As the 2008 college football season nears halftime, media outlets debate national title contenders, conference match-ups with BCS implications loom, and fans across the country debate the merits of their favorite teams on message boards and blogs. But in Lawrence, Kansas, a different showdown has grabbed headlines. Namely, whether the drunken KU student section should yell, “RIP HIS (expletive) HEAD OFF!” when the Jayhawks kick off to the opposing team.
(Maybe they should be called FU instead)
As is usual when student body clashes with administration, the resulting disconnect is obvious. Rebellion against authority is a hallmark of institutions of higher learning.
From the WICHITA EAGLE:
Every student has to battle peer pressure. With seniors like Brandon Leddy in support of the chant, it’s hard to say no.
“I try to start it,” said Leddy, a Wichita senior. “I’m a big-time football fan. I can say whatever I want.”
It’s tough to argue with sound logic like that. Everyone knows that one’s free speech rights rise proportionally with the level of one’s football fanhood.
Fancy equations aside, what could be fueling the students’ desire to yell such an obscenity? Maybe the EAGLE reporter is on to something:
So, what to do? How do you convince thousands of students — some of whom have been drinking alcohol — to not only wave the wheat but also go against the grain?
Having attended over one hundred major college football games, I feel fairly authoritative when I say that more than “some” of the students have been drinking alcohol before and during the games. With cloudy judgment a factor, clearly administration officials should go with a finesse play here, gently nudging propriety onto the pupils’ plates. Sayeth KU associate athletic director for external relations Jim Marchiony:
“It’s not about free speech. It’s about what kind of picture they want to paint of themselves. And that’s why, ultimately, the students themselves have to decide, ‘You know what? This really is not a good idea.’ “
So what could be done to stop the phrase from being yelled?
Leddy and his friend, fellow senior Joey Scanga, didn’t seem to think anything would work.
“I just don’t think there’s anything they can do,” said Scanga, a Wichita native. “Just them trying to tell us not to say it, it makes kids want to say it even more.”
And the dance continues…