Thursday, November 21, 2013

Self still not a fan of altered anthem

Kansas head coach Bill Self looks for an answer from his players after a stretch of sloppy play against Pittsburg State during the second half of an exhibition game on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self looks for an answer from his players after a stretch of sloppy play against Pittsburg State during the second half of an exhibition game on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Bill Self, who, in his 11 years at Kansas University has occasionally provided pizza and donuts for students who camp out for seats at basketball games, never takes the Jayhawks’ loudest, most creative supporters for granted.

“The students are great,” Self said Wednesday on his “Hawk Talk” radio show. “We don’t want to take away their enthusiasm.”

At the same time, he requests that those students who sing “home of the Chiefs” at the conclusion of the National Anthem, return to singing the actual words of the song: “home of the brave.”

“I don’t think we should do that (sing ‘home of Chiefs’),” Self said, responding directly to a question from a Hawk Talk caller.

“It was a couple years ago we actually made a big deal out of that and the students complied and quit doing it for a period of time.”

The “home of the Chiefs” lyrics disappeared in the 2012-13 season after Self spoke publicly about the matter in January of 2012.

“For whatever reason, I guess they’ve started doing it again. That’s not what needs to be done in this particular situation. Especially in today’s time when there’s so much publicity and notoriety, rightfully so, to the men and women who sacrifice so much for our country,” Self said. “I think it’s probably not something we should do, but from a kids’ standpoint I don’t think they know they are in poor taste doing it. I think it’s just something we should look at and realize, ‘Hey, c’mon now, let’s think about this before we actually do it.’”

Nobody knows exactly when it started, but some of the KU students in the end zones have been singing “home of the Chiefs” several seasons now, with the exception being last season.

Some of them perform the “tomahawk chop” when singing those words. It’s a copycat of pregame at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, where Chiefs fans have altered the words of the anthem in tribute to the home team for decades.

Of course, it should be noted many KU students do not take part in the altering of the song.

“That’s one tradition that in my opinion certainly we could do without,” Self told the Journal-World on Jan. 19, 2012. “I think it’d be more respectful toward the anthem and what that stands for to go ahead and use the actual words to it than putting in their own. I think they should stick to Francis Scott Key’s words. I think that would be more appropriate.”

Towson up next: KU (3-0) will next meet (3-1) Towson (Md.) at 7 p.m., Friday, in Allen Fieldhouse. Towson has won at home against Navy (72-45), Morgan State (95-75) and Temple (75-69) and lost at Villanova (78-44).

The Tigers are led by Pat Skerry, who is 22-45 in three years at the Colonial Athletic Association school.

Jerrelle Benimon, a 6-8 senior forward from Warrenton, Va., leads Towson in scoring (17.5 ppg) and rebounding (11.8). He also has a team-high 13 assists and seven blocks. Rafriel Guthrie, a 6-3 senior from Washington, D.C., averages 11.3 ppg, and Marcus Damas, a 6-7 senior from Bay Shore, N.Y., 10.8 ppg.

KU freshman Frank Mason committed to Towson his senior year of high school, but did not qualify academically at that time.

Proud papa: Joel Embiid’s dad, Thomas, who attended KU’s win over Iona on Tuesday night, attended practice Wednesday. Joel scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds versus the Gaels while playing in front of his dad for the first time.

“What a nice man. You can see where Joel gets it,” Self said. “This would be like you or me not growing up playing cricket and trying to figure out how it works and your son is out there playing and people are cheering for him ... it has to be a pretty cool feeling. He was bouncing around pretty good today. It was nice to see.”

Thomas Embiid is a member of the Cameroon military. “He’s a colonel,” Self said. “I think Joel behaves when he’s back home. When the colonel speaks, I think Joel does (listen). It was pretty cool to see them together.”

Progress: Self on who was more advanced when first arriving at KU — Russia’s Sasha Kaun or Cameroon’s Embiid.

“I love Sasha but it’s not close,” Self said, giving the nod to Embiid. “Sasha is obviously stronger and more aggressive in some ways.

