Please give anthem the respect it deserves


My fellow Jayhawks,

I am a United States Army veteran and twice served my country in Iraq. I am not a native Kansan but met my wife while stationed here, and was fortunate enough to return to Kansas and join the Jayhawk family to pursue my education. I am proud to call myself a Jayhawk, and tell people all over the country that you will never have an experience like going to a game at Allen Fieldhouse. It is amazing to be a part of the great KU traditions.

However, at every game there is one thing I cannot support; altering the National Anthem. For a large number of people The Star Spangled Banner is not just a song. It represents an ideal that millions of people throughout the last 250 years of history have given their very lives to establish and defend. Every time I hear it my eyes well up with tears, and I feel a lump in my throat. And I can assure you that whether they are a WWII veteran from the greatest generation, or part of the newest generation to be called upon to support and defend the Constitution there are many others in AFH that feel the same way.

I am so grateful that Coach Self spoke out on this issue, and I hope that you can get behind him and cease singing “home of the Chiefs” at the end of the National Anthem. For a school so proud of its history (there were several John Browns in attendance when we sent the kitties out crying) it seems that honoring this part of our nation’s history would not be too hard to accomplish.

I will be in attendance this Saturday, and hope to hear 16,300 of my closest friends proudly singing “home of the brave”.

God Bless America. And Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Go KU!


Nick Cole 10 years, 11 months ago

Very well said. And thanks for serving our country. Hopefully AFH can honor it on Saturday.

Andrew Michael 10 years, 11 months ago

I've been saying the same thing on the Facebook page for honoring the rock chalk chant... how come these students/alumni can be behind the rock chalk chant and then disrespect the National Anthem which has far more meaning. I'm glad someone was able to get something posted here on LJworld

Laura Wilson 10 years, 11 months ago

While I've never been a fan of our anthem as it's all about war--America The Beautiful would be a much better choice--I would never condone anyone changing the words! I wasn't aware this was being done. How appalling. Good for Coach Self for speaking out on this. Hopefully it will come to a quick end.

Andrew Bary 10 years, 11 months ago

wrong. it is not about care bears. period.

Jayhawk444 10 years, 11 months ago

Behind you all the way on this one. And also a big Thank You for your service to our country.

John Myers 10 years, 11 months ago

Amen, Jaydoc.

The disrespect shown by doing this makes me sick. It's not clever, it's not funny, and it's definitely not appropriate.

I hope the idiots that think they're being cute can finally understand this and pay the respect that they should.

Thank you so much for your service.

CardHawkFan 10 years, 11 months ago

As a grandson of a WWII and Korean War vet, I applaud you for speaking up as well and for your service to our country. However, this problem extends to Memorial Stadium as well. I, too, get goosebumps every time I hear the anthem because I believe in this country and what the anthem stands for. I am a proud Kansan and bleed crimson and blue, but for some reason Jayhawk Nation thinks that it needs to happen there as well. Honoring our country and the men and women who have fought and died to protect it by singing the right words shouldn't just happen in AFH. Keep up the good work, sir!

Hooligan_016 10 years, 11 months ago

If you're going to call out Lawrence (AFH and Memorial Stadium) then call out Arrowhead Stadium too. That's where this originated from anyhow.

No disrespect intended, I fully understand your point.

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 11 months ago

Yes, but what makes this so dumb is that we are the Jayhawks, not the Chief's. The team that resides in Arrowhead Stadium are at least called the Chief's so on some level you can understand the stupidity. Saying this at AFH is really dumb and I'm really embarrassed that they do this...

patkindle 10 years, 11 months ago

Most of these disrespectful jerks are just showing everyone What stud puppets they think they are. Really they are just spoiled brats And will end up back home living in thier parents basement Because they are so worthless no one will hire them Even with a degree in art . Consider the source, and ignore them

Hooligan_016 10 years, 11 months ago

Hey, how about you dial it back just a bit?

Katie Bieber 10 years, 11 months ago

I would never be a disrespectful jerk by changing the words to the National Anthem. It's poetry, and poetry is art. I have 2 degrees in art. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Music, both from KU. I don't live in my parents' basement. I have a job singing with an opera company in the midwest. I wasn't really that spoiled. I grew up on a farm in rural Kansas. During the summers in college I had my own landscaping business to supplement my student loans. But you did get one thing right: I am a stud puppy.

