Advertisement

Advertisement

Saturday, November 26, 2011

First Fam, now MU: KU looking at void

Former KU football coach Don Fambrough, was honored by former players in 2007 when they presented him with a memorial bench in his name, overlooking Memorial Stadium from near the Campanile. Nearby, the bench is a wreath with a blue ribbon saying "Beloved Coach." Fambrough — a noted hater of all things Missouri — died in September. Saturday could mark the end of the rivalry between his Jayhawks and the team he loved to hate, leaving KU fans two marked voids.

Former KU football coach Don Fambrough, was honored by former players in 2007 when they presented him with a memorial bench in his name, overlooking Memorial Stadium from near the Campanile. Nearby, the bench is a wreath with a blue ribbon saying "Beloved Coach." Fambrough — a noted hater of all things Missouri — died in September. Saturday could mark the end of the rivalry between his Jayhawks and the team he loved to hate, leaving KU fans two marked voids.

Advertisement

Players ready for Border War

The Kansas football team is preparing to take on Missouri in what could be the last meeting between the rival schools, with the Tigers leaving the Big 12 Conference.

When Kansas University icon Don Fambrough passed away in September at the age of 88, it left a void in the hearts of thousands of people close to KU.

Later today, when the final gun sounds on the 120th playing of the Kansas-Missouri football rivalry at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., the Jayhawks, almost immediately, will have yet another pronounced void to fill.

For decades, few things have been as easy to count on as the intensity of the Border War and Fambrough’s raging hatred of the Tigers. With Fambrough no longer here to spit his anti-Mizzou venom and the Tigers ready to head off to the Southeastern Conference, perhaps as soon as next season, Kansas, and in particular Kansas football, will be forced to move forward without two of its most notable customs.

Known for years for delivering his fiery Civil War speech to the KU football team during Missouri Week, Fambrough’s star always shined brightest when the Tigers were in his crosshairs. As a player, from 1946-47, and again during two stints as KU’s head coach — from 1971-74 and 1979-82 — Fambrough was 6-4 against the Tigers — four losses too many, 4,000 wins too few.

“This is his week,” former Fambrough player and current Jayhawk broadcaster David Lawrence said. “That’s when he was called upon by fans and the team.”

For those who knew Fambrough, his absence tugs on their heart strings in ways beyond football. To some he was a father, to others a friend, and still to more a familiar face that brought comfort and a few laughs. That list includes several of KU’s current players. Not all of them were lucky enough to witness one of coach Fam’s Missouri Week speeches, but several did. And they won’t soon forget it.

“I remember all the years of him coming in before the Missouri game,” senior AJ Steward said. “He really educated me on the rivalry and put the passion into my heart. I’ve always known about the rivalry, especially growing up in St. Louis, but just to hear his perspective on it made me realize that this is bigger than just a game. It’ll be emotional for a lot of people not having coach Fambrough there, but that should put even more passion in our hearts to play. He really wants us to win this game, especially since it might be the last time we ever play Missouri.”

While this year’s game figures to be overflowing with Fambrough emotions, that will dwindle in time. There always will be those who knew him, or knew his stories, but as the years pass and the gap widens between present day and the last time Fambrough fired up a KU football team, a special part of KU’s rich tradition will be missing.

“Fam was the first to say that talk has never been responsible for a game,” Lawrence said. “But I do think that that message he brought did make a difference in some capacity. So, how big a void? It’s just hard for me to say. But it will be a void, there’s no question about that.”

Former KU great John Hadl, who starred at Kansas a decade after Fambrough finished playing, said the responsibility of carrying the torch for KU football, which Fambrough did so well, lands on the shoulders of several Jayhawks past and present.

“There’s nobody that’s gonna take Fambrough’s place,” Hadl said. “That’s a one-of-a-kind deal, and people understand that, I’m sure. I don’t know how we’re gonna handle that, but it’s just gonna be a natural happening. I don’t think you can plan that.”

While filling Fambrough’s shoes may take time, many Jayhawks said they’re not shedding any tears over what looks to be end of the Border War rivalry. Would they like it to continue? Sure. But will it ever really die?