“If we ever let Sasha shoot a three-pointer it’d be the same result as Joel’s (miss versus Duke),” he added with a laugh. “Jo is so advanced from a skill standpoint where Sasha is more advanced from a physicality standpoint.”

Smith honored: Former KU player and assistant coach Dean Smith was one of 16 individuals awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Wednesday. The honor dates to an executive order from President John F. Kennedy establishing the award.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the country’s highest civilian honor. According to the White House, this award is given to individuals, “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Smith competed at Kansas from 1949-53 and was a part of the Jayhawks’ national championship team in 1952. Smith and the Jayhawks were national runners-up in 1953.

After graduation, Smith served as an assistant coach at KU under Phog Allen for the 1953-54 season. Smith then went on to coach North Carolina basketball from 1961-97, winning two national championships.

Former KU and current North Carolina coach Roy Williams attended the ceremony.

Overrated?: Iona’s Sean Armand, who scored 14 points off 5-of-15 shooting in the Gaels’ 86-66 loss to KU, tweeted this on Tuesday: “Of course this kid is the headline on espn. Overrated.” He didn’t say for sure, but apparently was referring to Andrew Wiggins, who scored 13 in the win.


Jack Jones 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Kindest words I can think of ~~ It adds ZERO class to a class University.


Steve Corder 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Self is STILL NOT a fan of the altered anthem, really? One would think after two years he'd finally gain a sense of irreverent humor and join the few blockheads in this post who like the altered anthem. "Home of the Chiefs"....what a frat move!


Erich Hartmann 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Also, the Kansas City Chiefs are not a "missouri" team just because the stadium is in that state. They are much, much bigger than "missouri". And KC Chiefs have nothing to do with that university in Columbia, MO...


Erich Hartmann 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Self is saying the politically correct thing, that's all.

KU is in Lawrence, KS...within an hour's drive of Arrowhead. That is well-within "home" territory for many KC fans, meaning that many KU students/fans may be also KC fans.

I personally may agree with Self, but I do not take the students "Chiefs" chant personally, as I dont think they are being malicious. They are doing it for laughs and thrills.

Honestly, when the natl anthem is sung straight and with genuine emotion, it almost always makes me emotional thinking about people's sacrifices, and also us taking it on the chin with 9/11... Hearing "chiefs" brings a chuckle and some levity. Of course the ku intro video brings its own chills and tears...

Finally, people go find the audio of LeAnn Rimes 'acapella' (voice only, no music) rendition of the Natl Anthem...recorded when she was 18 or 19...absolutely hands down the best Natl Anthem I have ever heard. I used to think Whitney Houston's 1991 superbowl version was the best (owned that CD), but after hearing Rimes's version...I gave away the Whitney CD single. (And I'll always love Whitney Houston). The very slight "country" (mildest twang) in Rimes' voice is perfect, and her vocal range is ridiculous. Give your ears and hearts a treat people, find this on YouTube or something...

That guy who sings it for the Chicago Bears is pretty powerful in his own way. He makes me think of US Marines for some reason...


Terran Woolley 4 months, 4 weeks ago

A Kansas program dripping with a winning reputation equating itself with a Missouri team dripping with a tradition of losing. It's not that hard to see why this is wrong, kids.


RJ King 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Justice Winslow commits to Duke. HEM? Discuss???


Trent Smith 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The whole chiefs thing is stupid. The student section should be ashamed of themselves for disrespecting the anthem with the name of a Missouri team! Who does that in Allen Field House? I would expect this from the student section of Missouri, not ours!


Clarence Haynes 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Armand strikes me as being a mouthy dude trying to get some attention (btw, I cleaned this up!). Wiggins will do far more than okay. Let's see where "mouthy" is in five years!


Yolanda Gay 4 months, 4 weeks ago

If people want to say home of the chiefs, go to a chiefs game. It's disrespectful and embarrassing to our Jayhawks. But most importantly disrespectful to our BRAVE men and women who are fighting for our country and those who lost their lives fighting for our country. Sing it the way it was written or don't sing it at all.


Joe Joseph 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Someone, anyone, please tell me how chanting "chiefs" at the end of the national anthem is disrespectful? Those who chant it (at least, I'm assuming) aren't saying it out of disrespect to the United States or even veterans. They're probably saying it because they're Chiefs fans and feel that strongly about the Chiefs.

