MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – K-State’s Wabash Cannonball is a tradition unlike any other, literally. ESPN even called it the best pregame tradition in the Big 12.
Now, that tradition is threatened to being taken away.
“I think it’s pretty drastic to take away the Wabash, but I don’t think we should be saying the ‘F’ word in places there’s kids,” K-State student Spencer Strahm, said.
Instead of just rocking back and forth, K-State students have been chanting “F— KU” during the song. K-State band director Dr. Frank Tracz said enough is enough, and is threatening to not play the song if the chant continues.
“It’s truly a bummer that something like this could get taken away,” student Hillary Niemann said. “It’s not entirely necessary for us to be yelling things that don’t have anything to do with the game we’re watching.”
The band isn’t bluffing, either. In the first football game against South Dakota, the Wabash Cannonball got cut early when “the chant” started.
K-State athletic director Gene Taylor met with Dr. Tracz. Taylor supports the band’s decision to cut the song if necessary.
“The chant needs to stop,” Taylor said. “It’s inappropriate. It’s not what we want at K-State. Unfortunately, the students have added it to their repertoire for the Wabash. and that’s not something that’s a great tradition here.”
Some students have been outspoken about saving the Wabash, going as far as dedicating an Instagram page about it. Not every student feels that way, though.
“It’s great,” student Gary Winthorpe said. “I think it’s great for the game day atmosphere. I think it’s great for Caturdays in general. Get the fans into the game. I believe there’s a zero percent chance it stops.”