We have had discussions at work about the K-State chant with the “F-bomb” at the KSU-KU basketball game, and after hearing about it on the radio and television and now reading the Mercury column, I’ve got to throw out my thoughts.
Couple of points here. One, this word has been used at KU games in the past. But this year we won the game, so that is a story. But that story only goes so far, so what do the media do?
They look for more news and stories. And as is typi-cal of the media, they don’t look for nice feel-good stories because those stories don’t sell news-papers or get listeners. Buried in this story and not the headline is the fact that fans of opposing teams praise the friendliness of our fans and the town. Guess the headline “KSU fans and Man-hattan friendly” just doesn’t grab your attention like one with “anti-KU”?
I love the admission from the Mercury writer that he still has a “Screw KU” painters hat but doesn’t wear it out anymore. In other words, he was 20 years old once and did things that would have been considered inappro-priate. He also grinned slightly when he heard the cheer, as he is not “pure.”
Everyone is forgetting what it was like to be 20 years old and beat your cross-state rival for only the fourth time in 53 games or whatever and only the third time on your own floor since construction of your fieldhouse 25 years ago.
So you think the students were a little over hyped up? Again, the chant has been used in the past, but in the past we didn’t have everyone’s attention by actually winning a nationally televised “Big Monday” game.
I’ve been to other venues for both basketball and football games, and I can tell you I have not always been treated with friendliness and respect. While I don’t attend many basketball games, I have attended almost every home football game for a number of years. I tailgate in the student section, and I don’t remember visiting fans ever being treated crudely.
I love college athletics, and I am disgusted by the NCAA. And yes, we have to blame our own universities for money being the driving force behind them. What everyone seems to want to forget is what this game is all about, and the only reason we have this game is because of student-athletes and students. Student rivalries are great traditions and still spark passion in older fans like me.
Was the chant needed and appropriate? No. Was it based on emotions and many games and years of frustration? Yes. Was it done by a bunch of 20-year-olds who showed emotion again by rushing the court? Yes. Is it cause for great concern and a big story? No. When I start reading about our students destroying property or threatening fans of other teams or not being friendly in general, I’m going to get concerned.
Beyond that, let’s all remem-ber we were 20 once and we may have done inappropriate things. If the national media want to make a story out of something like this, I guess that’s their choice. I would like to see them stop.
Even with one inappropriate chant, I’m proud of my university AND its students, and I hope this nonstory can just stop now.
Jon L. Ungerer, a member of the KSU Class of 1986, lives at 850 U.S. 77, Marysville.