October 23, 2013

Quelling an obscene chant by threatening to take away UW football's greatest tradition: the "Jump Around."

A proposal here at UW-Madison:
If the offending chant is heard at Camp Randall Stadium before the fourth quarter, then "Jump Around" won’t be played.

If, predictably, the profanities come to life after "Jump Around" is played, then one of the most iconic celebrations in all of college football goes away for the next game — or games.
A description of the chant and the "Jump Around" here. Reasons why this threat would not work:

1. Authorities telling a big group of free citizens what not to say is pretty much forcing them to say it.

2. You'd be punishing everyone in the stadium — including a lot of alumni who come to town for the games — for the yelling in the student subgroup.

3. You can only threaten not to play "Jump Around" over the stadium loudspeakers, but everyone there knows when the song is supposed to play, and if it didn't play, surely they'd sing it. There would be smart phones everywhere to play the song and boost the singing, making it more boisterous than ever.

4. You ought to be thankful you've got students who do yell. What if they didn't?

ADDED: From the scoreboard, October 2011:

82 comments:

ALH said...

I say good - I don't take my kids to the games is due to the rude and vulgar behavior of the student section. It spoils an otherwise great experience. As i tell the kids...."choices & consequences".

Sorun said...

"A description of the chant and the "Jump Around" here."

They're chanting "Not Found. Error 404"? I'm skeptical.

Bob R said...

Given that there is a bad link, I'll confess to guessing the "Stick it in!" chant. But that's pretty tame, so I'm probably wrong.

Michael said...

Having created a culture in which "motherfucker" is a commonly accepted form of speech to which no rejoinder of disapproval is permitted, the liberal universities now turn to stopping bad language. We no longer permit the bullied to fight back with their fists, indeed no fighting by fists is permitted anywhere, period. The bullied bring guns. The liberal experiment blows up every single test tube.

Richard said...

The writer's name is Baggot. So yeah, he is going to be pretty sensitive to these things.

Strelnikov said...

"Stick It In"? That's the big bad chant? I routinely yell that as our teams gets near the endzone, sometimes varying it it with "Punch It In", without any entrendre whatsoever.

P.S. I also got the 404 message at the link.

mrs. e said...

I wonder if Andy was in the stands during the late '70's/early '80's with these same cheers? I'm guessing he was...and I'll bet he turned out ok.

Have any of these folks been to hockey games? It's worse.

Here's of ideas - get those offended to start their own cheers -or- amp up some danceable singalongs - to drown them out.

Strelnikov said...

And by the way, every college football audience does the "Jump Around" bit, so it's hardly sacred to UW. Oh, to have written that piece of wigger junk.

MadisonMan said...

University Administrators being control freaks. How novel! To the people who are complaining they should be saying: That's part of the atmosphere here. Our surveys show that people like the atmosphere (Maybe not the Eat Shit! Fuck You! chant -- but the whole atmosphere? Yes.) Suck it up.

A sanitized football game is what you get if you go to Northwestern.

MadisonMan said...

I'd love to hear a student section chanting:

Not Found!

Error 404!

mrs. e said...

Last I heard, the chants are (between sections): "O sucks" "Eat shit" "Fuck you".

Brian said...

With a minor edit to the URL, I made it to the Wiki link on the "ESFU" chant. I'm a pretty rambunctious football fan (you can still hear Saturday night's game in the wreckage of my voice this afternoon), but if our students did that chant I would be annoyed and want them to stop.

Gary Jugenheimer said...

Does anyone remember when this started?

Richard said...

At Texas, "Texas Fight" ends with:

Give 'em hell,
Give 'em hell!
Go Horns Go!

The student section changes it to:

Give 'em hell,
Give 'em hell!
Make 'em eat shit!

Which I have always loved more.

And if we are playing OU or A&M, the last line will change to "OU Sucks!" or "A&M Sucks" Though if you are drunk it is perfectly acceptable to use either of these no matter who we are playing.

rhhardin said...

