October 1, 2022


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‘We’re higher than this’: The Wabash Cannonball in jeopardy

Willie does the wabash cannonball with followers within the scholar part. (Archive picture by Madison Riebel | Collegian Media Group)

Through the soccer pre-game efficiency Saturday, Sept. 4, the Pleasure of Wildcat Land stopped taking part in their devices mid-Wabash Cannonball as a result of slew of profanity coming from the coed part. 

Josh Diazdeleon, trumpet part chief for the Pleasure of Wildcat Land and Kansas State scholar ambassador, mentioned the band was extraordinarily upset they had been unable to play for the coed part.

“The members of the Pleasure could be devastated to lose this custom,” Diazdeleon mentioned. “I do know now we have quite a lot of members of the band who’re actually annoyed with this. It doesn’t really feel good to not play for the coed part. That was a bummer and that wasn’t simply an opinion I’ve of my very own, that was your complete band.”

The Wabash Cannonball is a standard, upbeat ballad performed by the Kansas State band throughout soccer and basketball video games. College students, school and alumni take part by cheering and rocking forwards and backwards alternately with these sitting subsequent to them. Nonetheless, in recent times, derogatory remarks concerning the College of Kansas have been included into the custom. 

“I’ll say this — I’m a giant fan of rivalries and I wholeheartedly imagine that we’re one of the best college within the nation,” Diazdeleon mentioned. “I feel that’s been mirrored in all of the statistics which have been popping out so far as Okay-State being the primary college concerning scholar life, however I feel we’re higher than this. The very last thing that I need to hear after I’m within the Invoice is a few nonsense a few college with a traditionally subpar soccer program.”

Not solely does the chanting give credit score to KU’s soccer staff, nevertheless it additionally takes away from the central which means of the track, Diazdeleon mentioned.

“The Wabash shouldn’t be solely the primary gameday pregame custom within the Large 12, nevertheless it’s additionally an integral half to the Okay-State expertise,” Diazdeleon mentioned. “You may’t have the Okay-State expertise with out the Wabash. It’s the spine of being a Okay-Stater.” 

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College students and college alike have expressed frustration with the profanity chanted through the track, some even making nameless Instagram accounts encouraging college students to cease, like @savethewabash. President Linton mentioned he’s upset with the best way the custom has been handled.

“I’m upset that this chant takes our college students’ and patrons’ focus off of the sector when our student-athletes are doing such unimaginable issues on the sector,” Linton wrote in a Sept. 8 electronic mail. “I’m actively engaged in conversations with administration and scholar management on one of the best methods we are able to encourage our college students to reside their Wildcat values on this venue and restore an environment of respect. That’s the Okay-State method.”

Scott Sanders, a Okay-State alumnus who graduated in 1995, mentioned he, together with many different alumni, could be extraordinarily upset if the Wabash Cannonball was taken away due to the scholars yelling profanity.

“I’d be very, very unhappy,” Sanders mentioned. “As a scholar, I’ve extraordinarily fond recollections of the Wabash Cannonball at soccer and basketball video games, but in addition as a dad or mum, taking my kids to video games. I keep in mind having enjoyable educating them the Wabash and doing it at house and at video games with them. To see that custom go away could be very, very unhappy.”

Sanders mentioned he believes you will need to honor the historical past of the Wabash by carrying on the custom and refraining from yelling expletives.

“Not solely do I’ve a private attachment to the Wabash, nevertheless it’s a really conventional and thrilling track,” Sanders mentioned. “When Nichols gymnasium burned down in 1968 and it was the one piece of music the band director had in his briefcase, that’s what the band needed to play on the subsequent basketball sport.”

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The historical past behind the Wabash Cannonball shouldn’t be the one cause college students love the custom. Paige Fleming, senior in human sources, mentioned she loves the track as a result of it brings the coed physique collectively.

“It’s a giant sense of unity amongst college students,” Fleming mentioned. “We come from all these totally different locations. We’re all in these totally different lessons and every part, however I really feel like after we’re at these video games and we get to expertise this one track, it’s one thing that all of us take pleasure in.”

Fleming mentioned she hopes college students acknowledge the hurt they’re inflicting by chanting profanities through the track.

“Simply since you really feel a sure method in direction of this otherwise you need to take these sure actions and do the issues they’re asking us to not do doesn’t provide the proper to strip us all the alternative to be collaborating on this lengthy custom,” Fleming mentioned.

Many college students hope to maintain the Wabash by encouraging their friends to cease chanting about KU, Fleming being one in all them.

“I simply hope that all of us take the mandatory steps to maintain it from disappearing,” Fleming mentioned.

Taylor Poitier, a junior in communications and an offensive lineman for Okay-State, mentioned he couldn’t imagine the custom was truly in jeopardy.

“I heard about it on Twitter,” Poitier mentioned. “I didn’t assume it was actually actual simply because that’s the varsity’s predominant track for each sport.”

Poitier mentioned he thinks the administration ought to converse with the coed physique and provides them an opportunity to vary their conduct to save lots of the track.

“I really feel like they need to talk with the scholars extra,” Poitier mentioned. “They’re simply going to take it away with out even giving an answer to repair the issue.”

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Moreover, Poitier mentioned he thinks the mantra might be encouraging for the staff.

“I really feel like there’s worse issues mentioned in folks’s chants,” Poitier mentioned. “For us it implies that all people’s into it and all people’s rocking with us, in my perspective of it.”

Some college students, like Alec Schlote, senior in structure, imagine it is going to be tough to get the coed part to abstain from the derogatory chanting. 

“I imply, it’s one thing that you may’t actually cease,” Schlote mentioned. “The scholars, they chant different obscenities. It’s simply how it’s. It’s exhausting to actually regulate something that goes on and eliminating one in all our most iconic songs for any cause shouldn’t be one thing they need to think about.”

Media, akin to Bartsool Sports activities, has taken sides since controversy arose surrounding the Wabash Cannonball, however Diazdeleon mentioned he is aware of college students will take this in stride and make some modifications. 

“I do assume that our scholar part is getting quite a lot of dangerous press,” Diazdeleon mentioned. “Nonetheless, I don’t assume that now we have a nasty scholar part. I feel that now we have one of the best children within the nation going to our college. That’s why we’re going to come back out of this higher. That’s why we’re going to be higher, we’re going to problem ourselves to get out of this.” 

Eliminating the mantra through the Wabash Cannonball doesn’t imply college students received’t be capable to act on their rivalry with KU, Sanders mentioned.

“Reserve the unfavorable remarks for the KU video games,” Sanders mentioned.

Poitier echoed.

“Wait until KU,” Poitier mentioned.