Why do Kansas State fans, jerseys say EMAW? What to know about the Wildcats’ rallying cry
The Kansas State Wildcats are one win away from their first Final Four appearance since 1964. With a win over Florida Atlantic University at 5:09 p.m. Saturday, K-State could be on its way to Houston.
You can feel the excitement throughout the air. Kansas City turned its skyline purple on Thursday, and Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted out City Hall doing the same thing after the Wildcats’ victory over Michigan State.
Tonight, Union Station shines in Kansas State purple and white as we congratulate the Wildcats on advancing to the Sweet 16. #KStateMBB #MarchMadness
Photo by Kent Auf Der Heide pic.twitter.com/HYrVnU5IUF
— Union Station KC (@UnionStationKC) March 20, 2023
City Hall in Kansas City is lit in purple tonight. Congrats, Kansas State. Enjoy, and good luck in the Elite Eight!#EMAW pic.twitter.com/MeCg8D8yp7
— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) March 24, 2023
By now, you’ve heard K-State’s slogans such as “Purple Pride” and “Eat ‘Em Up, Eat ‘Em Up K-S-U,” but one has stood out above the rest.
“EMAW” has been the rallying call for Wildcat fans and alum as K-State advances through the NCAA men’s tournament. The slogan is found on the sleeves of the coaches’ quarter zips and on the waistbands of the team’s retro-themed jerseys.
The school even sells hoodies with the slogan printed on them.
WHAT DOES EMAW MEAN?
The slogan EMAW stands for “Every Man A Wildcat.”
According to a statement by K-State’s athletic department, the rallying cry has been a part of K-State tradition for decades, declaring that all fans are part of the Wildcat nation.
Back in 2009, a student proposed changing EMAW to EPAW — every person a Wildcat — to be more gender-inclusive. The suggestion led to a few years of discussion and controversy, and the original acronym largely stuck around.
You’ll still see EMAW all over social media before, during and after games by Wildcat fans and official K-State athletic accounts, especially as the team makes its way through March Madness.
To K-State graduate and Manhattan resident Misty Woodward, it means more than just a declaration. It’s the pride you bring of knowing that you’re part of the K-State family.
“It’s an easy acronym that you can find your other K-Staters around you and know that you’ve got your family around,” Woodward said.
She said they didn’t use the slogan as much while she was at the Little Apple during the mid-1990s, but she has since adopted it.
If K-State wins on Saturday, Woodward said she and her boyfriend and fellow K-State alum, Mitch Moss, will be in Houston to watch the Wildcats in the Final Four.