Cheese and rice. It's not like they're saying home of the "cowards," "lazies," "obese" or "ridiculously high levels of poverty for a civilized nation."

Should people probably just sing the anthem word-for-word? Probably. But if you're offended by this or find it disrespectful??? Good God man. There are a lot of other things in the United States that should be offending you more.



John Liddell 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I've been trying to get an answer to this for a while. For some reason I can't comment during games on the live blog. Anyone know why?


Brett Lamb 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Just gonna say it to for argument sake. My father/step mother both of 25+ faithful service plus 3 tours of Iraq between them and myself a former service member of only 4 years. Waited for two decades to see a Chiefs game in person. When we did we loved the HOME OF THE CHIEFS chant at the end. However we as all should,IMO, should honor the right of those not to say that at the games as well as give the same respect to those do.

But please for all those doing this at the hallowed grounds of AFH please quit. KU is full of rich and time honored traditions and new one that has no bearing with this school is ignorant. REspectfully this is just my opinion


Kit Duncan 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I didn't get to watch the game, but I would suggest that maybe Andrew didn't turn up the tempo A. Because others were doing just fine B. Joel's dad was in the house and he wanted JoJo to be the star of the game. I wouldn't worry about Andrew's game. It's a long season and he doesn't need to get injured or burn himself out in non-conference games that KU should be able to win even if he sits the whole game on the bench or hangs out on the 3pt line.


Jake Butler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I guess it's been a while since I've gone to a home game, but I'm having a hard time understanding why this is even happening in the first place. Allen Fieldhouse is not the home of the Chiefs. Our basketball team and our school have nothing to do with the Chiefs. The students need to step up and squash this before it gets worse.


Benz Junque 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I HATE that people add "CHIEFS" to the national anthem at Jayhawks games. It just makes them look stupid. Are we at Arrowhead? NO. It's completely moronic.

And Jack Wilson, you weren't duped. Was there something misleading in title of the article "Self still not a fan of altered anthem"? Is this the ONLY article posted on this site? No. If you want to read about Jayhawk basketball stories (there are more than a DOZEN listed to chose from) instead of reading about people's issue with the National Anthem, then don't click on the story titled "Self still not a fan of altered anthem".

And "freedom of speech"? Just stop. No one is asking that people be arrested for this, just that they show some respect for veterans and for the team. We are all provided the freedom of speech to stand up and scream Milwey Cyrus lyrics for the duration of the National Anthem. That is just as "harmless". It doesn't mean it isn't rude, disrespectful and annoying.

Show some respect for veterans and for the team whose home Allen Fieldhouse ACTUALLY IS and stop with the stupid "Chiefs" nonsense.


Jack Wilson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

We've been duped.

Instead of offering us something insightful regarding game tomorrow night, or a topic relevant to KU hoops .. we get a re-hash of the same story raised two years ago. That's all we can get out of Hawk talk, or anything else since last game?

There are lots of storylines -- Andrew White's limited role, Tarik Black's ineffectiveness, how Frankamp might fit going forward, Mason's obvious impact on the game, Wiggins taking the game off, Traylor's inconsistencies, national media discussion, recruiting, etc. Heck, anything related to KU hoops.

But we all get to act indignant because some well intentioned folks exercise their right to free speech (harmless in this instance) and say "Chiefs" instead of "brave." And that has to be an insult to all veterans, as the national anthem is sung to pay homage to veterans, and not this great nation we live in.

Better topics, I'm sure.


