Understanding the name

To the Editor,


I read various news reports speculating on reasons behind the Wichita State University men's basketball team success.

Being a Wichita State alumna myself (and having lived in Butler County for 38 of my 50 years of my life), I believe I can speak with some authority on the subject.

The team's name "Shockers" is derived from a shortened version of wheat-shockers ---since KANSAS is normally the wheat producing capital of the world. Swathing down, shocking into bundles and separating the wheat from the chaff is what makes any harvest a bountiful success. Similarly with athletics: Wichita State's team has, so far, an undefeated streak: swathing-down opponents, shocking them {and 'fans' like cordwood} and reaping a steady continual harvest.

I am proud of my alma mater and I always say, “There are Dreamers, Thinkers, Doers, Movers, Shakers, and Shockers who change the world.”

Back in the early 1980s, when I was a student at Wichita State, the men's basketball program was also riding high, nationally. The motto then was "M.T.X.E.", standing for "Mental Toughness and Xtra Effort". I think the new "Shocker Nation craze" is merely the next-generation of the M.T.X.E. philosophy.

I wasn't an athlete, but that same philosophy helped me in academics --- and in "the real world" of life, itself.



James A. Marples,

Esbon, Kan.