Who claims The Wave?

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The Husky's Rob Weller or Super fan, Krazy George?

Who lays claims to the Wave?

By Shannon Love

Who indeed invented, created and presented the first Wave?  What is not in dispute is, who and where the Wave was made famous and acknowledged through out the world.  That would be Seattle fans , in the Kingdome.  The Wave with noise levels so loud, games were literally shut down in the Kingdome. We thank our brothers and sisters over on Lake Washington,  in Husky's stadium for getting the cheer rolling

The Wave, what was it?

Most remember it as a cheer that went around the kingdome in a circler motion.  As the Wave neared, you would jump up, throw both of your hands into the air, and yell out, GO!  All while the home teams defense was on the field.  This was a defense cheer.  

Who claims this cheer as their original creation now known as the Wave?

The Huskies , Yell King Rob Weller and California's Krazy George do.

Krazy George says he didn’t come up with the name, only the act of the cheer it self.  From Krazy Georges website: The Dallas Morning News article dated November 15th, 1984 titled "Making Waves over the Cheer". Pay close attention to this, because there are some who tried to claim my Wave wasn't a “real wave”  -- Krazy George

Most all in the Kingdome thought the Wave, was birthed at the University of Washington, at a Huskies game by a Yell King, Robb Weller and band leader, Bill Bissell.  The following year we saw it and perfected the wave in the Kingdome.  Fast forward to the present, and it’s presented at every sports arena that can boast a crowd. Seattle no longer does the wave, it is ineffective now with our new crowd base, as most of the stadium stands for the entire game  – we have evolved as a fan base.

    Huskies and Krazy George claim Wave as their own:

The Huskies, Wave can trace its origin back to Husky Stadium. It was October 31, 1981 when former cheerleader Rob Weller (the same Rob Weller who once co-hosted Entertainment Tonight) was back on the sidelines and instructed the Washington crowd to start in one section and make a human wave that rolled around Husky Stadium. The original Wave saw Husky fans remain standing until a full circle was completed in the stadium. Weller’s original idea - working with former Husky Band Director Bill Bissell - was to have the crowd stand rapidly from the lowest seats to the highest. But they could not effectively coordinate the attempts. The Wave is believed to have started in the third quarter as the Huskies reeled off 28 points in route to a 42-31 win over the John Elway led Stanford team.  

Krazy George claims he invented and orchestrated the first wave on October 15th 1981 during an Oakland A’s and Yankees playoff game.

Both sides have good arguments for claiming the cheer know as The Wave.  The cheer is one thing and the name is another thing.  


On a website posted by George Henderson, aka - Krazy George, makes his argument for his claim, as the owner of the Wave. 

Below exerts from Krazy George’s website:




The University of Washington continues to claim that Rob Weller invented The Wave on October 31st, 1981. Further, it has been mentioned, in the vicious message postings, that this same claim is in the University of Washington media guide and engraved on a plaque that is attached to Husky Stadium.

I offer as my proof the following:

 1. The archived video footage of the October 15th, 1981 game mentioned above. MLB Productions owns the rights to this video. I have seen all segments that vividly recorded me conducting The Wave on three occasions. No one who looks at this could ever refute that The Wave didn't hit Oakland that night.

2. The Oakland A's 1981 Highlight Film. There I am again leading The Wave. Please note that the A's season ended on October 15th, 1981 and that I am on this video leading the wave. Rob Weller and UW claim to have started it on October 31, 1981. Unless you can show me how the calendar in 1981 got screwed up and actually put the 31st before the 15th, then this argument is over.

3. The Dallas Morning News article dated November 15th, 1984 titled "Making Waves over the Cheer". Pay close attention to this, because there are some who tried to claim my Wave wasn't a “real wave”. Obviously they either didn't see it live on TV and video or they are in total denial of the truth. This article, written by Chris Welin, researched the claims of whether it was I, Krazy George or Rob Weller who can claim the fame.

Krazy George goes further to provide quotes as further proof:

Weller was a cheerleader for the university from 1968 through 1972. On Oct. 31st, 1981, he and other past school boosters returned to cheer at Washington 's homecoming game against Stanford University.

The Washington Wave began when Weller pointed to different student sections and asked them to stand and shout. ‘The last time he tried it, it didn't stop with the student sections.

The Alumni did it too, says Pat Carroll, UW's sports information program assistant. ‘We're claiming it (the Wave) and we always will’ she said. Washington 's claim has turned Krazy George even krazier. However, there are witnesses who are backing him up. NBC sports commentator Joe Garagiola, for one, was calling the game that day. He says what he saw was definitely a Wave.

I remember during the game that all of a sudden the fans started getting up and then sitting down, Garagiola said from his home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

As I remember, it looked the same or better than what they're doing now. Our producer, Don Ohlmeyer, was trying to get the cameraman to catch the Wave, but he was always one section behind. He (Ohlmeyer) kept pounding on him (the cameraman) saying, "Get it! Get that thing!"  I had never seen anything like it. It was super.


I received this e-mail from a Husky alumni that was there back in the day, and this is what he had to say;

Friday January 4th 2008

Shannon ,

I'm surprised that the 10,000+ students during the 1973-74 Husky Football seasons have not told you about the Wave's actual conception.

After the 1972 Sonny Sixkiller era, the team went into several losing seasons before Don James was hired.

The student's kept chanting, "Fire Jim Owens!" The students even had buttons to promote firing then coach Jim Owens.

Rob Weller, the lead cheerleader, wanted to quiet the drunken student crowd from yelling at Coach Owens, so he asked for a "brown bag" check for each student section which was designated by different season ticket colors. The 10 yard to end zone tickets were "white", the 10 to 25 yard section was the green section, the 25 to 40 yard section was "gold" and the 40 to 50 yard section was "purple"

Most of the students had brought alcohol into the stadium, as long as it was in a "brown bag" so if it was discrete, then it was generally OK.

After the band played tequila, Weller would start to ask each section to stand and raise their brown bags to see how many students were drinking. Each section would stand and cheer and "wave" their brown bags.

Weller would say, "how about the green section???!!!" and the green section would stand, cheer and wave their brown bags. Weller would then say, "how about the purple section???!!!" and that section would stand and cheer.

One time, Weller just happened to ask the white section, near the end zone, then ask the green section, the adjacent section, then the gold and finally the purple section....

He started laughing and said that this sequential brown bag check made that side of the stadium look like a "wave"

Soon rob started to organize the wave on the north side of the stadium with the student "brown bag" check and gradually the rest of the stadium caught on and the wave started from the student section all the way over to the south end with the Tyee group..old alumni.

If someone at KOMO tv could find some 1974 archive "Husky Highlight" films, the old Jim Owens TV show with Bruce King, then you'd see the wave in the back ground.

Not 1981...it was back in the dark losing Husky days of 1973 - 74.

Since it involved student drinking...I think the school wants to hide it.

Don Motanic (Class of 1978')

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