Originally published March 20, 2009 at 02:47p.m., updated March 20, 2009 at 05:16p.m.

Commissioner: Proposal to rename Missouri Street ‘petty and childish’

Highberger says Don Fambrough should be honored in another way

Lawrence city commissioners will meet Tuesday to discuss changing Missouri Street to Don Fambrough Street.

Lawrence city commissioners will meet Tuesday to discuss changing Missouri Street to Don Fambrough Street.


Commissioners to vote on renaming Missouri Street

City commissioners on Tuesday will consider renaming Missouri Street from 10th to 11th streets.

There’s just something about Missouri that puts everybody on edge here.

City commissioners on Tuesday will take up a proposal to change the name of a portion of Missouri Street to Fambrough Drive, in honor of former Kansas University football coach and eternal Missouri hater Don Fambrough.

But the proposal has disgusted City Commissioner Boog Highberger as much as any that has come before him during his six years on the commission.

“The idea that we hate Missouri and we’re going to change the name of the street because of that, just seems wrong,” Highberger said. “The idea of changing the name of a street for a sports rivalry seems really petty and childish to me.”

But supporters of the change say Highberger has it wrong. Commissioner Sue Hack, who brought up the idea of the name change earlier this month said the gesture isn’t done out of hatred.

“This has a lot to do with honoring a humble man who has given a lot to this community,” Hack said. “If it were about the hatred of Missouri, I would have suggested not even having a Missouri Street in Lawrence at all.”

Originally, the proposal was to rename the street from Ninth to 11th streets. Now, the proposal is just to rename just the 1000 block, the one block closest to KU’s Memorial Stadium, the site where Fambrough served as head coach for eight seasons.

Hack said she had been open to renaming a different street near the stadium, but said Missouri Street made the most sense because it had fewer single-family homes that would be affected by the address change.

City staff have estimated about 90 living units, including apartments, would require an address change. Hack, though, said she thought the change could be manageable. She pointed to a change several years ago to rename a portion of 15th Street as Bob Billings Parkway, in honor of a late community leader and real estate developer.

Highberger, though, said he has not heard any support for the name change from residents who live along the street. He also has heard from people who have expressed concern about changing the historic fabric of the area by renaming the street. Highberger said it appears the street has been named Missouri since at least 1863, the same year that Missouri ruffian William Quantrill raided and burned Lawrence.

“If the survivors of the real Border War can name a street Missouri and live with it, we can probably live with it, too,” Highberger said.

Highberger, however, has received about 30 e-mails from former KU football players urging a change in the name.

Both Highberger and Hack will leave the commission in April. Neither chose to run for re-election. Highberger said he hopes to get the issue settled so the future commission won’t have to deal with it.

“I think it may be the worst idea I’ve heard since I’ve been on the commission,” Highberger said. “What’s happened is we have a good idea married to a bad idea. The good idea is doing something to honor Coach Fambrough. But the bad idea is changing the name of a street for this reason.”

Highberger said he hoped the university could come up with an appropriate way to honor Fambrough.

But Hack said she supported this idea because she believes Fambrough’s contributions have extended beyond KU’s borders and into the entire community.

If three out of the five city commissioners agree, the name of the street will be changed.


JayhawkPhil64 13 years, 8 months ago

If I had a name like Boog Highberger, I wouldn't be criticizing any kind of name change

Andy Hess 13 years, 8 months ago

someone should pay him a visit. help him "change his mind." pssh. if he wants childish, i'll give him childish! lol

hometownhawk 13 years, 8 months ago

Boog, you're making yourself look like an idiot on this issue.

jayhawkinATL 13 years, 8 months ago

Geez...get yourself a sense of humor, Boog!!!

Mark Anderson 13 years, 8 months ago

Highberger must be a K-State graduate. Just poll the residents affected - it there is support to change the street name, it would be a great way to honor Coach Fam!

blowhard 13 years, 8 months ago


Your low-rent observation regarding this progressive event is pathetic. Resign your taxpayer subsidized post and get a full time job in the real world. The time has arrived for all of our rational thinking citizens (taxpayers) to honor Coach Fambrough and remove that urban blight from the street sign fka: "Missouri Street"...


Voice of Reason

OCJHAWK 13 years, 8 months ago

I can't believe there aren't more posts on Mr Highberger's name. I don't want to put in writing the child like thoughts wanting to come out. He had to go to Columbia juco.

Pat Sullivan 13 years, 8 months ago

Hey Boog, when I want your opinion, I'll give it to you. You're supposd to be stupid son, don't abuse the privilege. All those in favor of removing Mizzery from the 50 United States and sending Boog (tee hee...sorry, can't say that name without laughing) with 'em raise your hands. It's unanimous. Get the hell out of Lawrence Boog.(tee hee...there I go again)

KU1979 13 years, 8 months ago

Maybe Dooley should pay him a visit. That would do it!

All kidding aside, I think he's looking at it wrong. It's to honor Fam, not because we hate Missouri (even though we do). I don't live in Lawrence so I don't have a say, other than I respect Fam a lot and hope this happens. Come on Lawrence, do this!

Carter Patterson 13 years, 8 months ago

Note to IS CHILDISH AND PETTY. So WHAT? Its also hilarious and its a PHENOMENAL way to praise our former Coach.

Scott Perlmutter 13 years, 8 months ago

I wish he was running for re-election so I could vote for someone to replace him. That would show him what not to do. He needs to move from Lawrence after his rant on this issue. Lawrence does not want him here longer!

KURocksChalk 13 years, 8 months ago

Bah, Humbug. Who said we could have a little fun around here? This dude must not get out much or when he does adds a little color to his life by asking for an umbrella in his drink. Skads! What a boob. Of course this is childish. That's what makes it so fun! Yet, Mr. Boob, it is harmless fun. Get off the high horse. It does not suit you. You look like a clown.

Rick Arnoldy 13 years, 8 months ago

These comments come from a former mayor who used his powers to declare International Dadaism Month and chose the dates by rolling dice and picking dates out of a hat.

"Mayor Boog Highberger on Tuesday proclaimed International Dadaism Month, his self-created event designed to celebrate the early 20th-century art movement that embraced nonsense, chance and randomness."

Bill Woodard 13 years, 8 months ago

Why not just name the road leading directly into the Memorial Stadium west parking lot "Don Fambrough Way?" That honors him in the correct geographic area (where he devoted so much of his life) and also negates any costs of changing the street name. I've known Coach Fambrough for a long time, and I agree he should be recognized, but let's do so in a truly thoughtful way.

jahawkdave 13 years, 8 months ago

Boog who gives a flip if it's petty, just change the name. It honors a great KU man and gets rid of a hideous street name right by the stadium at the same time. It makes total sense and makes for a good story at the same time.

tigerfann1 13 years, 8 months ago

I think the name change is pretty darn funny and worth doing. Honoring the coach in such a manner is funny and suits the rivalry in the spirit it should be suited - in jest. Come'on Boog - get a sense of humor.

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