“We’re still gonna be taught the history of what happened, because it’s history, it’s American history, and we’re gonna be talking about that,” senior offensive lineman Jeff Spikes said, referring to Kansas and Missouri’s ties to the Civil War. “But I think Missouri’s gonna miss out more than Kansas will because they chose to leave. They’re the ones that are gonna give up a big game and give up such a big part of history. To give that up and miss out on the No. 1 rivalry in the country, how can you be the guy that chooses to back out? That makes no sense. I want to continue the rivalry with my brother forever. It makes me upset.”

Added Lawrence: “We do need to do what’s best for us, and if it doesn’t include Missouri it’s not gonna hurt my feelings. But it’ll be different. And how we’ll feel about this in five years, I don’t know.”

Comments

BillSelf4Prez 2 years, 4 months ago

Just some examples of the great Misery fans. I am only 15 and i was walking through the parking lot today with my dad to get into the game and Misery fans were getting in my face welling SEC, $#@& KU, Your Basketball team has two losses, and many other things. It just proves how classless and worthless Misery fans are. Not to mention they are uneducated rednecks who all have meth labs. But on the game it was awful. Our defense actually played pretty good. Our offense though was a different story. Webb is awful. If he is our starter the next two year we our doomed. He gets happy feet and cannot throw the ball downfield. We need to start Mathews i think is his name he is #12. He can run the ball and has a decent arm(i think). But our offense is so predictable. Run up the middle,swing pass to the halfback, and a run east or west. It is awful. I'm sorry but Gill, Long, and the rest of that staff need to go.

0

Yllyrryon 2 years, 4 months ago

Several contributors to this forum were discussing apt quotes in the posts above. How about this one?

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

I only wish we had an official countdown clock to the end of the Gill debacle.

As for future games in this rivalry, I am all for continuing it and for moving it back to the campuses of both schools. Change is in the air for both programs. We have no where to go but upwards, and Miz-who, as future bottom dwellers of the SEC Conference, will soon have to seriously consider changing their mascot to the catfish.

But over the past several years, we have witnessed quality coaches such as Pinkel and Snyder strengthen the football programs at our two biggest rivals. What has happened in Lawrence?

Compare the number of years in which KU has played in a bowl game against the total number of years KU has fielded a football team. This ratio is unacceptable - even more so, given how in recent years, we have invested in facilities to attract excellent recruits and build excellent teams. We should hold accountable not only the head football coach, but also the athletic director and the chancellor. We should boot Grey-Little along with Gill and put Zenger on notice that his career at KU will hinge upon how well the football program fares. The same should go for Grey-Little’s successor.

I simply refuse to accept any notion that KU will always be a “basketball (only) school”. And football has become all the more important, given the role it has played in recent realignment considerations.

So I hope that the “new beginning” which we are witnessing will lead to some great times for all of us - alum’s and their families, students, and athletes all included - not only in Memorial Stadium, but also in our rivals’ “houses” and in many bowl venues in the years to come.

0

Randy Bombardier 2 years, 4 months ago

Ya know, the opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference. Perhaps it is not coincidence that my wife is from Missouri. She really is a Show-me type person. I accept the idea of change and "moving on" as many do but in the case of my marriage I have always chose to hang in there through thick and thin, for richer, for poorer.

I don't think the loss of the rivalry will affect either schools. It will affect us, those of us who have more personal history. Loosing the rivalry will not hurt KU but it means a lot to a lot of fans who have followed KU football through thick and thin, richer and poorer and I think that we should keep this rivalry, for better or worse, til death do us part.

0

Steve Brown 2 years, 4 months ago

Continue to play Missou. I don't mind threatening to not play them when they were deciding to abandon the B12.

Now that they are gone, I'll let cooler heads prevail on this subject if it were up to me; you bet I would play them every year first game of the season, beat them senseless and pound them into the ground. If we don't play them we can't beat them, play them, beat them silly every year home and home, neutral site, Alaska shootout, could give a darn where it is, as I don't own a Larry town business, for me, just play and beat 'em.

