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Should the city rename part of Missouri Street after former football coach Don Fambrough?

Asked at Checkers Foods, 23rd and Louisiana streets on March 5, 2009

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Photo of Denise Mead

“With the economy the way it is today, I think it would be more practical to wait … and name a street in a new area rather than change maps and all that different information.”

Photo of Sally Zogry

“Why not? … He did a lot for us.”

Photo of Ralph Rosencrantz

“Oh, yeah, I’m OK with that. Don’s a fine fellow. He goes to my church.”

Photo of Mike Coffman

“No, I don’t think so. I’m not a big fan of renaming streets.”

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Kookamooka 9 years, 3 months ago

No. I have no idea who this guy was and I don't care.

Omegatron 9 years, 3 months ago

No. I thought it was stupid when they renamed half of 15th!

Build a statue and put it in front of memorial stadium.

H_Lecter 9 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely not! If they want to name something after him, put a picnic table outside the stadium and put his name on it. He didn't have a great record as a coach and sequentially numbered streets should never have their names changed. 15th needs to be changed back to 15th street. Put this issue to rest. If someone asks again we should grab a mellon-baller and scoop out a big bite of their brain.

labmonkey 9 years, 3 months ago

Wow...that is the first time I think I seen H-Lector have a passionate opinion about something.

Maddy Griffin 9 years, 3 months ago

Leave the numbered streets alone and namer a NEW street after him if you must. Rename bob Billings back to 15th.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

I think we it should be given a name that people really notice.. NO PARKING

flux 9 years, 3 months ago

Who is in charge of naming new streets anyways?

canyon_wren 9 years, 3 months ago

How many times is OTS going to run this question? Leave the street name alone and name a new street after this fellow who wasn't the best coach KU has ever had, anyway!

Sharon Aikins 9 years, 3 months ago

It's not that I relish having anything named Missouri anywhere near the vicinity of Memorial Stadium. However, I think there would be a better way to honor Coach Fambrough, one heck of a nice guy. Although he wasn't the greatest coach in KU history, he was around a long time not only as head coach but as an assitant coach and has always been considered one of the most loyal Jayhawk personnel around. I would rather see him honored by a statue or a fountain, something that has visual appeal and will make people notice. And any tribute to him should be on campus, preferrably near the stadium.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely. See the other article with all of our comments about it.

And there already is something to commemorate Coach - a bench that his current and former players financed that sits up the hill between the stadium and the campanile by the sidewalk. We dedicated it to him on his 85th birthday. It collected about 10 times more than the needed amount. The rest went to scholarships. I would guess that means his players know what he's all about.

I don't care either way - I love Coach and am very proud to call him my dear friend. I don't enjoy seeing all the nastiness this has brought out in people. It is not his idea, nor do I believe he wants this.

canyon_wren 9 years, 3 months ago

So, Gootsie--I guess your definition of "nastiness" is different from mine. I don't see that fitting some of the comments made here. Most of the "disgust" expressed is not directed at Fambrough but at the stupidity of this question asked AGAIN on OTS. I'm sure Fambrough is a great guy and was a good coach, but, as Old Enuf says, the statistics don't justify this name change. Some of the other suggestions for honoring him sound a lot better.

Mary Darst 9 years, 3 months ago

OK, now I'm really confused! Did we not already talk about this, too? LJW is messing with my brain. Or maybe it is just me. I yelled at my husband this a.m. because he hadn't taken the trash down to be picked up(his only real responsibility). My neighbor had hers out and waiting 2 days ago. Well, you see trash is picked up on THURSDAY (which is today). Come to find out my friend had her days mixed up too. The one who got yelled at was the only one who had it right. You can see how my week is going. Tomorrow is Friday? isn't it?

Linda Aikins 9 years, 3 months ago

Wren, read the comments on the article that was posted yesterday and you'll see what I mean. This thread has been OK so far. I was just hoping it didn't start up again.

HermioneElliott 9 years, 3 months ago

Some of the newer streets have interesting names. Look at a map. Maps get updated every so often so it would not really cost more in those terms. Maybe they would put up rock chalk, Jayhawk, type street signs. I would go for that. Considering the reality of the border wars, all of Missouri Street should be renamed.

canyon_wren 9 years, 3 months ago

My apologies, Gootsie! I DID miss yesterday's posts and don't have time to check them now. There certainly isn't any excuse for "nastiness"--and I admit that a coach doesn't have to have the most wins to be beloved. Apparently Fambrough has that distinction. I just don't go along with renaming streets as a form of a popularity contest!