Beatings will continue until morale improves.

Original Mike said...

"Have any of these folks been to hockey games? It's worse."

Not UW hockey games.

Inga said...

How silly.

George Ferko said...

Duke tried this a few years ago to try and house train the cameron crazies. When criticizing bad calls by the refs, they chanted, "We beg to differ."

Original Mike said...

Last year's offer was what? A drawing across all students for a pair of bowl tickets if they didn't do the chant all year? Even the humanities students could grasp those odds.

MadisonMan said...

When I was @ PSU, the students would sing the alma mater tune, and sub in We don't know the Goddamn words.

Of course, the University Administration went cray-cray.

I don't recall the lengths they went to. Eventually they put the words on the scoreboard as the Alma Mater played. And another time-honored tradition of profanity ended.

For the children, of course.

Carnifex said...

Yeah. Or genius of a School President tried to punish the students for having "too much fun" (drinking) during tailgating. His solution was to ban the student reserved area. That went over real well. After 2 games of students not showing up, the ban was lifted because the "students had learned their lesson". Sure they did,
skippy.

To tie it up in a rather neat bow, we had a head coach that literally sucked the enjoyment out of watching football, so the alumni fans were avoiding the stadium in droves too.

All those empty seats finally forced the administration to change the coach and the ban. You can't take away something that has been allowed to go on for a while. It's grandfathered in, in most peoples minds.

CJinPA said...

Bad linky. Wonder what they're chanting.

I did find some video of it. Quite a scene.

(60 secs in)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veHQMaxiOmg

Sorun said...

Andy Baggott, who must be at least in his 50s, says: "They can either continue to offend or they can continue to participate in one of the coolest in-game rituals in all of college sports."

Isn't there some saying about how once your parents think something is cool, it isn't cool anymore?

Fred Drinkwater said...

Cal vs. USC Trojans circa 1980:

"Hit 'em high!
Hit 'em low!
Hit 'em where the Trojans go!"

No pushback from anyone, as far as I was aware.

Modern folk are too thin-skinned. Even more annoying, they are too thin-skinned on behalf of "others" who are not actually complaining.

Original Mike said...

I cringe a little bit at the "Eat shit- Fuck you" chant, but the Administration is tilting at windmills.

Michael said...

My favorite chants were at the historically black college where I once taught.

Side the head
Side the head
Hit em up side the head

break they neck
break they neck
break they goddamn neck

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry about the bad link.

Fixed.

CWJ said...

No opinion on the issue other than to disagree with the author's characterization. Now that I'm older, I'm always amazed at the narrow time slice commonly used to define tradition.

UW's greatest football tradition is the marching band's stepping style.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's Sports Illustrated declaring UW's "Jump Around" the #1 best college football tradition.

(Other schools might do it too, but it's ours.)

SOJO said...

You know you're old when the House of Pain old school white boy rap you enjoyed as a 20-something is now a university's "greatest tradition" and they're threatening to take it away unless people "behave themselves"... because it's such an understated, classy tune, I guess.

Michael said...

Do the obscene chant after the jump around?

Ann Althouse said...

The chant may be obscene, but the obscenity of trying to control student speech is worse.

If they want to control something, why don't they control the armed robber who seems to strike just about every night in the environs of the stadium?

mccullough said...

References to SEGA and John McEnroe make most of the lyrics dated, and the "smacking the 'ho" is not only misogynistic but dated as well.

But the main chorus and music is still pretty enjoyable.

Original Mike said...

Personally, I'm much more interested in UW football's winning tradition. As a life long Badger fan, I'm still more than a little incredulous.

Original Mike said...

"Jump Around" has lyrics?

FWBuff said...

@ Richard 2:04

That's funny, because at A&M the words we sing whenever we hear "Texas Fight" are:

Texas bite,
Texas bite,
Texas jump up and bite my ass!
B-I-T-E A-S-S
Texas jump up and bite my ass!