RCJHGOKU

0

milwaukeeJAYHAWK 2 years, 4 months ago

Anyone else wish that KUSports comments section was more like ESPN's? You know how on there you comment and it just comes up automatically without you having to confirm on another page, then a thank you page asking if you want to view your comment?

Is that to keep comments from going too fast and filling up their servers? I bet we'd go fast-paced if they let us.

0

Cal Bender 2 years, 4 months ago

Coach Fambrough's record (against Missouri) must have been 7 - 4. He was the head coach of the freshman team in 1950, and on Nov. 3 his team defeated Missouri 7 - 6.

0

Cal Bender 2 years, 4 months ago

Coach Fambrough's record must have been 7 - 4. He was the head coach of the freshman team in 1950, and on Nov. 3 his team defeated Missouri 7 - 6.

0

manginorh00lz 2 years, 4 months ago

KU should quit being so immature and just continue the rivalry. MU has made it clear that they want to keep playing it. If the rivalry comes to an end, it is entirely KU's fault.

0

Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 4 months ago

We desperately need to be talking about next year. Gill has to go.

Leach makes sense for a lot of reasons. First of all, it will put an end to the thought that KU is overly worried about the toughness it takes to win. Secondly, he knows more about the rest of the Big XII and how to coach against them than any other candidate. Third, his fast break style offense would pack the seats, and as a proven winner, he'd be given double the time that Gill will be given. The fourth reason is recruiting. He will immediately be able to bring in a four or five-star QB because recruits know that his players get serious NFL looks. Fifth, he's my age, and I respect anyone with that much energy. Sixth, I love his "fat girlfriends" quote after an unexpected loss. Seventh, he's probably had time to do some scheming and tweaking his offense. Eighth, he's a great interview. Ninth, he'd give us real inroads to Texas recruiting, and with the slavers gone, we could begin picking up their recruits. Finally, tenth, we'd be back to respectibility in three years.

Chancellor Little? Mr. Zenger? Do you read all these comments? We're here on this board because we care. Lots of fans and alums share these sentiments. Hire another inexperienced coach and see where it gets you. Bad decisions can get you fired.

MU play them, don't play them. I could care less. We've got our hands full the way it is to be thinking about the new SEC doormat.

0

Robert Brown 2 years, 4 months ago

To me there is no reason NOT to continue the rivalry. Our response after MU announced leaving for the SEC made us a laughing stock nationally. Zenger and Gray kept their mouth's shut throughout conference realignment and undid every thing with their embarrassing and petty comments.

I was always thought it was cool that KU-MU was the second most play rivalry in Division 1 and the fact the history of animosity goes beyond the football field made the rivalry even more compelling. I'm also sick of the slavery/ confederate thing. It is completely irrelevant today. People need to be realistic and admit that if given the same opportunity, KU would be switching conference. MU's move was not a personal attack on KU.

I do believe that our pathetic football program cannot afford to play a tough opponent during its non-conference schedule. So instead of a game every year with MU, we will Louisiana-Monroe or Eastern Illinois. How fun.

0

Steve Brown 2 years, 4 months ago

Long before wireless video projectors, white boards, power point, game tape was on film, real black and white tape with little holes on each side of the tape. Tuesday morning QB club in early 70's for any of us that made a small donation to the KUWilliams fund got invited to come to a meeting room in KUAD office and watch Coach Fam play and present highlights of last week's game. He would talk about 40 minutes, we got coffee and a stale donut and he would run a play forward and backward to make a point about a good block or a hole opening up and he had to manually turn the Fw and Reverse button on the machine, it would click click click as the film/tape ran in the maching. His voice was raspy and we didn't have cell phones then, yet if we did they would be on vibrate, trust me.

The game tape was shot from the press box, so you could see most all the players. Coach had passion, integrity and crimson/blue in his veins. I was a student, missed ton of classes but never missed one of Coach Fam game tape review sessions. When he spoke a few moments about this week's opponents it was insightful, except Tiger week, his veins would pop.

Where do we get such men, miss you Coach, miss your heart.

RCJHRIP!

