Ask most students on campus what Fum’s Song is, and you’ll get a lot of crazy looks and blank stares. For those of us who are the wiser, we know that Thurman “Fum” McGraw was a crucial part of our campus as a student and a football player in the 1940s and also an integral part of the Athletics Department as a coach, assistant director and director for almost 30 years.
Fum’s Song was played regularly at football games between the third and fourth quarters when a video of an older McGraw singing the song on the Jumbotron prompted the students in the stands to join in. The song was banned in 2006 by the Athletic Department because they received a “couple of dozen” complaints about it from fans and visitors.
I would love to see this historical and legendary song re-instated on our campus officially, but I think the student body, as a whole, has to take steps to regain this tradition in our university.
Born in Kansas in 1927, McGraw applied to Colorado A&M (as it was called then) and quickly began making a name for himself on our university’s football team. As a sophomore, he helped the team receive their best record in 11 years of 5-4-1 and in 1948 he led the Ram team to their first post-season bowl appearance.
After graduating in 1950, McGraw began a career in professional football playing for the Detroit Lions, and he racked up many accomplishments including rookie lineman of the year. He was inducted into both the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1971 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
In 1999, an addition to Moby Arena was built and named after the CSU legend, called the McGraw Athletic Center. A year later, he died in Fort Collins.
While Fum was attending Colorado A&M, he sang a song that became known as “Fum’s Song.” The song essentially pokes fun at the university’s biggest rivals of the time, including Colorado College, Denver University, Colorado School of Mines, Utah, BYU and our current rivals both Wyoming and CU-Boulder.
“Fum’s Song” became a tradition on the CSU campus, but it was abruptly stopped during the summer of 2006. The school officials deemed it too “offensive” to be played at football games because they received enough complaints not to play Fum singing it on the big screen.
Students still have every right to sing it of their own accord, but the problem is that not many students even know the song anymore, so it would be close to impossible to recreate the situation the way things currently stand.
“Fum’s Song” is so much more than a song making fun of our rivals. It’s a vital piece of our university’s history and the longer students go without knowing the song, the greater the chance that this song will be lost in time. I think that it is essential to rekindle this piece of our school pride to help unite the student body and to remember and pass along the legacy of Thurman McGraw for generations to come.
What I would like to see is the official reinstatement of the song. But I believe that it is going to take some work to get there. If enough students want this song back, then I think that we will be able to make it happen. The Athletic Department can’t ignore 26,000 students. When they see that there is a high enough demand to bring back the song, then I wholeheartedly believe that it is possible.
Katie Kethcart is a junior communication studies major. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.