Oklahoma City honors stars with streets


OKLAHOMA CITY ” I’m standing on the corner of Flaming Lips Alley and Mickey Mantle Drive if for no other reason than to say I’m standing on the corner of Flaming Lips Alley and Mickey Mantle Drive.

I … didn’t … realize (ahh-ahh-ahh) that the Flaming Lips were from Oklahoma City. (For those of you without iPods or FM radio, “Do You Realize??” “yes, with two question marks ” is the Lips’ big hit).

Turns out the band formed here in 1983, 19 years before the band released the album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. If nothing else, my time at the College World Series for softball has been educational.

The Mick is everywhere. The steakhouse that bears his name is phenomenal and there is a statue of him across the street at the Bricktown Ballpark. There is also a statue of Johnny Bench, who was born in Oklahoma City as well. And there is a Johnny Bench Drive. There are also plans for a Johnny Bench Museum in nearby Binger where Bench grew up.

And there is a Joe Carter Avenue. Carter also was born in Oklahoma City.

All of these street names made me again wonder why the city of Gainesville is so anal when it comes to naming streets after our many stars. We all know that the only way to get a street named after you on the University of Florida campus is to donate a ton of money (hence Gale Lemerand Drive).

But it seems the city has plenty of opportunities to honor the people who have made marks on our community.

For example, a Tom Petty Avenue would be a beautiful thing. How about Danny Wuerffel Blvd. or maybe a street named after Steve Spurrier. Long after he’s finished at UF, I can’t imagine anything better than a Tim Tebow roundabout.

Get with it Gainesville.

I’d definitely be in favor of a Pat Dooley Place. Of course, it would always be under construction.