all the ways Weis is going to do this.

When I clicked on the story, it just said: "He's going to have the players do the alma mater."

It seems like Tait could've done a bit more indepth reporting with Weis on how he's going to drum up game day tradition.

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Jackster 1 year, 11 months ago

Blame it on "The Wheel" why students leave early. Winning or losing, everyone rushes there to be sure to get a seat or at the very least a spot in the beer garden. I'm guilty of that when I left the Colorado game early with my daughter (bad move but I did get a good seat). They need to expand the beer garden and fans will stay for the entire game knowing that they won't have to wait in line for 4 hours following the game. The Wheel is a post game tradition!

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Calijhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Good points, NE., I have also noticed that instead of stepping high like they always used to, now they kind of walk. Most of the bands who generate pride within their fan base actually march with their knees high.

Maybe we ought to re-name them the "Walking Jayhawks" and let HCCW re-build THEM!

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Cameron Cederlind 1 year, 11 months ago

thisisourtime!!!!!!! oh wait, that was the Royals. Lets hope it's the opposite of that.

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Kevin Kelly 1 year, 11 months ago

Traditions build themselves. The band HAS a tradition...no one knows about it because of the loosing. I'd love the band to be part of the soulution as uposed to being too often part of the problem. I'm all for new ideas and trying new things....I think Charlie's on the right track....but if he wants to tweet fans here is my suggestion:

1 - Teach them how to be football fans because they don't know what to do when. Quiet on offense...loud on defense. Believe it or not...this needs to be discussed. If I hear the fricking band play and people cheer through 4th and 1 one more time I'm going to loose it.

2 - The band needs to stop playing when the QB is on the line. If you don't get to play much because we are running a hurry up...too fricking bad. The band suports the team and not the other way around. No one is comming to band events to throw a football arround.

3 - The crowd isn't signing/clapping along with the band. This is NOT becasue we can't hear them so no speakers are needed to add an aweful echo effect to our fight songs.

4 - Support the few people doing things right with your tweets. This means making some comment about how to cheer on defense. I'm sick of getting rude looks from our own fans for trying to make noise on D. Random acts of kindness is a good idea (upgraded seats). How about people going out recognizing fans doing the right thing when cheering and publicizing THAT.

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machinegun 1 year, 11 months ago

Kansas football fans, awake from your two-year slumber. The Preacher is finally gone. Coach Weis will break the cycle of losing and the students will stick around after halftime rather than going over the hill. Anyone care to go bowling?

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Keith Hummel 1 year, 11 months ago

I agree with nuleaf that winning is a key, but I don't think it takes a huge amount of winning. In fact, I think if we just stop getting our lunch handed to us on a regular basis and consistently play .500 ball or better, you will see a tremendous difference in the crowds. We regularly filled the stadium in in 2007 and 2008. The attendance record (52,530) was actually set the first game of 2009 against Northern Iowa. That tells me fans were poised to take the next step, and make a seat in Memorial Stadium a perennial hot commodity. And despite the disaster that occurred that season, and the two following years, fans continued to show up, at least for the first half. The NIU game last year had 48,000 and the KSU game had 47,000, even though there were huge questions surrounding the team. Even the OU game, where we were almost certainly going to lose very badly, drew 42,000. And that was just a week after we lost 70-28 to OSU in one of the most embarrassing chapters of KU football history. My point is KU football fans are itching to show up and stick around. All we need is a glimmer of hope.

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Lloyd Kinnison 1 year, 11 months ago

If I lived closer to KU, I would attend a spring practice game. lk

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Joel Hood 1 year, 11 months ago

If Charlie has success (wins) he can start new traditions. If he is not successful, then any tradition he attempts will become a joke.

Does anyone remember the new Ron Prince tradition of the "KSU Power Towel - Bring It To Every Game!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A-05w...

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Displayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Is this old news??? Rivals is reporting that Notre Dame linebacker Anthony McDonald is transferring to KU.

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Calijhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

I think what you will also see will be the re-emergence of the Marching Jayhawks. In the 1970's and early 80's, even during the Bud Moore years, I remember the Band as being kick - a--- , and ABC commentators saying so--back when they actually televised half-time shows at halftime. I think their decline started when Bob Frederick moved them from the student section to the corner of the bowl, and eventually all the way into the end zone to sell their seats. I remember taking a picture one year of the Band sitting right in the middle of a purple K-State victory celebration -- in their HOME stadium. You don't publicly disrespect your leading student support group like this and expect them to pull on the same end of the rope.

HCCW GETS IT! He's an extremely perceptive guy -- but I find it ironic that he has learned more about the KU environment and how to use it to build a long-term, respectable program in 5 months than 5 athletic directors have in 30 years.