JayDoc91 10 years, 11 months ago

I do think that after Coach Self's initial comments the number of people that sing Chiefs has declined. And if that's not enough to get it to stop, consider this- last week the overwhelming number of those who altered the ending were wearing black and gold.

EarthaKitt 10 years, 11 months ago

I'd also like singers to stop significantly altering the melody. Personally I find the goofy American Idol warbling silly regardless of the song, but to do that to traditional songs and anthems seems disrespectful. I understand there may be stylistic differences in interpretation. That sort of diversity makes the word go around. But to skip up and down the scales like a demented yodeller is just plain stupid. It also makes it completely impossible for anyone else to sing along, which kind of renders the purpose of the song moot. Rant done.

Kye Clark 10 years, 11 months ago


"goofy American Idol warbling" and "demented yodeller" both had me in stitches!

When this happens it's all about the singers trying to make the performance more about themselves and less about the actual song. Kind of sad.

Joe Joseph 10 years, 11 months ago

The problem with the anti saying-chiefs-instead-of-brave crusade has so far been the fact that those choosing to chant "chiefs" have been alienated and called names like, "stud puppets," "spoiled brats" or "disrespectful jerks." How hypocritical of those who are claiming disrespect to turn around and disrespect others?

JayDoc91 did not do this and I appreciate his approach to the situation.

I am not offended by the chant, but greatly respect JayDoc's position considering his approach.

JayDoc91 10 years, 11 months ago

It doesn't help the argument to personally insult those you're trying to convince. I think it's more helpful to start the conversation, and open some eyes to a position they may not have considered.

I also 100% agree with keeping the Anthem traditional. I was disgusted by Steven Tyler's performance from the playoffs this year. The last two games I've been to in AFH had children performing the anthem, and it was perfect. I'd like to see that everywhere.

Matthew Herbert 10 years, 11 months ago

I can't stand those who swap "home of the Brave" with "Home of the Chiefs". That is reason #89 to avoid Arrowhead stadium. Mullets and NASCAR t-shirts are reasons #88 and #87.

Kevin Kunde 10 years, 11 months ago

Jim Corneilson is as patriotic as they come when you're talking about National Anthems... I can't believe KU snagged this guy to sing on Saturday! Watch his rendition before a Chicago Blackhawks game... Chilling..

Ian Legler 10 years, 11 months ago

Well Mr. Poopypants if you don't like it you can get the H.E.Double Hockey Sticks Out!

RockCaCO3_05 10 years, 11 months ago

Amen, Brother! There was an isolated group of these Communist students doing this as far back as early 2000's. Our camping group was always part of the vocal MAJORITY who would sing "Home of the Brave" loudly to drowned out those commie-pinko b@$t@rd$. It's sad to see that there is still a small amount people perpetuating this classless chant. This is a missouri chant (chiefs are a missourah team) and is also probably done in hearnes!?! What's next zubaz pants??? Not on my watch!

This was NOT, is NOT, and should NOT ever be an AFH tradition!

Go Jayhawks! Home of the Brave, AFH!

Rock Chalk!

gsxr600 10 years, 11 months ago

Hooah, very well put! I think most of the student section is just naive and couldn't give a s*** less about courage, honor, pride, etc.

irvan moore 10 years, 11 months ago

those that it has to be explained to don't and won't understand

Ian Legler 10 years, 11 months ago

I would concur and that is a well put letter. I have and forever will support our troops and we will never be able to thank them enough for the sacrifices they have made. I did attend the OSU game Feb 11th (my birthday) and it appeared that the student section is starting to take notice of how ridiculous their antics were. Didn't hear anyone giving the "Chiefs" sign off and I'll admit I was taken back because "you know how kids are" ...

Like I said seems to me that the students have learned the right way to honor our country ... Let's hope the tradition of patriotism continues.

Steve Reigle 10 years, 11 months ago

As a veteran, a son of a veteran, and a father of two veterans, I applaud this letter and hope all will honor this country by singing the anthem as it was intended.

