Sports Legends, Dead Leaders, and Street Names

American cities love to name their infrastructure after their dead politicians. Just look at New York city for example: JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, the FDR, the George Washington Bridge, and the recently renamed RFK bridge (I will still always call it the Triboro though). However, the city of Green Bay Wisconsin does things a bit differently. In Green Bay if you coach the Packers to a Super Bowl victory, you’re getting a street named after you. The legendary Vince Lombardi has been immortalized in Green Bay’s municipal infrastructure for over 40 years. When Mike Holmgren’s Packers won Super Bowl XXXI in 1997 he had a street named after him later that year. So it stands to reason that after current Packers coach Mike McCarthy brought home the Lombardi Trophy in 2011, residents would be lining up to have their streets renamed.

Well not so fast. Residents have been resisting having a street named after McCarthy even though they love what he’s done for their Packers. When the name of your street changes, you have to contact everyone that uses your address and notify them of the change. Some people understandably don’t want to take the time to do that. There’s also the issue of Mike McCarthy sharing the same last name of a rather infamous dead Wisconsin politician. Some people think that honoring their current coach with a street name can be misinterpreted as honoring former Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy who was rather famous for being an overzealous communist-hunter in the 1950s. So Mike McCarthy’s street remains in limbo for this season amid the controversy but one thing remains certain though. If Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers win a second Super Bowl this season, street names are definitely going to get changed although one of the streets may be named “Mike McCarthy St.”

Time to show McCarthy some love.

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