Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Keegan: The Barber Poll

Local hair-cutters speak their minds on upcoming KU football season


As I was well into an opinion-finding tour of the downtown hair-cutting establishments, the sign on Ninth Street stared mockingly from a distance, like mirages teasing thirsty cowboys in all those Spaghetti Westerns: "Joe's Bakery."

At least the cowboys had fleeting hope. I was armed with the knowledge that Joe's long since had closed, meaning no more peanut butter brownies. Cruel world. And what an optimistic world it has become on the Kansas University football front.

Men who cut hair for a living tend to talk sports. It's worth wondering if the haircuts are optional and come free of charge, and it's the sports opinions that cost money. There is nothing optional about listening to them at the local barber shops. With scissors, they spare ears. Not so with sports opinions.

Jon Amyx of Downtown Barber Shop foresees a 10-2 season.

"Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas : I think we're going to win one of those games," he said.

Cutting hair on Mass Street for 33 years, Amyx has seen a lot of losing football teams.

"A couple of years ago, we should have gone 10-2," he said of the 6-6 finish in '06. "This past year we just did what we should have done two years ago. I just want back-to-back bowl years. I can remember years you had teams like this coming back, and what happened? Where did they go? I think (KU coach Mark) Mangino's got it going on. There's a lot of positive thinking going on. I had a couple of guys in today who said, 'I hate to wish the summer away, but I'm ready for college football.' The NBA just doesn't do it for them."

Jon's son Jay was cutting hair next door, where he once gave former KU quarterback great David Jaynes a trim. He also guessed 10-2. Ben Van Sickel, working from the next chair, called a 9-3 record.

City Commissioner Mike Amyx, Jon's brother, cuts hair at Amyx Barber Shop, just down the street. He made a 9-3 call, and so did Chuck Rosenbaum, working one chair over.

Rex Porter of Rex's Stadium Barber Shop weighed in at 10-2 and predicted that KU would defeat either Oklahoma or Texas.

If Charles Dickens didn't already claim the title, the book on the upcoming season could be called "Great Expectations."

Tim Ellis, working out of Rex's shop, forecasted 9-3. Larry Franklin of Larry's Barber Shop said KU would "run the North" and go 8-4. His son Larry went with 9-3.

At Watson's, Tim "Nelly" Nelson, a Lawrence High basketball player a couple of decades ago, was cutting the hair of Tyler Hansbrough's personal tormentor, Cole Aldrich, and arguing across the shop with Marty Watson. Nelly said Derrick Rose will be the first pick in the NBA Draft. Watson insisted it will be Michael Beasley. Nelson called a 10-2 record. Watson wondered about the offensive line and guessed 9-3.

And then there was a voice in the wilderness, Rockie Browning of Images on Ninth Street. Friends, he said, call him a curmudgeon when it comes to KU football. He predicted 7-5.

"It's KU football," he said. "That pretty much sums it up. I hope I'm wrong, but I've always been a realist when it comes to football."

Call it 8-4 and consider it a successful regular season.


William James 11 years, 6 months ago

Yea, I try! If someone roles by on gameday looking for some guy named "fabio", we've never heard of em.

GoHawks1 11 years, 6 months ago

I would like to join Rocky Browning for a beer at the Red Lyon. That is where all the KU "fans" congregate. His comments make him sound like the typical "KU basketball only" fan.

11 years, 6 months ago

fabio - that place that boycotted the Border War last year was the Red Lion Lounge.BTW - good to see you back on the posts and making new friends (White House article :o)

Carter Patterson 11 years, 6 months ago

Joes is CLOSED !!!!!!! Say its not so.....I'm sure the Pladium crowd must be upset.

FlaHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

The schedule is much tougher this year and KU will not surprise anyone. UT, OU, MU and USF will be hard to beat and KU will need to roll over everyone else. I say 8-4 and may be 9-3 if they can slip by oe of the Big 4 mentioned earlier!

hardwick15 11 years, 6 months ago

Not to be Debbie Downer, but let's not pretend like Nebraska and KSU will be easy games either. They are winnable, but those are definitely not the types of teams that we can look past.

William James 11 years, 6 months ago

Someone should tell Rocky Browning that KU Football is the defending Orange Bowl Champions. So by reminding us that the topic is KU Football hurts his argument, not strengthen it. My hair stylist had no clue not only on KU Football, but on football in general. I took her to one of the games this last year and tried to explain it to her in a less than sober state. After that I think she watched a couple of the games on tv and maybe she can pick it up from there. We'll see.What place boycotted the Border War last year?

flipborder02 11 years, 6 months ago

Flahawk I think we can beat USF and we can probably beat the most overrated team in football..........Texas.

justanotherfan 11 years, 6 months ago

I think anything better than 8-4 is a huge success. Texas had what they would consider a down year last year. They will be tough. Oklahoma is loaded (as usual). Missouri will be a top 10 team. South Florida is beatable, but we have to go down there to do it. Nebraska will be out for blood after we ran through them last year. If we can defend the home field and steal a tough road game, 9-3 is possible. At least we don't have to go to Columbia this year (for all the haters that whined about losing the home game last year).

John Percival 11 years, 6 months ago

...and Bucky's, Don's, Yellow Sub (original) & the Crossing all in the last year. Sad.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 6 months ago

No way, is it really closed??? Joe's was one of the reasons I was thinking of moving back to Lawrence when I retire. This is horrible, just horrible.

William James 11 years, 6 months ago

Every opponent on the schedule is beatable. Anybody remember last year people were saying "ku starts the season with 7 winable games". So does that mean that the 8th game against A&M wasnt winable? Nobody told our guys that.And Nebraska can be out for blood all they want, if we play our game they wont beat us, I dont care how pissed they are about last year. We have a much better football team than they do this year.

11 years, 6 months ago

My guess is once they see fabio's "gun show" they'll keep on rolling... :)

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