0

hawksince51 2 years, 4 months ago

When I was a kid my Dad always bet on KU against a man from MO whom my Dad called a "Puke." My Dad said that nickname came from my grandfather who was a miner in Colorado before homesteading in KS. When lead was discovered in Leadville, CO, the local mayor said that so many miners had showed up from MO that it seemed the whole state had puked. GO HAWKS, BEAT THE PUKES THE ONE LAST TIME!!

0

Andy Tweedy 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm really going to miss this game! I didn't grow up in Kansas, I grew up in Maryland and Nebraska. So for me, I didn't grow up with KU-KSU, but learned about the KU-MU game while on the Hill and really learned to hate them!!! I've been to a number of the games in Columbia, and they feel pretty much the same way about us. I think it's really a shame...

0

Hank Cross 2 years, 4 months ago

This "MU are traitors" talk is annoying. If last year the B10 invited KU instead of NE, everyone would've been rightly been screaming for KU to accept. (Everyone except those who love roadtrips to Ames and Stillwater for some unknown reason.) MU acted in what it believed to be its best interest. MU didn't owe anything to the other schools in B12 (and neither does KU).

Whether going to the SEC is in MU's best interest is another story. If LSU did Arkansas like that, it's mind-boggling what they would do to MU.

0

Dan Spurgin 2 years, 4 months ago

Don't people get it? Missouri is and should be our bowl game every year! Yes... I understand that 'real' bowl games are what pay $$$ -- but this "virtual' bowl game is what pays out in school spirit/karma/drama (all those OTHER things that college is supposed to be about).

If we don't keep this game going it feels like we're killin' the golden goose. We'll make $$$ today, maybe for next 20 years, but long term we'll be better off financially keeping an alliance w/ Missouri.

0

FreddyinLA 2 years, 4 months ago

Keep your friends close and your enemy’s closer – Coach Fam and “Stormin” Norman Stewart.

Someday, the series will resume. Have fun in the SEC, losers.

0

ChiJayhawk4 2 years, 4 months ago

Does anyone know if this game is going to be streamed online? I live in Chicago and FSN is apparently going to have high school football on.

0

danmoore 2 years, 4 months ago

My feelings may change over time but right now my feeling is that the rivarly is over. They ended it and we should not apologize if this game is no longer in our best interest. Nebraska, A&M and Missouri chose money over loyalty and should not be rewarded for it.

I am already not missing them.

0

kureader 2 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, there's a void without Coach Fambrough. Despite the attention he received, he was short changed. He got a bench on the Hill, and KU named a walkway under the stadium after him. The stadium or the field, itself, should have been renamed ... instead we have Memorial Stadium and Kivisto Field. At least, they could have gotten rid of Missouri Street and named IT after Fambrough. RIP Coach. You changed many lives.

A void without MU? ... not so much.

0

Funhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

KU – MU football history. Largest KU win over Missouri, 32-0. Hilariously hip November 24, 1930 editorial in the Lawrence Journal World. Headline: The Game and Its Possible Results The annual Kansas-Missouri football game was of the kind that explains the continued popularity of intercollegiate sports. In addition to the pulling power of school loyalty the general public is attracted by the ever present possibility that the spectacle of a football game will offer something brilliant and unexpected. The game at Columbia had that element of surprise. If at times during the present season the Kansas team has done less than was expected of it in competition, it more than even up the account Saturday by doing more than its most sanguine backers had believed possible. The effect, if any, of the result of the game upon the present disturbed relationships in the Big Six conference is now the topic of interested discussion. It is difficult to believe that the students and alumni of M. U., the institution apparently more active than any other in the effort to bar Kansas from farther part in Big Six affairs, will be content to allow Saturday's game to stand as the grand finale of nearly forty years of Missouri - Kansas competition. The Kansas team Saturday probably contributed more than a mite to the continence of relations between the University of Kansas and the other schools in whose company it logically belongs. (2011 update – rather than kick KU out of the conference, Mizzou kicks itself out.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh9PVFShUEE

0

Funhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

KU – MU football history. Largest KU victory over Mizzou, 32-0. Wonderfully wacky win in Columbia. Fun excerpt from the November 24, 1930 Lawrence Journal World. Headline: Sports Slants.
Here on Kansas plains we have been brought up to believe there is nothing more devastating than a cyclone but over Columbia way some thirty football gladiators would probably tell you that a twister has as much shocking power as a powder puff when compared with the Kansas Express. Saturday saw (Missouri coach) Henry strategy and Tiger football swept off the board by a great Kansas football machine and in the minds of 25,000 persons who saw that game there can be no doubt but that Coach Hargiss has given K. U. one of her greatest gridiron aggregations. If it was Kansas’ adios to the Big Six it was one that will long be remembered but if athletic directors have business heads we advise them to keep the only human steamroller in captivity within the conference fold.

