It happens every year. A new batch of UW freshmen parents attend the first football games of the season. They hear "The Cheer," a call-and-response chant in the student sections that sounds vaguely like "Keep fit!" answered by "Thank you!"
They listen more closely and realize that that's not quite what they're saying. They are indignant. They consider pulling their kid from school and sending him or her to the Citadel, or maybe Brigham Young or Texas Christian. Rejecting that, they settle for a sternly worded email to Barry Alvarez and maybe a letter to the editor.
Me, I can't get too worked up about this.
For one thing, how many days go by when you don't hear at least one if not both of the offending words a half-dozen times? In fact, how many days go by when you don't use at least one of them yourself? These words (and I'll admit that one is more crude than the other) have become part of our lexicon. In most circles, they've become so widely used that they've lost their ability to shock. And I suspect that that's why some day The Cheer will just stop. It'll lose its punch.
But until then, railing against it like a Victorian prude isn't going to solve anything. Numerous tough messages over the years from the chancellor, athletic director and coach haven't worked, nor has bribery. (One season, the athletic department offered to enter students in a drawing for a pair of bowl tickets if they refrained. They didn't.)
The latest idea I've heard is to threaten that "Jump Around" won't be played if The Cheer is heard. I suspect that'll prompt a louder cheer at "Jump Around" time.
Personally, I'd just let it go and put my energies into something more important like getting 12-year-old kids their hawking jobs back inside the stadium. But if the proper and offended among us just have to try something, what I'd suggest is that the adults in the stadium drown out The Cheer with "Keep fit!" and "Thank you!"