Ryan Mullen 10 years, 11 months ago

I can very much appreciate this letter from jaydoc. However I can think of one thing which is more offensive in regards to our nation and removing words. For those who have served in the military saying, "home of the Chiefs" must be nerve racking and especially grievous. Although I am a proud American removing the Lords name from documents or government property is grievous to me. God comes first, family second, county third. I guess what I am saying is that, "some" in our country wants to take God out of everything and when we use, "home of the Chiefs" instead of, "home of the Brave" then people at Universites get pissed. Other than that good call and thank you for serving this great country.

KanedaMGM 10 years, 11 months ago

What about those of use that don't believe in your god? Why should we have to put up with it and all that comes with it?

Ryan Mullen 10 years, 11 months ago

I suppose then you could say the same thing about our country. What about those who don't care about the United States? Do they have to care just because they live here? Just because you are a citizen doesn't mean you have to be patriotic.

KanedaMGM 10 years, 11 months ago

You are absolutely right, just because you are a citizen doesn't mean you have to be patriotic.

Ryan Mullen 10 years, 11 months ago

One more thing. You could also say that these students are using the freedom given to them by them changing the words. We don't live in a communist country where you would be thrown in prison for changing words to song or speaking out against the government. So one could argue these students are being very patriotic by changing the words however offensive it may be.

ST3V3N 10 years, 11 months ago

Home of the brave? Free. Like the Indian chiefs that once were free? It's all wonderful and beautiful if you keep the truth swept under the carpet.

Kyle Sybesma 10 years, 11 months ago

To suggest that the student section is saying "home of the Chiefs" is in reference to Native Americans is the dumbest comment I have ever read on here.

ST3V3N 10 years, 11 months ago

Was not suggesting that. It just bothers me when everyone forgets the people who got their freedom taken from them by the people who settled this country in the name of freedom.

Mandie Eutsler 10 years, 11 months ago

I understand your point, however that is not why they say it. It has absolutely no political undertones, they thought it was cool. Turns out, it is really dumb...

Kyle Sybesma 10 years, 11 months ago

ST3V3N, I hope you are writing from a different country because if you are writing it from the U.S. then it must not bother you that much.

Pilothawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Just as the American flag is more than a mere assemblage of stars and blue, red and white cloth, so, too, is the National Anthem more than a melody and a collection of notes and words. They are symbols of the great things for which this nation stands. Altering them in a twisted spirit of fun is offensive.

Thank you for the letter. For twenty seven years I wore the nation's uniform. I have accompanied my brothers on their final journey home after they gave all in defense of the nation. In their memory, I share the sentiments of the author. Is a moment of respect too much to ask in return for their sacrifice?

dansmullet 10 years, 11 months ago

I find it a bit hypocritical that a guy voices is opinion about the National Anthem being disrespected and in the same letter does some disrespecting of his own. While the National Anthem and a rival school are different things, you'd think someone asking for respect could atleast show some.

Kye Clark 10 years, 11 months ago're comparing the National Anthem to MU? (or KSU, depends on which Kitties he was talking about that left crying). Wow.

That's basically what you're saying, although you try to skirt the issue by saying "While the National Anthem and a rival school are different things," and then proceed right back to treating them like they're the same.

If you can't understand the difference between trash-talking in sports and disrespecting the National Anthem, well then there is no use reasoning with you (and it is at this point that I notice the futility of my post. Oh well).

dansmullet 10 years, 11 months ago

I'm not comparing anything. National Anthem and Missouri couldn't be more different. I'm talking about the common denominator, respect. I was always raised that if you want respect, you need to show respect. In this letter, this guy is demanding respect, while disrespecting. That's where the hypocritcal comment comes.

Kye Clark 10 years, 11 months ago

You are essentially equating the two, saying the two are both on the same continuum of things deserving of our respect. You can't treat them like they are the same thing, and thus expect the same level of respect for both.

dansmullet 10 years, 11 months ago

no need for same level. But, there was no respect at all shown. You can't expect respect in return when you can't even show the smallest amount.

Gary Wirsig 10 years, 11 months ago

As an Air Force veteran of 33 years, I heartily concur with Jaydoc91.

Kyle Sybesma 10 years, 11 months ago

Love the post Jaydoc. It's sad this has to be pointed out. Thank you for your service.

