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Pride of Wildcat Land is finest in the land
Fine, suspension are overreactions
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Kansas State’s Pride of Wildcat Land marching band paid homage to its neighbor by featuring the Kansas Jayhawk mascot in Saturday’s dazzling halftime space show.
The Pride of Wildcat Land has been recognized as the finest marching band in the country.
At Kansas State’s next home football game, the Wildcat band will receive the prestigious 2015 Sudler Trophy, which recognizes excellent collegiate marching bands which have made outstanding contributions to the American way of life.  
The Sudler Trophy is awarded biannually to a marching band which has demonstrated the highest of musical standards and innovative marching routines and ideas. The band must make important contributions to the advancement of the performance standards of college marching bands over several years.
Saturday’s music was typically inspiring and the band’s various formations were eye-catching.
Of course, the Jayhawk was properly portrayed as a space menace that was threatening the starship Enterprise.
That’s when the fun-loving Internet media saw the truth that actually the Enterprise and the Jayhawk were actually portraying a lewd image.
People who saw a lewd image obviously have creative imaginations.
No less an expert than Captain Kirk (aka, William Shatner) wrote, "I wonder if Mother Nature needs to apologize for cloud formations with these same people?”
The creative interpretation of the performance convinced K-State to suspend Frank Tracz, band director, from attending the K-State/Kansas football game and K-State fined itself $5,000.
“We’ve never done anything illegal, immoral or unconstitutional. It’s much ado about nothing,” Tracz said. “It’s some fanatics on the websites and the electronic media that take it to the edge that causes problems.”
Apologies were issued to avoid ruffled feathers.
Tracz said, “It was part of the space show. It was taken the wrong way. There was absolutely no intent to display anything other than the Enterprise and the Jayhawk in battle. If I am guilty of anything it would be the inability to teach the drill in a manner that these young people could have succeeded. I apologize for the misinterpretation and I assure you I meant absolutely no disrespect or malice toward the University of Kansas.”
Tracz said he received a few threatening messages, which were outnumbered 100-to-1 by supportive messages. KU band members were quoted as liking the performance.
Tracz said he’s received support from K-State President Kirk Schulz and John Currie, athletics director.
“I want to go back to playing Happy Trails,” Tracz said.

Jim Misunas