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Kubandmom 1 year, 11 months ago

Not many people know that the band performance starts with the march down the hill one hour before game time along with a pre game pep concert at the bottom of the hill, they then have the pre game show, halftime show AND after every game they have a post game show where they play the school song and the final song is "Home on the Range". The director dismisses the band by asking "what kind of day is it?" and the band yells "it's a great day to be a Jayhawk!". Win or Lose...the band is there. It would be nice if the football team joined them in the post game traditions.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 11 months ago

I believe the year was 1544, Cortes arrives in Veracruz, his army by his side. Just in case any of his troops had any second thoughts about fighting, Cortes burnt all of the ships he and his army had came on. He wanted it to be clear to his army that it was win or die, no escape plan, no where to hide. You win or you die.

Coach Weis is doing something similar. After the game, win or lose there is no where to hide. You are going to waltz your @ss over to the student section and own whatever performance you had on the field. Every kid on that team will be invested 100%. I love it.

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Rian Ankerholz 1 year, 11 months ago

Matt Tait: Can you give us some numbers about the Kansas Relays? In my mind, the tradition of the Relays is the primary reason to maintain the track. The secondary reasons to keep the track are the cost to remove it, and the harm losing the outdoor track would do to the track team. If the Relays generate substantial revenue, I can better live with the track. Do the Relays make money, or cost KU money? If the Relays generate substantial publicity for the school, I can better live with the track. I assume many Kansas high school track teams view the Kansas Relays as the highlight of their track season. Could the Relays survive a move indoors to the practice facility? As an old-schooler, I don't want to see the Kansas Relays end for lack of the track. Until we have an Olympic Sport Complex, which is the much preferred situation, I advocate keeping the track. The immediate harm that would be done to the track program outweighs the benefit to the football program at this point in time.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 11 months ago

Maybe the team could do a lap around the stadium to at least acknowledge the Alums on the west side and the Students on the east side.

[The track has to be good for something]

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bville_hawk 1 year, 11 months ago

The team doesn't bus to the stadium, all football facilities are at the stadium. Terry Allen did the walk down the hill with the team (they did bus back then) and it never seemed like a neat thing to do and obviously never caught on. Not saying it shouldn't be tried again, but the team would have to bus from the stadium to the area of the Campanile and then walk down to where they essentially boarded the bus - seems a little nonsensical.

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Matt Gauntt 1 year, 11 months ago

I was somewhat apathetic about the Weis selection, but he has made a believer out of me. The small things that Weis is doing, and excelling at are the kind of things that make a great football program. Way to go HCCW!!

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741hawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Here's an idea. "The Jayhawk Walk." The buses bringing the team to the stadium would stop at the top of the hill. Led by cheerleaders and HCCW, the players would walk down the hill, through a crowd of fans (hopefully) to the locker rooms. (Not an original idea, I've seen it done at 'Bama and Ole Miss.)

And . . . I hope Charlie is workin' with Zenger on tearing out that track!

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Rian Ankerholz 1 year, 11 months ago

I like the idea of a Fighting Jayhawk helmet. Google: "Nike Pro Combat helmet Jayhawk" for the best example yet.

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Rian Ankerholz 1 year, 11 months ago

Nuleaf: I appreciate your posts in general as a voice of reason, and your posts today as the correct attitude for fans to take in the infancy of the Weis era. KU basketball is obviously steeped in quality tradition, and there is every reason to hope that the same can be developed for KU football. There will always be people (not necessarily fans) who cast negativity at the program because of past shortcomings. But to ceaselessly spout derision is unnecessary and unhelpful. We should all remember that coaches, players, and recruits view these boards. The harm that negativity can do should not to be underestimated. Thanks again for your valuable posts and your optimism. I hope some of the things discussed above do become traditions. If some are silly ideas, they will die a natural death anyway. If you want the seed of the program to grow, you have to plant it.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

I like reality based comments as much as the next guy, but I also appreciate the glass half full comments.

I do feel a little sorry for the people who wake up every day with a rope around their necks, just waiting to find a tree with the right limb.

My guess is that even the most disgruntled KU football fan is going to feel more hopeful, and - GASP - even enthusiastic after this season is over.

Chances are we're going to see vast improvements over last year.

Back in a few - got to go mix up a new batch of Koolaid......

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 11 months ago

Regardless of what you think of Charlie's idea:

1] Why not try it??.....the only tradition we have now is losing football games.

2] Lately, the opportunity hasn't happened often, but does the crowd sing the Rock Chalk song near the end of victories?? A stadium full of people singing would sound awesome.

3] Move the band into the middle of the student section...not stuck in the far corner of the endzone.

4] Ad nausem, but get rid of the track and move the stands closer to the field.

5] Great ideas on lighting the Campanile, Fraser Hall and having the band come marching down the Campanile Hill.

6] [Personal note] Ditch the Trajan lettering, put names back on the jerseys and come up with a "Psycho Hawk" design for the helmets.