Did you realize that you've been singing it wrong all these years?

MadisonMan said...

If they want to control something, why don't they control the armed robber who seems to strike just about every night in the environs of the stadium?

And even in broad daylight, right on the bike path, at Spring/Charter, yesterday morning!

CJinPA said...

The chant may be obscene, but the obscenity of trying to control student speech is worse.

There are plenty of problems with modern campus speech codes, but this isn't one of them, in my opinion.

College athletics are supposed to, ever so slightly, kind of sort of, on the edges, have SOME educational value. I realize that almost everyone involved in major college athletics has abandoned this pretense long ago, but they still have to go through the motions. Drawing the line at 90,000 people chanting obscenities, every home game, as part of a planned "tradition," is just about literally the least the school can do to prop up the fa├žade of intellectual value.

Original Mike said...

@McCullough - I looked up the lyrics. Withholding a crude song to compel them to drop their obscene chant.

Freeman Hunt said...

What a stupid cheer. They should refrain for that reason.

cokaygne said...

Man! How long ago was when Fenway fans started shouting "Yankees Suck!" according to The Onion, about as reliable a source as the NYT, Steinbrenner, et. al. trademarked it in 1996.

Bob R said...

Now that the link is fixed, I see that I was, as expected, wrong. The reason that "stick it in" came to mind is that they did it here at Virginia Tech. Everything was fine until all of the local High Schools picked it up. The sight of 13-year-old girls chanting "stick it in, stick it in stick it in" was too much for the locals. They managed to get it to die off simply by telling cheerleaders not to lead it.

And no matter what Sports Illustrated (a magazine that was good 40 years ago) says, Jump Around does not hold a candle to VT's Enter Sandman.

Jman said...

When I was a student at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN. (1977-79), the student section (all men)would chant "We can beat you on the field and you can beat us off." Classy.

Jman said...

Two years ago, the UW played a PSA on the south side jumbotron at Camp Randall, encouraging the students NOT to use that cheer. The PSA was lame and had the opposite affect, natch.

Jman said...

Just drown out that cheer with one of your own. The appropriate counter-cheer, IMO, is "Eat cheese! Fondue!"

Original Mike said...

Meanwhile, here in Madison it's snowing.

fivewheels said...

I think this comment will show my conservative tendencies, but I find it very, very difficult to bemoan the loss of the school's "greatest tradition" if it is a) stupid, and b) all of 15 years old.

The greatest traditions at other Big Ten schools go back to pre-WWII, or in some cases the 19th century.

Bob R said...

I think the attempt at censorship is wrong and likely to be counterproductive, but it would almost be worth it to see the result of the experiment if they turned off Jump Around. Because of the time it takes sound to travel across a stadium like Camp Randall, it's hard to synchronize sound in the whole stadium spontaneously. The spontaneous obscene chant is VERY simple and side to side. "Stick it in" is syncopated and falls apart if there is no visual leadership from the cheerleaders. (There are still pockets of students who chant it, but we never get the whole stadium doing it.) The interesting thing would be for them to try to coordinate the whole stadium with cell phones.

david7134 said...

I remember my first game at LSU in the 60's. We were playing Rice in Tiger stadium. I had my hair shaved as that was what ROTC did at the time (all males had to take ROTC to graduate). I had on a beanie and on the bill was the phrase "dog, last name, sir". And finally, I was in my pajamas along with all the other Freshmen males, sitting in one section.

The chant started and was "what comes out of a Chinaman's ass---Rice, Rice". It only got worse. That is part of college and if the authorities don't like it, they can teach kindergarten.

Original Mike said...

Of late, its seems the band has been playing "Swingtown" during the 5th quarter without the students launching into "The Chant". Reward/punishment works better when it's immediate.

MadisonMan said...

VT's Enter Sandman.

They play Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream?

Let us all talk about Arkansas' new tradition of LOSING under coach Bielema.

