SIGNS OF GOOD TIMES HIGHLIGHT BANNER DAYS AT ALLEN FIELDHOUSE

From Lawrence Journal World
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 1992
By Joe Gose
J-W Staff Writer


 

 

The Creation of the Banner

On Feb. 22, 1984 the big, bad Oklahoma Sooners held a net-cutting party in Allen Fieldhouse after beating the Kansas Jayhawks 92-82 in overtime.

Post-game activities included a shoving match between the crowd and Oklahoma players as they trotted to their locker room after the victory, which ensured the Sooners of at least a tie for the Big Eight Conference title.

The win also set the stage for a heated rematch between the rivals the next year in Allen Fieldhouse.

Floyd Temple, assistant athletic director for operations and former KU baseball coach, remembers the 1985 game as the one he's been most involved with - that is, in a policing capacity.

"I think we confiscated eight to 10 signs that game," he said. "That was probably the most banners we've ever confiscated. Students got pretty pointed in their comments."

STUDENT SIGNS at basketball games are nothing new. But the number of signs students haul into the fieldhouse increase along with the Jayhawks' success, games against rivals and national exposure on television, Temple said. As a result, ticket-takers ask to see all signs before they allow students to display them. But when ticket-takers encounter a questionable sign they call the enforcer - Temple.

Temple applies a few simple rules to the signs. He confiscates banners if they contain obscenity or if they attack the personal life of a visiting player or coach.

"If I decide a banner is borderline, the I cut them out," Temple said. "They're not the type of thing we want shown to the rest of the fans in the fieldhouse or on national television. Students will argue with me sometimes, but they understand in the long run."

Temple doesn't always take the bad-cop role. He usually confiscates only about two or three signs a season, he said, and he always returns the signs to the students after the game. In fact, Temple should take some credit for the "Beware of the Phog" sign that hangs in the northern end of the fieldhouse. About four years ago, a group of students showed the banner to Temple and he gave them permission to hang it.

TODD GILMORE, a 1988 graduate in architecture, came up with the banner's concept.

"The idea came from several arenas across the country," said Gilmore, who now works in St. Louis. "New Mexico has 'The Pit' and Clemson has 'Death Valley.' I thought Allen Fieldhouse should have some kind of name like that. I took it off John Carpenter's movie 'The Fog' and the saying in the movie, 'Beware of the fog.'"

Gilmore and the other creators initially hung the banner from the catwalk of Allen Fieldhouse before the 1988 KU-Duke game and then took it home after the game. They didn't hang the banner again until the Jayhawks played Oklahoma State University - Danny Manning's last game at the fieldhouse. Gilmore took the banner home thinking it was his for the rest of his life. It wasn't until just before graduation that he learned otherwise.

"THE STORY I heard was that Phog Allen's granddaughter saw it and wanted it put up permanently," Gilmore said. "So Floyd asked a friend of mine who asked me and I said, 'Yeah, Definitely.'"

"Now it's kind of neat when I see it on TV. It kind of makes me proud."

Temple confirms the story, and after almost 17 years of watching out for embarrassing signs, he won't admit to having a favorite.

"I only paid attention to the ones that we wouldn't let in," he said with a slight grin. "There were a few that were pretty clever. But while some people would find them funny, others wouldn't."

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