7] But most importantly...be competitive and show effort. The wins will come.

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Jason Montgomery 1 year, 11 months ago

Maybe they should go to whatever section of the stadium still has the most people left in it by the time the game is over. Going to look kind of ridiculous facing an empty section of the stadium.

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martyks 1 year, 11 months ago

I only have one question for all the koolaid drinkers out there. When did Weis ever prove that he can coach college football? Look up Notre Dame's record while he was there. It was dismal and his teams were obviously not prepared or in shape. I hope I am wrong, but I believe this year will be embarrassing and disappointing. Then again, maybe singing the song could ease our pain.

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Matt Kenton 1 year, 11 months ago

While we're piling on, let's get rid of those stupid black uniforms the band wears!

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Robert Brock 1 year, 11 months ago

wheatwave wins this thread based on real KU tradition.

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IrishCharlie 1 year, 11 months ago

What next, changing the jayhawk to the leprechaun? Building a golden dome on top of AFH? LMAO !

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Jayhawk1116 1 year, 11 months ago

I wonder how Charlie is going to handle the only "tradition" the students have - yelling "rip his f*cking head off" after kickoffs...

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troutsee 1 year, 11 months ago

Great idea. Go for it, Charlie.

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Gene Jackson 1 year, 11 months ago

Gee, I wonder if someone told him that the students are gone after the half to party down the street.

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1 year, 11 months ago

Tradition creates loyalty, win or lose. Probably the best example of this is at Texas A&M, where all three levels on the east side of the stadium are filled with about 40,000 students who, along with many of the other fans, stand and yell on all Aggie defensive downs regardless of the score - - they could be up or down by 40, it doesn't matter. This is just one of many examples of their traditions. Obviously, this didn't happen overnight, but you have to start somewhere. I love what Charlie is trying to do so far.

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Joel Hood 1 year, 11 months ago

How about ending the 'tradition' of yelling, "Rip his f** head off," after each kick off. Oh wait, I guess the lack of scoring pretty much ended that tradition last season.

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phogthedog 1 year, 11 months ago

Now if we could get them to turn off the loud piped in music while the band marches down to the field from the Campanile, that would be awesome! The screen shows them marching down the hill......paired to loud very loud music. How about we listen to the marching band while they descend our hill? Start and end the game with tradition.

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iamakufan 1 year, 11 months ago

This guy just continues to impress me.

I also like the lighting of the Campanile idea! I've seen the orange lights in Austin and it's quite impressive. Great idea to light ours with blue.

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55jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

This is a good idea, let's back the team on this one. While we are at it: let's put the Jayhawk back on our helmets, this is one of the most recognized and unique mascots in the NCAA!

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baldwinjhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

This man get it. I love it! They do it in Texas, starting at the high school level. Let's start another new tradition. Light the Campanile blue with a football win. That would be awesome@!

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Michael Pannacciulli 1 year, 11 months ago

I keep thinking...if Weis sticks around long enough...like Schiano at Rutgers...you can turn the tide. I just don't expect he will be given the luxury of time and/or he will stay himself even five years. Hope I am proven wrong. I think he is a solid coach...can't wait to see what they will do...

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

"With that in mind, Weis on Tuesday met with KU band director Matthew Smith to discuss the idea of creating a postgame ceremony in which Weis’ football players would walk to the student section on the east side of Memorial Stadium and sing the alma mater with their classmates while the band takes a spot on the field and faces the players and students."

I have to agree with lahothan's comment above. It would be a smart move - if there's anybody left after halftime. Win and the crowds will stay around for this.....

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Ashwin Rao 1 year, 11 months ago

Love it! He is thinking about EVERYTHING! He practices celebration, and pre/post tradition... I am sure it will all translate to more accountability amongst the players... they will have to show their faces to the fans after dropping the game-winning catch, or missing the game-winning field-goal... This will force the players to give what they have and more to the team.

Great stuff!

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lahothan 1 year, 11 months ago

I'll gladly be one of the 16 students remaining in the student section to take part in this

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Cmill1221 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't care what traditions he adds as long as one of them is winning!!! If we win there will be a bond w/ the students and they will gladly stay the whole game. And if winning becomes the norm they will most likely stick around even if we lose. Tradition starts with wins.

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jayhawkdon 1 year, 11 months ago

Good luck and I'll be watching/listening/cheering and singing from Montana!!!!

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gardenjay 1 year, 11 months ago

Wow - we didn't get this before that I recall. I think establishing a connection to the students on the football team is a rad idea, Weis is looking smart.

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phogfusion 1 year, 11 months ago

Got to hand it to Weis...at least he's trying to get the apathetic football fan base to wake up and take notice...I got to say I like the spirit Weis has and it's a refreshing change to what we have seen lately....Good stuff!!!!!!! Now hopefully it resonates on the field!!! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

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