There is an excitement in the air in Lawrence this year for Jayhawk football, and as always, for Kansas basketball as well, especially after the announcement that Andrew Wiggins would be attending Kansas. I don’t remember this kind of optimism headed into a season since 2008. I am not suggesting by any means Kansas is fielding an Orange Bowl winner, but after the last few years, putting four or five wins on the board would feel great.
Secretly, some of us might even be thinking six wins and minor bowl game. That would be amazing and who knows, a couple of upsets and our beloved Hawks could be bowl bound! Anything can happen and as the old saying goes, “there is a reason they play the games”.
No one bleeds the Crimson and Blue more than I, which is why I am so excited for this year. After reading fellow KC Kingdom writer Josh Michael’s article A Chiefs Fan At The Super Dome I have something to address with some of my fellow Hawk-a-Holics that has bothered me for a long time.
I have made it no secret that I am not a Kansas City Chiefs fan and have taken a fair amount of grief from some of you which just comes with the territory. Some have even suggested I should not be allowed to write for this site even though I am a lifelong Kansas fan and The Kansas City Royals. By the way, how about those Royals of late!
I even find myself being a closet fan of Sporting Kansas City, even though I am not much of a soccer fan as a whole. It is pretty fair to say, outside of the Chiefs, I am about as loyal to the Kansas City area as anybody you will meet and I make no secret of my pride of being a resident of Lawrence.
I will argue with anybody that Memorial Stadium when full and rocking with the Waving of The Wheat, is as exciting as anywhere to watch a college football game. Yes, there are bigger college stadiums with more NFL type amenities, but what I love about Memorial is it has that throwback college football feel. It is that special kind of place where you can take a step back in time and yet be modern at the same time. That is a rare combination.
To experience a game at Allen Field House is beyond compare. It is simply the greatest sports venue anywhere and that is not hyperbole. To say it is magical, electric, or special simply under sells it. Tradition means something at Kansas and honoring it is important.
So what it is my beef? It is the small but very vocal and loud minority of Chief fans who yell “Home of the Chiefs” at the end of the National Anthem at every single Kansas sporting event. To begin with, it is my firm belief that it is absolutely disrespectful the the flag, the anthem, and those who faithfully serve in our armed forces. Yes, I know that makes me a wet blanket and maybe even an ugly American in the eyes of some but I make no apologies for that belief.
I am fiercely proud to be an American and still have to wipe a tear from my eye every time our anthem is played. I still beam with pride when our nation’s athletes participate in the Olympics and stand on those medalist platforms. I cheered wildly for KU’s own Gold Medalist, Diamond Dixon, at the Olympics and look forward to her next Olympic appearance. For the record, I would be equally bothered if we yelled home of the Jayhawks, Royals, or anything else. It simply does not belong. If that makes me a sentimentalist so be it.
Aside from those nationalistic feelings it absolutely grinds on me as a proud member of Jayhawk nation to hear that line at the end of the anthem when at a KU event. I know many of my fellow Jayhawks are die hard Chief fans, and that is perfectly fine, but Home of the Chiefs has no place at Memorial Stadium and Allen Field House. Remember, a great many international students and out of state Jayhawks do not have the first clue who the Chiefs are. Furthermore, they simply do not care as they are fans of pro teams elsewhere.
I have seen the looks of absolute disbelief and confusion of “what was that all about” of Kansas fans and visitors alike attending their first campus event. I just have to apologetically shrug my shoulders and roll my eyes as if to say ignore them. Not to mention we don’t need to pay homage to any team from Missouri at a University of Kansas event!
So to my fellow Hawk fans who are also Chief fans, I implore you please stop this practice. To be perfectly blunt you look out of place and foolish. It is as if you do not know what sporting event you are attending or who you are rooting for. I know none of those are true as you are no doubt die hard Jayhawks! We are Kansas, home of the Jayhawks, and a mention of anything else simply has no place.
ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!