K-State band takes the field

The K-State band takes the field before kickoff against Bowling Green on Saturday.

The K-State marching band is stepping up its efforts to stop the “vulgar chant” that’s broken out sporadically during its performances of one of the school’s traditional pep songs, “Wabash Cannonball.”

Director Frank Tracz told band members Tuesday to urge their fellow students to stop chanting “F--- KU” during the band’s pre-game show. Tracz said he can’t hear as well anymore, so if even he was able to hear it over the band at the first two football games, it’s loud enough to be an issue.

For the past couple of decades, students notoriously have chanted the phrase at K-State Athletics events, particularly to the beat of the song “Sandstorm” by Darude.

Two years ago, when the chant flared up during a pre-game performance of “Wabash Cannonball,” Tracz cut the band short.

The stadium video boards then played a prerecorded message from then-head football coach Bill Snyder asking fans to stop the chant.

Since then, university and student leaders’ efforts to stop the chant have softened the instances at sporting events, but Tracz said that saying had no place at a stadium with the word “family” in the name. He said he hopes band members and other fans will put enough pressure on people chanting the phrase.

“It’s an insult to the stadium, the band and the Wabash tradition,” Tracz said. “The Wabash and K-State are stronger than any chant, and there’s enough students not doing it to be effective in stopping the ones that are.”

Should the chant continue, Tracz said the band might stop playing “Wabash Cannonball” altogether during the band’s pre-game.

Education reporter for the Manhattan Mercury. Follow me on Twitter at @byRafaelGarcia.

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