To an outsider, it probably looks a little silly. A student claps while turning first to the left, and then the right, then bobs his or her torso forward and backward enthusiastically. Taking a few steps back, however, one begins to see the bigger picture — and that picture is all about family.
Kansas State University students, fans and alumni have been doing "The Wabash Cannonball" at athletic events and university gatherings for decades. It started in 1968, when a fire roared through the university’s Nichols Hall, destroying nearly all of the marching band’s sheet music. The only music that survived was the “Wabash Cannonball,” which the band used to pump up a home basketball crowd. Ever since, fans have leapt to their feet at the first notes of the peppy song, creating the spectacle that never fails to catch attention.
Want to learn to Wabash? It’s simple — begin by turning to the left and right, mirroring the K-Stater next to you when you hear the horns start blasting. When the music changes, bob forward and backward opposite of your neighbors. While you may feel a little foolish at first, rest assured that from afar, thousands of fans are right there with you, creating a purple wave that has become one of K-State’s most beloved traditions.
This song and dance routine is a symbol of Wildcat unity. It is a true example of individuals working together to create something bigger than themselves — the underlying meaning of what it means to be part of the K-State family.
That's the Wildcat Way.