The tradition has persisted for years, perhaps one of the strangest parts about attending a basketball game at Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse.
At the end of the national anthem, a large percentage of the KU student section will cap the performance by yelling “Home of the Chiefs!!!” — mimicking the familiar tradition at nearby Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
Well Kansas coach Bill Self would like it to stop.
“I don’t think we should do that,” Self said Wednesday, responding to a caller’s question on his weekly Hawk Talk Radio Show on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
The comments, which were first noted by Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal-World, come as the chant has turned more audible during KU’s first three regular-season games. (Hey, the Chiefs are 9-1!)
“For whatever reason,” Self continued, “I guess they’ve started doing it again. That’s not what needs to be done in this particular situation. Especially in today’s time when there’s so much publicity and notoriety, rightfully so, to the men and women who sacrifice so much for our country. I think it’s probably not something we should do, but from a kids’ standpoint I don’t think they know they are in poor taste doing it.
“I think it’s just something we should look at and realize, ‘Hey, c’mon now, let’s think about this before we actually do it.’”
Self is perhaps right to bring up the patriotic argument — many have done the same when arguing against the same practice at Arrowhead.
But here’s one other reason, one that makes just as much logical sense: The Chiefs, you might know, do not play at Allen Fieldhouse.
Hey, we get it a large percentage of students at KU come from the Kansas City area. The University of Kansas Medical Center is in Kansas City, Kan. University officials go to great lengths to align themselves with the largest metro area in the region. Remember that “KANSAS City” billboard campaign?
But “Home of the Chiefs” at Allen Fieldhouse?
During his Hawk Talk show, Self also mentioned that the students stopped doing the chant after he made similar public comments in 2012. That’s true but the end of the chant last basketball season also coincided with the Chiefs’ 2-14 season.
You might say that former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli had a lot more to do with ending the “Home of the Chiefs!” stuff than Self.
So the debate goes on.
The Jayhawks return to Allen Fieldhouse on Friday night to play host to Towson. The national anthem will come during the pregame festivities.
And we’ll be listening.