The house that Fum built is being remodeled – its edges are being smoothed.
Officials have decided Fum’s Song is too offensive to play at football games. The war cry-like ditty, written to breathe life into CSU’s rivalries, pokes fun at other universities in the region. And, between the third and fourth quarters at home games last year, late athletic director Thurman “Fum” McGraw’s larger-than-life image belted it out on Hughes Stadium’s big screen, prompting thousands to sing along and cheer.
“A lot of people thought it was a fun thing, but enough people were offended by it,” said university spokesman Brad Bohlander.
The song’s lyrics state that Colorado College is for “sissy boys” and “drunkards, School of Mines.” Fum sings of a dying mother begging for her son to be sent to CSU – “don’t send my boy to old Brigham Young, I’d rather see him dead. . Before I’d see him in Boulder, I’d see my son in hell.”
Bohlander said the decision was mutual between the athletic department and the administration, and aimed to maintain a “first-class” and “family” atmosphere.
“I sure don’t think there will be a big backlash,” he said. “It’s something that we tried for a year and decided it would be better not to repeat this year.”
However, Kyle Bell, CSU’s star junior running back, has already sparked a movement on Facebook.com, an online community open to college students. He created a group named “They banned ‘Fum’s Song’ at football games.screw it we’ll sing it anyway.”
As of Sunday night, the group had over 500 members and was rapidly growing.
“It’s all about school pride,” Bell said. “I don’t think it’s poking fun at any school. I think it’s more saying that ‘I am proud to go to CSU.’ It’s disappointing more than anything else.”
Bohlander clarified that the song is not banned at games – people can still sing it if they choose to. CSU will not, however, play McGraw singing the song on the big screen nor orchestrate students to sing it.
“Poking fun at other institutions wasn’t necessarily good for our institution,” said Gary Ozzello, media relations director for CSU’s athletic department. He said that there have been some complaints in the past about the song.
While several students interviewed Sunday didn’t know that Fum’s song even existed, those who did were angry. Take Rob Jakubowski.
“That’s bulls—,” the psychology graduate student said. “Come on. If it’s hurting people’s feelings, they don’t have to come to the games.”
Jess Dyrdahl, a senior political science major who ran to lead ASCSU last year, scoffed at the school’s decision.
“That is a tradition,” Dyrdahl said. “It’s all in good fun – rivalries are a thing that has gone on for years.”
Dyrdahl recalled getting a CSU T-shirt during her freshman year that had Fum’s song printed on its back.
“Aw, that makes me so mad,” she said. “You don’t change traditions. You just build on them.”
Tim O’Hara, a former board member and current booster for the Ram Club booster organization, called the change “baloney,” and said the number of people who enjoyed the song at games likely dwarfed the number of complainers.
“For the first time at Hughes, we had crowds chanting in unison,” O’Hara said. “When you to Boulder or Wyoming or Utah, they have the whole crowd chant in unison. Everywhere you go, everyone has a uniting song.”
He said: “This was ours.”
Editors Sara Crocker, Mike Donovan and Vimal Patel contributed to this story.
Editor in chief Brandon Lowrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.