Friday, November 23, 2007

Former coach, famed Mizzou hater picks KU



The Border War 2007

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¢ 6Sports video: Beaten but still in top 5<br /> ¢ 6News video: Fans cheer on Hawks from Lawrence<br /> ¢ 6News video: Crowds brave cold for ESPN's Gameday<br /> ¢ 6News video: Broken dreams<br />

Reader poll

Personnel-wise, who do you think creates the the biggest matchup problem for KU's defense?

  • QB Chase Daniel 35% 1656 votes
  • RB Tony Temple 1% 72 votes
  • TE Martin Rucker 9% 463 votes
  • TE Chase Coffman 6% 289 votes
  • Do-it-all Jeremy Maclin 44% 2045 votes
  • Someone else 2% 114 votes

4639 total votes.

You pick up the phone and dial the numbers to Don Fambrough's house just days before Saturday's Border War game between No. 2 Kansas and No. 3 Missouri. A perfect chance, you think, to pick the brain of the most passionate Mizzou hater out there.

Busy signal. Big surprise.

Fambrough is one of sport's most popular figures this week, a symbol of all things hostile between KU and MU as the Border War revs up for its most anticipated battle yet.

Fambrough will be at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., for the 7 p.m. kickoff Saturday. He wouldn't miss it.

But in the meantime, he has plenty to get off his chest.

"It doesn't take much to get me excited about playing Missouri, because I don't like those folks" Fambrough says when you finally reach him. "I hope it doesn't get out of hand. I hope I don't get out of hand. But I might."

Fambrough, 85, is a former player, assistant coach and head coach for the KU football team. In his retirement, he's stayed close to the program with the blessing of current coach Mark Mangino.

This season, he's watched the Jayhawks race to an 11-0 start. He's reluctantly accepted Missouri's legitimacy, too, as the Tigers now stand 10-1.

It sets up a clash of the titans that has Fambrough impressed. And that's saying something - he's seen almost everything in his 61 years associated with KU.

"It would be exciting if we were playing Little Sisters of the Poor," Fambrough said. "But playing Missouri and the football team they have and the football team we have; it's just unreal. It's something I've never witnessed before."

With that, he's off. Fambrough gets into his favorite stories of the rivalry without solicitation. He swears that MU coach Dan Devine sent an obscene gesture toward KU coach Pepper Rodgers during a game in the 1960s. He once got scolded by a history professor for telling his team that William Quantrill was an MU grad.

Finally, he calms back down. Before you let him give his voice box a rest, though, there's one more request. A prediction, please.

"I think we win 68-63," Fambrough responds. "It will probably be a high-scoring game."

He pauses, then amends his guess.

"Who knows, we might win 3-0," Fambrough said. "But we're going to win. And they will be dancing in the streets in Lawrence, Kansas late Saturday night. I promise you that."


sevenyearhawk 12 years, 2 months ago

I LOVE Coach Fam ...

after hearing his speech last year at Johnny's before the road trip to Mizzou, I'd run through a wall for that man!

fivemog 12 years, 2 months ago

Corinth Square, Prairie Village, Kansas, tonight you can hear him again. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Teapot9 12 years, 2 months ago

What time will he be there? I arrive in KC at 4:30pm today.

fivemog 12 years, 2 months ago

I believe the start of the rally is at 7:00 PM...I also believe there will be a heated tent so don't let the cold keep you away.

Seth Peattie 12 years, 2 months ago

GOD SPEED, HAWKS. Thank you Coach FAM for the inspiration. Also for reminding us all that there's nothing good/positive/decent from the state of Missouri.

SUCK IT, TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

beebe1 12 years, 2 months ago

Seems Fam came to KS because he was on a service team with (our star of the time; married the KC banker's daughter. Age faults memory!). A number of guys came home with him and they made the KS team a top notch outfit. Fambrough was the right guard. A guy named Ettinger was right tackle, a tall red headed guy. Haven't heard about him since the game. On the big year, we were close to winning, but needed a touchdown in the end to seal the deal. I was a student at the time -- we sat on the east side of the stadium where it was warmer. And the team got down to the north end goal line, first and goal. The QB, Hogan, called the plays. Ran over Fambrough and Ettinger. Ran it three times; failed three times. On fourth down the defense adjusted for a possible pass. Hogan called it the fourth time. When the play was over, the running back was standing in the end zone; Fambrough and Ettinger were strung out on the ground, they had given it their all.(I was lucky enough to be at the edge of the field where I could see it up close!)

   So, many thanks to the team;  but special thanks to Fambrough and Ettinger; they're the ones that put us over the top.