I warned my brother when Bret was hired that bad things would happen to football in Arkansas.

rhhardin said...

Quelling comes up in riots in India.

``Can we think of a case in which something is done deliberately but not intentionally? Certainly this seems more difficult. However, there are cases.

``I am summoned to quell a riot in India. Speed is imperative. My mind runs on the action to be taken five miles down the road at the Residency. As I set off down the drive, my cookboy's child's new gocart, the apple of her eye, is right across the road. I realize I could stop, get out, and move it, but to hell with that: I must push on. It's too bad, that's all: I drive right over it and am on my way. In this case, a snap decision is taken on what is essentially an incidental matter. I did drive over the gocart deliberately, but not intentionally - nor, of course, unintentionally either...''

J.L.Austin "Three Ways of Spilling Ink" _Philosophical Papers_ p.278

Freeman Hunt said...

We just started losing? I thought we were losing before. Maybe not. I can't remember. Facebook tells.

eddie willers said...

Ann's blog has now directed me to two songs I would have never heard otherwise. Some Kanye West abortion and now this House of Pain "tradition".

Makes me glad I came of age in the '60s. (for music purposes only)

James Pawlak said...

Only another nanny-state and First Amendment-violating university speech code action.

James Pawlak said...

Dear Professor Althouse:
The solution to robbers was provided by: The FBI's protocol of "two to the chest and one to the head"; Or, The SEALs/SAS prescription of a "double tap to the head".

Marshal said...

Ann Althouse said...
If they want to control something, why don't they control the armed robber who seems to strike just about every night in the environs of the stadium?


Controlling criminals is hard. It's so much easier to further control the law abiding in new ways. Why worry about stopping criminals from getting guns when you can just ban guns?

southcentralpa said...

Madison being Madison, I'm actually kind of surprised spluttering, outraged "disability activists" haven't made the adminisitration shut it down by now ...

rcocean said...

If that's your greatest tradition;

You need a new tradition.

rcocean said...

And what could be more delightful than drunken students shouting profanities.

How rambunctious, what a bunch of scamps, and how Fucking annoying.

I'm with the UW adminstration.

Forbes said...

The jump around "tradition" started in 1998! That's not a tradition, that's a leftover. Good lord, I have t-shirts older than that...

Mark Nielsen said...



They'll be hosting my Alma Mater BYU in a couple weeks. Should be interesting.

I don't like campus speech codes. But the campus community ought to have more class than to have to be told this is not appropriate public behavior. Maybe class and decorum don't matter anymore in some places.


mrs. e said...

"If that's your greatest tradition;

You need a new tradition."

It's not, actually. There are many that happen through out the game. And not that this is the greatest, either, but I've always enjoyed the Law School one.

Irene said...

Northwestern's cheer: "Hey, hey, that's okay; you'll all work for us someday."

rcocean said...

"The jump around "tradition" started in 1998! That's not a tradition, that's a leftover. Good lord, I have t-shirts older than that..."

Take my tradition...please.

Joe said...

Isn't this another argument for colleges and universities to get out of the sports business?

And what is it with all the mid-50s to late 60s crowd? Are they just trying to get revenge for not getting their way in the 60s? As a group, baby boomers are assholes.

Christopher said...

The chant may be obscene, but the obscenity of trying to control student speech is worse.

It's obscene to try controlling obscenity. Interesting.

It's likely impossible to stop this, as you say, but it's not like they're trying to block students from supporting a candidate or speaking truth to power. Race to the bottom and all that.

There are different kinds of speech. Some types are more worth getting worked up about than others. But people who are comfortable with gutter language (or more likely just numb to it, just as sad) do not understand how disgusting it is to people we used to call "grownups."

Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Next week they should all just chant Fire!

Fire!Fire!Fire!Fire!Fire!Fire!Fire!Fire!Fire!Fire!Fire!Fire!

Undoubtedly some administrator will then make a determination that Camp Randall is a crowded theater.

Ctmom4 said...

