Here's Why Wichita State's Basketball Team Is Called The 'Shockers'
The Wichita State Shockers have one of the more unique nicknames in college sports. The story of how they got the name is actually pretty simple. According to the school's website, a football manager invented the nickname in 1904 because a lot of the players harvested (or "shocked") wheat to earn money in the summer. A "shocker" is one who harvests wheat. So while it sounds odd, "Shockers" has regional significance and a substantive backstory, which is really all you want in a nickname. The mascot, WuShock (pictured below), is bundle of wheat. Here's the full story from the school's athletic website: It was in 1904 when Wichita State University was known as Fairmount College that R.J. Kirk (Class of 1907), a football manager, invented the name "Wheat Shockers" for posters to advertise a game against the Chilocco Indians. Kirk had put the word "Indians" under the name Chilocco and a press agent for the Wichita Fall Festival, helping to publicize the contest, demanded that Kirk should produce a nickname for Fairmount to balance the poster. In those days, when wheat was shocked or headed, the majority of the players earned a stake for college expenses by working all summer in the harvest and threshing and came back tough enough to play 60-minute games. Although the name was never officially adopted, it caught on, was combined into one word, and survived until it was shortened to "Shockers" as Wichita State teams are known today. It's a great nickname. WuShock: Please follow Sports Page on Twitter and Facebook.Join the conversation about this story »