 And special thanks to Fam for all he's done!  He's been a true Jayhawk many a year. (Fam's wife told me the part of the story about Hogan.)_

seattlehawk_78 12 years, 2 months ago

Always liked Fam and thought it was a mistake when they let him go. Bud Moore coached the most exciting KU team I ever saw up until this year but he did it with Fam's recruits. Seven players from that team were on NFL rosters. If only the AD had the same patience Lew has.

Joe Ross 12 years, 2 months ago

There are few things in life that I TRULY hate. Missouri is one of them.

bmcmich1 12 years, 2 months ago

Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the locker room when Fam makes that speech tomorrow night...

frompekka2sasha 12 years, 2 months ago

Coach Fam is one of my favorite people in the entire world. I would have lunch with him before any celebrity that I can think of unless Angelina Jolie guaranteed me some post-lunch activity. It saddens me that they don't get him more radio time before a Mizzery game. Two years ago he was on the radio after the game and I would have "ran through a wall for him" too. He said "WE KICKED THEIR ASS!" and you could hear him in the background going CRazY as the players were coming back to the locker room.

Let's hope the FCC isn't listening and we can give him a "free" microphone.

12 years, 2 months ago

jross, good to see you back after a long hiatus. How do you like our football team now?

ArmchairJayhawk 12 years, 2 months ago

Has anyone else noticed that has the KU-mu series listed as tied, 53-53-9 when, in fact, we lead the series 54-52-9? Whose side are they on?

frompekka2sasha 12 years, 2 months ago

Armchair- Maybe there wasn't enough at stake and they figured this would up the ante?

beebe1 12 years, 2 months ago

The old time hero was Ray Evans. He played a couple of years, then had to go in the service. I think he was gone 4 years by the time the war ended. He came back with part of the service team. They would generally be about four or five years older than the run of the mill college student. A lot of the better teams in those days had mature, full grown men. Some of us were younger and didn't get caught for service till the Korean war.

seattlehawk_78 12 years, 2 months ago

I did notice it armchair. Apparently the LJW is not counting the 1960 game we won and eventually forfeited. I say count the Win and put an asterisk next to it if it makes you feel better.

Joe Ross 12 years, 2 months ago


The University of Kansas football team has embarrassed me. I realize that Im a fairweather fan. Dont get me wrong, Ive rooted for Kansas football over the years, but have done so half-heartedly. Truthfully, the last time I got excited about KU football was in 92 or 93 whenever they had the great season.

A REAL fan, one worth his salt, would have been there for the Crimson and Blue through the his and lows. Call me the Prodigal Football Fan.

To answer your question, about how I like the football team now. I dont. I LOVE 'em!


12 years, 2 months ago

Welcome home, jross! Now, where is that fatted calf? :)

My support began in '92 as well, and has continued with season tickets since '93. There were a few fun seasons in that time frame ('95, '03, '05), but no one could have imagined what this year's team has done. What a great time for Jayhawk fans!!

troutsee 12 years, 2 months ago

I started getting season FB tickets in 1991 but have been an avid fan since 1958. We all have endured a lot. That is what makes this season so special.

chiefsfaninla 12 years, 2 months ago

Fambourough to KU is the equivilent to Skip Bertman at LSU, John Wooden at UCLA, Woody Hayes at the O-h-i-o, Bo Schembechler at the whole state of Michigan just to name a few. Fam is KU.

100 12 years, 2 months ago

Nice to see the Phog Allen of KU football so pumped up. It's good to have the ideological "Win One for the Gipper" on the side of the Jayhawks. We'll see if Fambrough's HEARTFELT inspiration pays off tomorrow -- the Players do have to believe, and believe deep down -- as well as be inspired -- which they've done every week thus far. Fambrough has certainly done his job this week to reach out and expound upon his belief of "the past" in relation to KU football and what spiritually can be gained from tapping into it. That's exactly what KU's team needs this week, as the stage is set. As for tomorrow, here's what we KU FANS have gotta do: Show up at Arrowhead as early as possible! Let's have that ESPN Gameday background be as BLUE as possible! KU PLAYERS: Enjoy every second of the game, but STAY FOCUSED ON THE TASK! Worst case scenario, this is preparation for Bowl atmosphere. Best case scenario, this is preparation for next week against the South. It's one or the other, nothing is decided yet, so make the best of it. You guys have put in the preparation, and even overprepared. Get a good night of sleep tonight, eat well tomorrow, and be ready for a very good football team. Regardless of the outcome, Missouri deserves a bunch of respect. Win or lose, all across the nation, we are so proud of you guys. And most importantly, shake their hands after the game -- they're a bunch of hardworking good guys, just like you. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!!

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