Sunday, July 3, 2005


Bedore: Change of scenery for Giddens, change of name for bar


Here's some sound Bedore Business Consultant's advice - free of charge - for the owner of Lawrence's Moon Bar: Change the name of your establishment.

I wouldn't think it would break the bank to remove the block letters "MOONBAR" and bright crescent moon from the front of the building, which forever will be known as the place J.R. Giddens got into the mess that ended his Kansas University basketball career after two seasons.

KU fans, who have no trouble remembering one-year blasts from the past like Pekka Markkanen and Rodney Hull, FOR SURE never will forget the fact Giddens' KU career was squashed - make that slashed - outside Moon Bar on May 19, 2005.

Making matters worse is that the place is located on Iowa Street, the route many fans take from the turnpike on their way to Allen Fieldhouse.

Heck, I'll even help in giving some possible names to the new Moon Bar.

How 'bout Village Inn Bar, in memory of the place that back in the day served the most delicious omelets in Lawrence history in exactly the same space?

Other names that would make everybody forget "Who stabbed J.R.?" and turn the Moon Bar into the No. 1 hotspot in town:

¢ Beat Mizzou Bar

¢ Rock Chalk Bar (or RokChak Bar if there are licensing concerns)

¢ Or the best one yet, Free Pitcher Bar

Seriously, folks, the renaming of the bar not only likely would increase business for the place, but also contribute to the "fresh start" both KU basketball and Giddens are hoping will come from Giddens' and coach Bill Self's decision to have the player leave the program.

Giddens, in the brief time I touched base with him Friday, seemed upbeat about beginning the process of looking for a new school, although unwilling to discuss details.

Self - in the 45 minutes I spent with him Friday as well as the 39 minutes he spent with gads of media members Thursday - was downright emphatic about how giddy he was about the future.

"We will be obviously one of the youngest teams in America next year, maybe as young as anybody. I think that's exciting," Self said.

"I will be happy when we can put this behind us. This goes with the territory, too. Gosh dang if you are in any business - even if business is going out the roof - you'll still have bad months. It's how I look at this.

"I know where we are headed, and I like that place. I think we'll get there."

He is jazzed about the addition of three McDonald's All-Americans in Julian Wright, Mario Chalmers and Micah Downs, guys who just might be in the starting lineup next season.

"We've got some freshmen who are pretty good. I think they are beyond their years in a lot of ways, not just on the court," Self said.

The coach - who admittedly has had "a crappy spring" after the loss to Bucknell and the Giddens fiasco - has managed to remain upbeat about everything regarding KU basketball, quickly mentioning 11 of his 17 players had 3.0-or-better grade-point averages last semester.

"Although there has been more than one hiccup, obviously with the Bucknell loss and J.R. situation, things have been pretty good for me since I've been here," Self said.

"We knew the hand we've been dealt, and I think we've been dealt a good hand."

He's fine with the fans who have been supportive. If there's been any grumbling, it's not been very loud.

He also holds no grudges against media members who have been writing and columnizing about the Giddens case almost daily the past six weeks and/or stammering about it on the talk-show circuit.

"I've learned to take the good and bad from the media since I've been coaching," Self said. "This has brought more attention than maybe I thought it would. I certainly understand why there's coverage.

"If it plays out to be true, then I think it's been more than fair. If it's true, we can't control what everybody writes. If it plays out not to be true, probably then I think it (coverage) has not been fair. The thing that's frustrating is I have not been able to respond, to say anything. I will not do that out of respect of the investigation and the district attorney's office."

With Giddens - likely the only KU athlete who possibly could face charges in the Moon Bar melee - leaving, it's possible the focus will be solely on basketball at KU again pretty soon.

"I don't think the reputation Kansas basketball has had over time will be totally ruined over a bar fight, although it was serious," Self said.

As far as the reputation of the bar : re-name it the Village Inn Bar - add omelets to the menu - and the only fights in the future will be fights over who gets to tear into one of those egg delights first.


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