Butler County Times Gazette
  • Letter to the Editor: Explaining the name 'Wheat Shockers'

  • Understanding the name
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  • 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.
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