TO: The KU Marching Jayhawks
CC: Dr. Paul W. Popiel, Director, Bands
CC: Sharon Toulouse, Assistant Director
CC: Dr. Bernadette Gray-Little, Chancellor
By now, everyone is aware of the events of September 6, 2015, in Manhattan, KS. It's an event that has added fuel to the fire that is the in-state rivalry of KU-KState. Whether or not you think something vulgar was done, either on purpose or by accident, the fact is it became a national story for a reason. Yes, it's a silly, sophomoric reason, but there it was, all over Facebook and Twitter for several days.
I don't want to get into who said what or who did what or if there was a conspiracy or any of that. Those things have already been discussed from every side, pro-KU, pro-KState, and neutral. People have made up their minds, and nothing anybody says, especially from the other viewpoint, is going to change what someone else thinks.
This story has finally begun to die out, and here is my plea to you, KU:
Let. It. Die.
Just let it die. At least one local journalist thinks it will be revived again on November 28 in Lawrence, by one band or the other.
And don't do it in any other game, this year, or ever.
Now, I honestly don't think that this editorial is necessary. I trust you not to retaliate. I trust you to know, especially after recent events, that displaying an opposing team's mascot on the field not only opens you up to criticism, but can go terribly wrong and take off in a direction you never intended.
Even though I have confidence in you, KU, to do the right thing and remain "the bigger man" in all of this, I just wanted to get this down on pen and paper, as it were.
During the KU-South Dakota State game, the Marching Jayhawks spelled out "Thank You" in all capital letters to thank everyone for their support of the music department.
No, Marching Jayhawks - thank YOU. Thank you for the work you all put in and the time you invest each week. Thank you for sharing your musical abilities with us. Thank you for performing at every football game, every basketball game, every volleyball game, and what I'm sure are the countless other ways the music department supports Kansas Athletics.
And thank you in advance for keeping your focus on the University of Kansas, not on its opponents.
Be strong. Be proud.