Alex Nichols, in the October 6th, 2009 edition of the University Daily Kansan (the campus newspaper at KU), wrote an intriguing little article titled "Accepting the F-Bomb." In this article Nichols essentially argued that bad words are only bad because people say they're bad.
Let's say for a moment that I agree. It's hard not to, actually, for Mr. Nichols presents what is probably the most convincing argument out there.
Just because a certain word is offensive to others doesn't mean it has to be offensive to us, right? Right. And we can say whatever words we want (as long as it doesn't impede on the rights of others) because we live in the greatest country in the world.
So go ahead and drop the f-bomb whenever you want; I can't and won't stop you.
However, I will hold you accountable.
Every time KU scores a touchdown at home, I cringe; my little corner of Memorial Stadium just so happens to be next to one generally occupied by visiting prospective students... and prospective student athletes.
Each score is just another chance for me to witness concern on a parent's face as they are greeted by a chorus of 10,000 strong yelling "Rip his f***ing head off" in perfect unison, and I can only imagine what must be going through their heads.
I have a feeling it may have something to do with us KU football crazies being a representation of an entire campus, how disrespectful and unsportsmanlike our cheer is, and whether or not they want their three or four-star athlete coming to a school that so openly allows such questionable conduct.
Once again, I will never claim that our kickoff chant is wrong or try to stop it. Just remember, oh screamers of our infamous kick-off chant, that my beliefs are not the ones that matter here, nor are yours.
All I'm saying is that every potential recruit and his mother who watches a home game on tv or in person is going to hear that chant, and whether we as a campus believe it is a bad thing or not makes no difference to a guardian about to send their child away from home for the first time.
Our beliefs are one thing, but respect for the beliefs of others is a very important facet of society these days. This being said, until every single person in America believes that hurling the f-word at opposing teams in front of a generally national audience is okay, I plan to continue discouraging its usage.
Also, maybe I'm wrong here, but aren't fans supposed to help and support their team?
Even if for no other reason than for the recruits alone, if there exists even the mildest possibility that such a chant may even slightly concern those recruits and/or their families, I think that every KU fan should understand that they could actually be harming our team.
Our chant alone probably won't make or break KU's chances of pulling in an individual high school standout, but something tells me that not many momma's coming to games with their young, aspiring football stars are impressed with our choice of cheers.
In fact, I have personally seen that they are quite the opposite; they are frowning, leaning over to their sons and whispering, then pursing their lips and sitting in silence.
You tell me which one of those strikes you as an encouraging sign.
Once again, I cannot stress enough that I'm not accusing such a motivating command of being 'wrong' or 'right'. I am only saying that whether its constituents believe it or not, condoning and participating in it always incurs a reaction, and someone has to take responsibility for what they've done, good reaction or bad.
Call me arrogant, but I want to be the best KU fan possible, and I will never ask my team to decapitate a member of the opposition unless it is done in the classiest and most cautious of manners.
I will never take a gamble if it could mean harming my team in any way, and I think every other good KU fan should abstain from any such risks as well.
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