Linda Aikins 9 years, 3 months ago

It's OK Wren!!! I bet some people actually work during the day! :) Apparently not me!

canyon_wren 9 years, 3 months ago

Well, I only work two days a week, but am getting ready for 22 people to come to my house for a baby shower, so have more than my usual amount of chores. It is so distracting (but tempting) to stop and check the posts, etc.--I must try to break myself of that habit!

sgtwolverine 9 years, 3 months ago

Part of the street? No. That makes no sense. Rename the whole thing or leave it the way it is, but don't rename part of it.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 3 months ago

I was thinking the last person Lector ate must have drunk a LOT of coffee...and not decaf either.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 3 months ago

I was thinking the last person Lector 'had' for dinner must have had a LOT of coffee...and not decaf either.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 3 months ago

oops - it didn't stop the first one. Sorry Hannibal - I didn't want to give out your dirty little secret...

sgtwolverine 9 years, 3 months ago

Uh oh! Gootsie, you know what happens when you make H_L mad...

missouri_street 9 years, 3 months ago

Gootsie, I hope when you refer to "nastiness" I hope you were not referring to me. Mr. Fambrough is a wonderful individual. I have not criticized him. But that is definitely not the point. Nor is Memorial Stadium the point, sports, state or city pride, or interstate rivalries. All of these notions have nothing to do with geographic way finding.

My irritation is aimed to those advocating this stupid idea. And my frustration extends to people when they minimize the issue. Everyone else may think this is a lot of yuks, but some people will actually be affected on a day-to-day basis.

Street names serve a public purpose, one of geographic place finding and common description. Names work best for wayfinding when there is an intuitive scheme to the order (numbered streets and other ordered systems like our state names).

Long established street names should not be re-designated for honorific purposes, especially for short segments. Such renaming is antagonistic to the very reason to have street names. Many alternatives exist for honoring individuals, living or deceased.

Those who argue that this should not be an issue because of the new street names out west miss the point.

Those street names are geographically devoid of an organized structure, rendering their location obscure.

In fact, the seemingly meaningless assignment of names out west makes my point.

So where is Nancy Court or Veronica Drive? Unless you have personal pre-existing knowledge, you would have little clue. But I bet you know where 22nd and New Hampshire is. As far as I am concerned, the city should have a policy requiring an over-arching naming scheme, and not allow for developers to use public roadways as their personal vanity plates.

Perhaps this discussion will lead to reconsideration of the renaming of 15th St. Clinton Parkway is not my preference, but is acceptable to me because the new name relates to the geographic feature at its terminus, thus providing geographic information. But renaming 15th Street did not enhance way-finding, confuses the pre-existing numbering scheme, was for honorific purposes only, and hence was stupid. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. But even then, I do not think any residences had their address actually changed. And yes, I knew and admired Bob Billings very much. But that is not the point.

Music_Girl 9 years, 3 months ago

I think "renaming" streets is a waste of time and just confusing. All the people on that street would have to change their address, all the maps (google, etc) would have to be changed, etc. Is it really worth all the trouble? I think it's kinda funny to have Missouri street so close to the stadium. Kind of a "haha" in their faces when their fans come down here and get beaten. Renaming streets just confuses people and causing a big pain (prime example...15th st/Bob Billings). If they want to name a new street after him so be it but don't "rename" things that have already been named for crying out loud. It's similar to the gazilion times they have renamed Sandstone Amphitheater but everyone still calls it Sandstone.

remember_username 9 years, 3 months ago

Here we go again. Assuming the community wants to honor this coach and would like to do so by naming a street near the stadium. Why Missouri? It is not the closest Maine, or Alabama, or Illinois would be closer. Even 11th near the stadium might be better.

What appears so childish to me is the Missouri connection. This idea seems less to do with honoring a coach and more about insulting the state of Missouri. Call it for what it is.

mom_of_three 9 years, 3 months ago

NO, the streets are not named in order of when they joined the union. But Kansas is next to Oklahoma, and Oklahoma was not a state until 1907. Kansas became a state in 1861.

remember_username 9 years, 3 months ago

Mom - that's south of 23rd and probably laid out at a different time. But raises a good point. The community of Lawrence had much better reasons for renaming Missouri Street a century ago yet they didn't do it. Do we have better reasons now?