Mike Adams 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Let's not start saying Wiggins is a pawn, since there is a chiefs theme today it reminds me of the many times fans say Dwayne Bowe is a pawn or distracting other players - it's laughable really. The fact is on offense he stands around on the three point line, when he gets the ball he generally passes it. He needs to be an alpha dog and make things happen. IMO, Wiggins will have a big impact on getting future guards/wings that are top 10 talents. I wouldn't trade Self for any other however my one tiny gripe (besides riding EJ too long in the tourney last year when he clearly was off his game) is he hasn't done a tremendous job of coaching these elite athletes that also possess high level skills like Xavier, Selby, Wright. I don't care if Xavier scored 27 points in his first game, everyone knew he was a stud coming in and he never hit his stride at KU, obviously Selby didn't either. Ben was a high NBA draft pick but did he ever really get a grip on confidently going to the basket off the dribble? He was dumbed down to a jump shooter and transition guy, easy to guard. Bill should tell these guys they are complete studs and they have the freedom to leverage their talents, otherwise he will no longer get these guys. Look at Selby, have we had an elite point guard since he came here? No (which has been our downfall, will be this year in March as well), and that's because recruiters from other schools take about 2 minutes to point out what happened to him at don't care about our excuses, i.e., he missed some games, or was dinged up… I would personally prefer Self stay away from these 1 & done players, he's just not 'great' at coaching this type of talent. Small example, we have the fastest team in college, yet we still don't consistently push the fast break and run the other team out of the gym, just not his cup of tea. He holds these guys back anyone that honestly looked at history of our teams wouldn’t deny that.


Tony Bandle 4 months, 4 weeks ago


1] Andrew has an intrinsic value-added effect on the team he plays for. It is unmeasurable but it is there. He makes everybody else better. Whether it's his team play, his distracting presence to the opponent or his teammates desire to maintain their own highest quality. If that is the definition of "over-rated", well I hope Sean gets good TV reception as he sits and watches Andrew and the Hawks in the NC game in 2014!!

2] Colonel Embiid may have been the best dressed man in Allen Field House in the last decade or so!!

3] Not to be critical of Bill, but I thought I read that Papa Embiid played a little BBall himself. Something tells me he knows exactly how special his son is!!

4] The Snickers Candy Bar " Kansas City Chefs" commercial is still one of the best of all time...." Home of the Chiefs" great googlymoogly!!

5] Tomorrow at 12:30 pm, fifty years ago, I was headed to Brother Jorn's 1:00 Sophomore religion class at McBride High School in St.Louis, MO. when our world changed forever. I can almost guarantee any of you who lived through that weekend, can totally peg exactly where, when and what you were doing when you heard the tragic news.

6] God Bless every past, present and future military, police, fire and emergency personnel.... do your best to all come home safe and sound!!


Rodney Crain 5 months ago

Maybe if the "home to the chiefs" vocalists served a tour in our armed forces they would have a different perspective on changing the words to our anthem?

On Armand's comment on Wiggins, he is just warming up Sean. Best hope you don't see Andrew again in March.


Titus Canby 5 months ago

Two issues on the national anthem. 1) Allen Fieldhouse isn't the home of the Chiefs. It's the home of the Jayhawks. 2) Even at Chiefs games, as Self says, it's disrespectful. The first time I heard this at a Chiefs game, I was disgusted. Sing it as it was written.


Dave Coen 5 months ago

Coach Self, thanks for your leadership encouraging Chiefs fans to be respectful to our many veterans who have served and sacrificed for American freedom.


Marc Frey 5 months ago

In my previous life I had to audition National Anthem singers. It should take 90 seconds and some girls who felt they were the next "Diva" added 15 seconds just by their own touch. Many did not make the cut. Just Sing It!


Brett McCabe 5 months ago

The Chiefs thing is absolutely nonsensical. Just stupid. Who does that?

And who tweets overrated towards a player/team that just sleepwalked to a 20-point win over your team?

Congratulations to Dean Smith, a Kansas boy, a national champ at Kansas and the builder of his own great basketball legacy. Plus, he sent Roy to us.


Jim Erickson 5 months ago

The hype around Wiggens is a bit absurd. If he ends up as the second best player in college basketball, he will be a "let down".

To a lesser extent, this was done to Xavier Henry, who averaged double digits and was a key part of a very good basketball team lead by veterans Collins and Aldrich. He was seen by many as a "bust", which was ridiculous. Keep in mind that Perry Ellis, who is playing like a absolute star right now, had a very marginal role most of last season. I wouldn't exactly call him a failure. No matter who you are, it's tough to make an impact at Kansas as a freshman.


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