JayRock A New KU Tradition

Jan. 27, 2010

JayRock, the annual University of Kansas student-athlete variety show, is relatively new in relation to the storied tradition shared by many of the athletic programs at KU. Since its inception in 2006, however, the show has quickly gained momentum and fame as being one of the best things about being a Jayhawk. For the first three years, the bragging rights for JayRock victory were contained within the confines of Kansas Athletics.

In 2009, however, Jayhawk went viral. The women’s volleyball and men’s basketball teams took JayRock stardom to a whole new level with their world-famous rendition of Jayhawk Musical (tinyurl.com/jayhawkmusical), a personalized play off of the High School Musical movies, complete with a spot-on Zac Efron played by Men’s Basketball Junior, Conner Teahan.

While women’s volleyball and men’s basketball didn’t finish in the top three during the contest, they have made the argument that nearly 100,000 people disagree, according to the YouTube.com viewership. After the great success of Jayhawk Musical, many thought they had hit the peak of JayRock fame and stardom. That was, however, until Kansas Women’s Soccer took the stage on January 21, 2010, with its rendition of ‘Jersey Cribs’.

There are many similarities between ‘Jersey Cribs’ (tinyurl.com/jerseycribs), soccer’s latest YouTube blockbuster, and ‘Jayhawk Musical.’ First and foremost, both failed to earn a top-three trophy at JayRock. “It’s been funny – a lot of people have told us since the show that we should have won. It is almost more exciting this way,” explained Sierra Miramontez, Lenexa, KS sophomore. Further, both videos were featured on Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, the section of the website where Pop Culture meets Sports Culture.

‘Jersey Cribs’ has been online for less than 24 hours, yet it has already garnered nearly 25,000 views. Now it is making the rounds on twitter, having already been posted by writers for Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and Busted Coverage. “It is really exciting that our team is getting exposure,” said Rachel Morris, an Overland Park based Junior. “Hopefully we’ll get a few more fans next season now that they have seen our personalities off the field.”

In its quick rise to fame, ‘Jersey Cribs’ has also been featured as one of the most-watched videos on youtube worldwide for its first day online. “This is only the beginning,” added Morris. “I think it is a true testament to show how far JayRock has come. The sky is the limit in the amount of people we can reach to show that student-athletes are about more than just wins and losses.”

While ‘Jayhawk Musical’ got a one-year head start, the race to 100,000 online views is officially underway. The one-day high for ‘Jayhawk Musical’ was 26,700 views. As this article was being sent to press, ‘Jersey Cribs’ had racked up nearly 25,000 views.

Whether ‘Jersey Cribs’ outdoes ‘Jayhawk Musical’ or not, all parties involved can agree JayRock has become the newest great tradition for Kansas Athletics.