Russell Fryberger 9 years, 3 months ago

Might as well rename it now. Since it was brought up someone will rip the street signs down anyway. Name the new practice field after him if anything. Leave the streets alone. Hell, the mailman just got used to having Missouri on his route, (or her). I'm with the committee to put 15th back as it was.

Clickker 9 years, 3 months ago

No!! He didnt even have a winning record here, and was involved in a scheme whereby an assistant coach allegedly handed cash to a big time California recruit. Just because he hates Missouri, is no reason to do this.

For Gosh sakes, we already have a fund named after a former basketball coach

gl0ck0wn3r 9 years, 3 months ago

Can we rename the sidewalk Richard Heckler Way?

bad_dog 9 years, 3 months ago

Clickker, the Williams Fund is not named for Roy Williams. I believe it was named for a Lawrence family.

"The need for a student-athlete scholarship program at KU was recognized early at KU. The Outland Club was organized by Dick, Skipper, and Odd Williams in 1949. The Williams Family was responsible for raising more than $2 million for athletic scholarships between 1949 and 1973. In 1973, the Outland Club became known as the Williams Educational Fund to honor the Williams family for its commitment to Kansas Athletics."

Linda Aikins 9 years, 3 months ago

"Which is it Gootsie? “Absolutely” or “I don't care either way”.

It is both!! I absolutely support it, but don't care either way if it gets done. Does that make sense to you?

Missouri_Street, You have not been attacking Coach and I hope I didn't imply that you were. You were very kind about him, but not at all in favor of the renaming! And that's OK! But you have to admit - some of the comments WERE about him and were nasty.

Folks, I'm moving onto other pastures before Hannibal invites me over to dinner. Have fun! Wren, have a great baby shower. MD - I like your naming ideas!

Linda Aikins 9 years, 3 months ago

Oops - one more thing before I climb the fence:

This can easily be settled. Have Coach Fambrough change his name to Missouri Street. Problem solved. _TOB

We have us a winner!!!

Kent Shrack 9 years, 3 months ago

Let the commisson work on better things like,, shutting down money pit city owned golf courses? I'm looking for ways to save money,, not spend. But then, they aren't speding their money,, they spend ours. Missouri street, has nothing to do with MU. Why change it? But then, I didn't like them changing 15th to Les Nessman drive oh, I mean,, that Bob guy.

mom_of_three 9 years, 3 months ago

We do not have streets named Georgia, virginia or Texas. At the time the city was planned, those states were slave states, and our city planners didn't want that connection. Oregon is in the wrong place. And others are just plain not in the right order. So it won't make any difference if we rename part of a street for a coach.

bad_dog 9 years, 3 months ago

"But then, I didn't like them changing 15th to Les Nessman drive oh, I mean,, that Bob guy."-cadillac

Whether you are confused by simple things such as street name changes or not, the simple fact remains that Bob Billings was a great man for both KU and Lawrence. I guess you either don't understand or appreciate that fact.

Here's a few things about Bob you may want to consider before referring to him so callously. It may not matter much, however, given your username is "cadillac". You'll probably be a forgotten former icon fairly soon as well.

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 3 months ago

Q. Did Missouri ever pay reparations after Quantrail's Raiders? What did the state of Mizzu ever do in response? Wasn't the raid in fact sanctioned by the Slavers of Missouri? I say, rename the street!!! It also adds color and interest to the Rivalry. I say, determine the cost and I for one will contribute for the signs, etc. I say, if it costs the City nothing, then there is no reason not to do it...well, maybe one.

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 3 months ago

I DO like the notion of Border War Blvd. Maybe a new street for Coach Fam.

muddfoot55 9 years, 3 months ago

NO NO NO! Just another useless waste of taxpayers money. Besides what about the people who will have to change all their mailing addresses? This is yet another special interest project. And this betters the life of which citizens?

jonas_opines 9 years, 3 months ago

"I say, if it costs the City nothing, then there is no reason not to do it…well, maybe one."

That reason is class. Which we will forfeit.

Tom McCune 9 years, 3 months ago

Instead of naming it after Don Fambrough, let's name it after Don Quixote. That would capture just how clueless this whole discussion really is.

Boston_Corbett 9 years, 3 months ago

Why not the new parking garage under the Oread Inn?

Better yet, the hotel itself. After all, the city is kicking in Millions of dollars in incentives through TIF.

Hotel Fambrough.

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