It's people like you that truly make the U.S.A. "the home of the brave."

JayHawkFanToo 10 years, 11 months ago


Thanks you for your service to the country. I wholeheartedly agree with you in relation to the National Anthem.

Let's remember that:

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." ~Elmer Davis

okjhok 10 years, 11 months ago

I'm an Iraq veteran as well, and not sure what that has to do with any of this, or why it matters to so many of you. If you think it qualifies comments, you're incorrect. I'm proud of my country and my service. More so, I'm proud of the fact that I help defend the freedom that allows people (ignorant or otherwise) to express themselves in almost any matter and in almost any situation. That's why I love my country. Do I like the "home of the chiefs" expression? Not particularly, but I sure don't lose any sleep over it. And no, what I say doesn't matter either...just giving my perspective, which I feel many share, but gets lost in the weeds. Rock chalk.

friendlyjhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

The National Anthem is not a song. It is an Anthem of loyalty and respect to our country. It should played or sung straight up with nothing added, nothing taken away. All the singers or bands that have altered it in some way thinking they are adding something to it are wrong. There is nothing to add, it stands alone as it has since it was designated as The National Anthem. There is wonderful music out there that is open to interpretation, have at it. There are many funny, quirky things to say in this world, have at them also. Respect The National Anthem by holding to the correct tradition!

Joe Ross 10 years, 11 months ago

Great post, Jaydoc. These are what the blogs are for. To express real, timely opinions on things relevant to KU. Not some, attention-gobbling poser like Jaybate who crowds everyone else out to the point that they dont want to write anymore because his stupid pictures move their blogs off the front page quickly. Why waste the time if he's just going to do that? Hence, why many SERIOUS bloggers have abandoned blogging. Kudos to you for sticking it out! Genius opinion, relevant, and well-timed!

KanedaMGM 10 years, 11 months ago

As a fellow vet I am kind of mixed on this. I too don't like the whole "home of the chiefs" thing but not because it is disrespectful but because it sounds stupid. The anthem is just a song, nothing more nothing less. Like the flag is just a flag. It is NOT something sacred.

NorthStarHawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Kaneda....They are symbols. They hold purpose and meaning that sets it apart in dedication to a place or event or a person, etc. To that, they are sacred. They hold sentiment. So in trying to understand how you framed your comment (of which you admitted to a level of indifference being "kind of mixed on this"), then a cross is simply a cross - wood, metal, sticks, tongue depressors, whatever - a shape and nothing more, nothing less.

KanedaMGM 10 years, 11 months ago

No they aren't sacred, they shouldn't be worshiped, And the same goes for a cross, it is just a shape.

Jeffery Barrett 10 years, 11 months ago

Whoa!!!!!!! So, you must be a Veterinarian? You cannot be a Veteran talking like that. There are a few comments on here that I let others respond to - thanks icthawk, et al. But I cannot let your comment stand. YOU are disrespectful. The Star Spangle Banner IS sacred. And so is the AMERICAN flag!

KanedaMGM 10 years, 11 months ago

I am a veteran (four years in the Air Force flying all over Iraq and Afghanistan). And no it is not sacred, it is a song. That doesn't change the fact that I think singing home of the chiefs is stupid, because it is. And when I am someplace and the anthem plays I stand at ease and face the flag just like I taught to in the Air Force when I wasn't in uniform.

pepper_bar 10 years, 11 months ago

Great essay, Jaydoc. The student section needs to recognize; the idiots who keep doing this are concentrated there.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 11 months ago


Thanks for your service and I don't take for granted one day that we, as a Nation, are free because of folks like you. And, I agree 100% with what you stated.

God Bless America! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Ryan Mullen 10 years, 11 months ago

You could also say that these students are using the freedom given to them by changing the words. We don't live in a communist country where you would be thrown in prison for changing words to song or speaking out against the government. So one could argue these students are being very patriotic by changing the words however offensive it may be.

pepper_bar 10 years, 11 months ago

Yes, in America you have the right to be a disrespectful tool. Doesn't mean you should be one.

Ryan Mullen 10 years, 11 months ago

Completely agree. Cue the occupy wallstreeters, disrespectful tools but still patriotic.

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