0

jhwkfan162515 2 years, 4 months ago

Let's send those treacherous bushwhackers off to the Sure Everyone Cheats conference with an ass-whoopin' they'll never forget!

Oops, did I just cuss? Sorry if I offended you, Mister Rogers - ahem, I mean, Mr. Gill.

0

Funhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

KU – MU football history. Largest KU win over Missouri, 32-0 in Columbia. And, even more fun excerpts from the November 24, 1930 Lawrence Journal World. Headline: Notes of the Game. A crowd estimated at 25,000 jammed the Missouri bowl. In the third period the loyal Missouri rooters began leaving the stands, unable to witness more of the massacre. Chester Brewer, M. U. athletic director, was in the press box for much of the game and was a disgruntled Missouri athletic chief. (This was Missouri’s Homecoming game) In the special train were several of Elmer Schaake's relatives, and they were not disappointed, either.
Bausch, Schaake, Smith and Beach started the second half for Kansas and proved too much powerhouse for Missouri. Armstrong, Missouri center, calls the signals for the Tigers. "Because," a former Tiger athlete remarked, - "we haven't a back smart enough to do the job." After Hanson caught that pass and raced for a score Phog Allen and Mike Getto rivalled in seeing just how badly one can wad up a hat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Getto (Phog and fellow Jayhawker were mimicking the Missourians.) Fritz Meyn paged Prof. Tarr thru his megaphone and when an elderly Missouri rooter strolled by Fritz said, "Are you Dr. Tarr?" "No," the man replied, "Are you Dr. Brinkley?"

0

Funhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

KU – MU football history. Largest KU win over Missouri, 32-0. More fun from November 22, 1930. Excerpt from the November 24, 1930 Lawrence Journal World front page. Headline: Big Six Heads to Meet on Friday? May Decide Future. A special meeting of presidents and faculty representatives of Big Six conference schools will be held Friday, it was reported today in Kansas City. It is said the meeting will be held there. Chancellor E. H. Lindley of the University of Kansas had no comment when asked today concerning the meeting. It is expected that specific charges involving K. U. in the action which ostracized the Jayhawkers will be requested by the Kansas representatives. The Friday meeting will precede the regular conference session scheduled for December, may decide the future of Kansas in the Big Six. Faculty Representatives There. The Big Six presidents agreed to attend the meeting, it is said, provided the faculty men who recently instructed K. U. to clean house or leave the circuit to be present.
Investigation Follows Action. Kansas was ousted from the conference October 24 by faculty representatives in special meeting at Columbia. Since that time K. U. authorities have investigated conditions and have found that there was no basis for proselytizing or subsiding, and an effort has been made to keep the Big Six intact.

0

Funhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Fun KU – MU football history. Largest KU win over Missouri, 32-0. November 22, 1930. Excerpt from the November 24, 1930 Lawrence Journal World. Headline: A Great Grid Year for Jayhawks. Kansas Wins at Least a Tie. 32 to 0 win over Missouri. A victorious Kansas Jayhawker surveyed the world from on top Mt Oread today and contemplated the 1930 gridiron season, one of the most successful in the history of the school. By defeating their ancient rivals at Columbia Saturday 32 to 0 the proteges of Coach H. W. Hargiss clinched at least a tie for the Big Six conference title, ended the season with six wins and two losses and climaxed the year by handing the Tigers the worst drubbing either team has suffered in the 39 years of rivalry. Before some 25,000 football fans the Jayhawkers displayed a powerful attack to smash the Tigers in the final contest for the year. One thing that made the victory sweeter was that the Jayhawkers used the Tiger's own weapon, the forward pass, to accomplish the feat. Instead of taking the field fired with determination to halt the Mizzou overhead game, the Jayhawkers calmly beat the Bengals to it and countered with one of the nicest bits of pigskin tossing you ever saw.

