The loudest moment of Kansas State’s most recent victory inside the Bramlage Coliseum wasn’t when Markquis Nowell drained an important triple or when Nae’Qwan Tomlin threw an athletic dunk against Texas Tech. It happened during a timeout when nothing was happening on the basketball court.
K-State athletic officials decided to turn on the home crowd by blaring the most popular (and controversial) song on campus: “Sandstorm.”
Mission accomplished. The student section of K-State erupted with excitement, fans started jumping on the metal bleachers like they were at a rave, and a loud “KSU” chant filled the arena as the song continued to play from the speakers . As the show concluded, K-State athletic director Gene Taylor was seen enthusiastically raising his fist from his spot on the floor.
“I’m glad they sang KSU,” Taylor later told The Eagle.
The choice of song was unexpected, as “Sandstorm” was rarely played at K-State sporting events as the school has had issues with students using it as an opportunity to sing swear words about rival KU whenever was played within Bramlage, particularly when the Jayhawks were in town.
But Finnish DJ and record producer Darude’s 1999 instrumental dance track has long been a hit in Manhattan. K-State started playing it as a pumping anthem when former coaches Bob Huggins and Frank Martin breathed new life into the basketball team with thrilling home wins, and it became a staple until it was nearly banned midway through of the Bruce Weber era.
K-State has only covered the song a few times in recent years.
When last asked about “Sandstorm”‘s potential return to Bramlage, Taylor said, “The fans love it as well as the students, but we have to come up with a new chant to hear it very often.”
K-State’s new basketball coach Jerome Tang has made it a personal mission to put an end to what he calls “the silly chant” about KU and add “Sandstorm” to Bramlage’s playlist. Before the start of the current season, he spoke at pep rallies throughout the area and urged fans to chant “KSU” the next time they heard the song.
Now that the students have taken the hint, it’s possible the Wildcats will play the song more often.
“It will all depend on the game,” Taylor said. “Whether we are winning or losing big, we will not play. But if it’s an intense game and we make a rush to get ahead or get closer, then we’ll do it. It won’t be on a regular basis, but I feel more comfortable playing it now.”
The timing for “Sandstorm” was perfect during K-State’s 68-58 win against Texas Tech last Saturday.
K-State trailed by eight points with 13:20 remaining in the game and it looked like the Red Raiders were on course to pull off an upset. But then the Wildcats responded with a 9-0 run to take the lead, which led to a timeout by Texas Tech head coach Mark Adams.
With K-State suddenly leading an important Big 12 game, Taylor gave the signal for “Sandstorm” and the arena erupted.
Maybe that spike in crowd energy helped the Wildcats keep pulling away for a double-digit win.
Everyone’s favorite hype song is back. It may be here to stay.