@ Irene - my son said they all take out their keys and jiggle them and say " That's alright, that's ok, you're gonna park my car someday". Always make me laugh. I don't like the eat shit cheer, but the Jump Around is awesome to see - in some of the youtube clips the players on the sidelines join in. It's the seventh inning stretch- but more fun!

rcocean said...

"The chant may be obscene, but the obscenity of trying to control student speech is worse."

So, UW's speech code is an 'obscenity'?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Fuck.

Penn.

State.

Fuck.

Penn.

State.

Fuck.

Penn.

State.

Fuck.

Penn.

State.

Fuck.

Penn.

State.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

I can't think of something better than what I yelled/screamed/emoted at Penn State and their shitbag should-be-dead coach Sanduscunt.

Irene said...

@Ctmom4, I've only gone to two UW football games, but both times, the stadium shook during "Jump Around." It was something to feel when we sat in the nosebleed section.

the jackal said...

The couple times I got to attend games at Camp Randall was when I was attending a rival school. Both times I got to sit in the student section with my friend, and got the "asshole" chant over and over from the surrounding students. I thoroughly enjoyed that and the ESFU, OooOOOooo, and of course the jump around. You could spend millions of dollars paying consultants to get you that kind of atmosphere, or just appreciate it for what it is.

Hazy Dave said...

"Every Single Fan Unite". Hah. I will say that on the AM radio broadcasts of Badger games, the chants are difficult to discern, but my more recent grad son can identify them easily.

My own time in the student section pre-dated this particular tradition, though "O Sucks!" was already common parlance. I believe "ESFU" evolved from the "Tastes Great!" "Less Filling!" chant. The mid-70's traditions were drinking an awful lot of beer and schnapps (in and out of the stadium, legal age only 18) and losing all but a few games every season.

Can't say I have a problem with the students being verbally rowdy; delicate flowers should probably stay away. They sure as hell don't have many other venues where they can be "offensive" without risking draconian repercussions.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

You're right, it'll never work. I witnessed a different administration attempt something similar before. At Michigan's Yost Ice Arena, there is a profane chant that is yelled every time an opposing player gets sent to the penalty box, specifically directed at him upon his entering of the sin bin, known as the see-ya chant. The administration has been attempting to stifle it for years to no avail. It has flourished despite fan ejections, pleadings from the university, and even the band attempting to drown it out.

Similar to how you describe the fans would just sing Jump Around themselves, at Michigan the student section also adapted. When the band was ordered to play after every opposing penalty, it took us students maybe 3 penalties to figure out what was going on. We simply waited until the band stopped playing and then proceeded to do the chant.

Ironically, Michigan's chant is far more tame than Wisconsin's, unless it has changed drastically since I graduated. It traditionally would have an additional obscenity added to it each season, so it would grow longer. As of my last hockey game, the chant consisted of: See ya- Chump, Dick, Wuss, Douchebag, Asshole, Prick, Cheater, Bitch, Whore, Cocksucker.

(deleted then reposted to correct typos).

Anthony said...

Back in my day it was "O sucks" and "N sucks P".

Kimberly said...

Anyone ever hear the Cameron Crazies when Duke loses to a local public school like UNC or NC State? "That's all right/That's OK/You're gonna work for US someday!" You tell sports fans what they can and can't say, and I guarantee they'll find something more offensive that still follows the new "rules."

Kirk Parker said...

"If they want to control something, why don't they control the armed robber who seems to strike just about every night in the environs of the stadium? "

What's the problem? Wisconsin has had shall-issue concealed carry for some time now.



Oh, wait, that's right--the "university" is probably a "sensitive area" where carry (by the legal and law-abiding!) is banned, or some such claptrap. Carry on getting mugged, then!

Roger C said...

The chant is an obscene, obnoxious, and boorish "tradition".

It really amazes me that people who aren't drunk and over 18 would defend the chant.

People are trying to quell the chant because it is an embarrassment. Stop defending the indefensible.