Posted on 11. Feb, 2009 by in NCAA Basketball.



“Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I’ve just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you, to stop what you’re doing and listen. Cannonball!”

– Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

Every University in the country has their special tradition that takes place at their home sporting events. Kansas University has their “rock chalk Jayhawk” chant, the Wisconsin Badgers move the stadium with “Jump Around,” The Ohio State Buckeyes Marching Band does “Script Ohio,” and Duke University has students camping overnight to be a member of the “Cameron Crazies.” But here at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Wildcat fans have something of their own to be proud of.

The Wabash Cannonball is known as an “unofficial” fight song of Kansas State University, being adopted in the late 1960’s. History states that the Wabash Cannonball was the only piece of sheet music rescued from a fire in the KSU music department shortly before a home basketball game on December 16, 1968. With no other available sheet music to play, the Wildcat band director had the band play this song multiple times that evening. The song was received positively, and has been played on campus ever since.

Asking around the athletic department, no one seems to know when the movements by the fans during the song came about or who started it. But somehow it all stuck and is a highlight to many fans attending athletic events.

Research on the actual song found that the Wabash Cannonball is an American folk song about a fictional train, thought to have originated sometime in the late nineteenth century. Its first documented appearance was on sheet music published in 1882, titled “The Great Rock Island Route” and credited to J. A. Roff. A rewritten version by William Kindt appeared in 1904 under the current title “Wabash Cannon Ball.”

Well, enough listening to me tell you about it, it is time for you to go see it!! Also, you can hear Erin Andrews at a KSU Football game talk about the history of the song on campus before the band plays it. I have been told her facts are not 100% accurate, but who I am to tell her different.

Below are a few fan videos that I have chosen off You tube. I am going to try to record my own copy while at the games this week, and then figure out how to put it online.

Corey can be reached in the comment section of each entry or by emailing

3 Responses to “…Cannonball…”

  1. […] The video was followed by the first “Wabash Cannonball” of the […]

  2. […] respect, and smarts. I also may be in the minority, but I really enjoy the students performing, “The Wabash Cannonball,” a school tradition.  If you click on the link above you can read what I am talking about. I feel […]

  3. […] case you missed the article, and have no idea what the Wabash Cannonball is, please click HERE to check it […]

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