Thursday, March 17, 2016

What does "Rock Chalk" Even Mean?

Rooooock Chaaaaalk Jaaaaayhaaaawk, K.....U.....
Rooooock Chaaaaalk Jaaaaayhaaaawk, K.....U.....
Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU
Rock Chalk Jayhawk,KU
Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU!

Everyone's heard it...the eerie {incredible!} Rock Chalk Chant that Jayhawk fans initiate in the final two minutes of a game when it's clear that KU will win. It'll give you goosebumps every time!

If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element. 
{Especially likely on mobile devices}

It's one of the most well-known chants in college sports, but lots of people wonder what it even means. I decided that today, the opening day of the 2016 NCAA tournament for my beloved Jayhawks, was as good a day as any to give a little background on the famous Rock Chalk Chant.

There really isn't a formal meaning/definition for "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!" beyond it being the battle cry for the University of Kansas. However, there is a story/rationale behind the phrase. The original cheer was "Rah Rah Jayhawk, KU." It's important to understand that the KU campus is built on a limestone ridge {Mount Oread}, and limestone is commonly referred to as "chalk rock." Given that the university is literally built on "chalk rock" {and both words rhyme with Jayhawk}, these words were transposed to replace the "rahs" in the original version, resulting in the current Rock Chalk Chant!

It's more than just a chant's a universal way to connect with other Jayhawks. Living in Texas, I get super excited when I see anyone with any type of KU emblem and always give them a "Rock Chalk!" as I pass by. My friends and coworkers used to always ask "Do you know him/her?" but they soon came to realize that the exchange of the "Rock Chalk" expression is just a signal of camaraderie among Jayhawk fans worldwide.

Here's to hoping we'll hear the sweet sound of the Rock Chalk Chant all the way through April. #RockChalkInHouston #Final4

Rock Chalk, friends...ROCK CHALK!