0

bradynsdad 2 years, 4 months ago

Couldn't help but think the article originally meant something else when it said we have a void to fill, like maybe a new head coach.

0

Robert Brock 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm going to miss the police, the dogs, the teargas...

0

Steve Gantz 2 years, 4 months ago

I live in Baton Rouge and our paper the other day listed Missouri in their league power rankings with a little comment about their next game "shed no tears over the end of the KU-Mizzou rivalry" While I understand from a national perspective this game rarely has any significance, Tait's article proves how much it means to Jayhawk nation.

I know this is a football story, but I will miss the basketball rivalry a lot.

0

KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 4 months ago

Would do anything to have Leach as our head coach...with Mangino running the offense.

0

troutsee 2 years, 4 months ago

Wiothout the MU committment to Arrowhead, we can move another home game to Memorial Stadium, which should give us more of an advantage. I don't want to ever again play a game at arrowhead.

0

KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 4 months ago

What a terrie time to suck in football. Makes me sick that chances are against us to lose the final border war... And have Missouri take the all time lead. Sure hoping for a miracle.

0

Jordan Smith 2 years, 4 months ago

Missouri: supporting domestic terrorism since May 21, 1856.

Wouldn't mind another Kansas "miracle" today a la Reesing to Meier on 4th down. We've seen mizzery get stung by the miracles of others (5th down, kicked ball TD). Show us something today, Jayhawks. Play like this game will never be played again, because it probably won't. At least not while you wear the crimson and blue.

Rock chalk, Jayhawk. GO KU!

0

ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 4 months ago

"Two games you must win at Kansas. Kansas State! And you did that, you went down there and you kicked their ass. The next is the Boarder WAR! And that's what it is! It's a gawd damn WAR! Not any hoedown or showdown. It's a phuck'n WAR!"

RIP Coach

0

Jim Stauffer 2 years, 4 months ago

I firmly believe in about 5 years when the new coach has KU back on track, we will see this rivalry renewed. I do think it should be played on campus. I believe the season ticket holders should get this game on their package every other year.

When both teams are decent there is nothing better than this game. I will always remember as my favorite the game Tony Sands went for 396.

0

BringBackNike 2 years, 4 months ago

Still can't believe that Turner Gill didn't let Fam speak to the team last year. Especially knowing now that it would've been his final Mizzou speech. Turner Gill is an absolute joke! His record speaks for itself. And so does taking the names off of the jerseys, refusing to swear or allowing anyone to do so, taking away players cell phones, not letting them be with girls past 10pm....the list goes on and on. Who in the world would want to play for this guy? Not to mention the guy doesn't even coach! Watch every shot of him on tv today, he will just stand there and play with his microphone. Maybe give us the occasional "let's go" or "good job". This guy is out of his element.

Here's to upsetting Fizzou today and this being the final game of Turner Gill Era!

0

ccarp 2 years, 4 months ago

Not much needs to be said today. This is the game to leave it on the line. Play focused, hit your assignment, and be relentless.

0

KSchulz 2 years, 4 months ago

"forced to move forward without two of its most notable customs."

I understand Coach Fam is dead, but I thought Misery wants to still play this.

Call me an minority on this subject, but there's still only two games I circle on my calendar (KSU and MU). I see only one custom dying here (Coach Fam). With MU joining the other slavers, I think the civil war references write themselves.

Remove the game at Arrowhead and move it to back to campus where it belongs. . . Do you really think any other non-con opponent will generate this much buzz as against the slavers?

I'm not living in Lawrence or KC so I see mainly national news about this and it doesn't appear many are taking our administration's stance here guys.

0

Chris1955 2 years, 5 months ago

For some strange reason, after reading this piece, Winston Chruchill's famous WW II quote "This may not be the beginning of the end, however, it is the end of the beginning." popped into my head. This quote clearly makes no sense with regard to the long term history of the KU/MU football game.

I only hope that it might in some context predict the where the KU football program is heading.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.