December 20, 2006

A Few Thoughts Before the Holiday

Since when does it rain at Christmas time? Damn that Al Gore and his wacky global warming theories. Anyhow, I'll probably be pretty thin with the updates up until the bowl games after the holiday just because...well...just because. It's bad enough if I'm too bored to write, but you're probably too bored to read it. So either way, it's probably best if we just spend some time apart. I hope you understand. Meanwhile, a couple of things before we hop in the car and head to grandma's for the holiday. (Again, look for the year-end special coming up during Bowl Week)

* I've heard pretty much zero discussion and outcry on the upcoming Cotton Bowl snoozer this New Year's Day. Seems like the way-to-fuckin-long layoff between regular season and bowl game has garnered more discussion on 'best team ever' and recruiting than it has on actual games. Not that I don't mind it...it's kind of refreshing, because nothing is easier for a professional Husker hater than proving just how far back in the rear-view mirror those good ol' days are for you people. But, even that gets boring...so I guess it's back to discussions like "how many yards would Johnny Rogers have with the 95 offensive line?" Oh well, suit yourself. Perhaps myopia will pick up now that volleyball myopia has died down.

* Or has volleyball myopia died down? Nice predictable-as-the-sun-rising article in the World Herald this morning, on the impossible task Sacramento has to top just how great of a job Omaha did in hosting the volleyball final four. I know this is beating a dead horse to death over and over and over again, but let the record show that you people need bloggers like me to remind you just how out-of-control Husker myopia really is. Step out of your overall-clad body for just a moment, and realize just how idiotic and unnecessary stories like this really are.

* The bowl season, to me, is the unofficial starting block for college basketball. I know, the season started a month ago, but things really start to get interesting starting about now. The big 12 is still a 3 and 1/2 team race, with Okie State, Kansas and Texas A&M all fighting it out for top dog in the conference. Although the conference is always a 2 or 3 team race throughout, I think the real intrigue this season lies in the middle.

Kansas State, Missouri and even Nebraska...all three with new coaches, have shown signs of breaking away from the mediocreness of the pack. KSU has Huggins and the best recruiting class in the nation coming in next season. One look at Mizzou last night against Illinois, and you can see that Mike Anderson is one hell of a coach...especially when he has really only one legit good player on his squad. And Nebraska? Well...you can't really do much worse than Barry Collier, so you may as well look for them to improve as well. Oklahoma, Baylor and Iowa State are wildcards as well. OU has a lot of tradition, but is thin on talent with a new coach. ISU held their own for about 30 or so minutes in Columbus last night as well. No matter how you look at it, the days of the Big 12 being in 8-10th range in conference RPI seem to be coming to an end. That is unless Kansas doesn't stop losing to the Oral Roberts' of the world. (Stupid beakers)

* My good friend Husker Mike made an outstanding point on his blog yesterday regarding Omaha and their pursuit of an Arena football league franchise. On many levels, this is a perfect fit. In a football myopic state such as this one, people will flock to NBC cameras like photographers to Britney's exposed crotch. The Qwest Center is as fine of a facility as you'll find for a city this size. Everything is there.

However, as the Racers, Royals, Flames, Knights and everybody in-between has shown us, it takes truckloads of hard work to make professional sports function in this town. Omaha always will be, until the Chinese come marching down Dodge Street, a college sports town. The Huskers will always be story A #1, and secondary college teams on hot streaks will forever be #2 through #5. What a new AFL owner would have to do, is make a game an event. Make the game the place to be. Make sure there are TV cameras anywhere within 100 miles. Advertise for years prior to the first game, on just how great Omaha football fans are. Shower them with praise. Acknowledge their excellence. Kiss their ass like there's no tomorrow.

The fact of the matter is, anybody who comes in here is going to have to know where they stand. Sure, a team like that would be the place to be seen for a while...but what happens a few years later when the team is 2-8 and playing San Antonio on a Sunday afternoon in May, when the rest of Husker nation is dreaming about the PING of a metal baseball bat?

Don't get me wrong...an AFL team could and likely would succeed in Omaha. But those who feel it is a natural slam-dunk need to think twice before making such claims. Absolutely nobody can go head to head with Steve Pederson and the Hick nation and win. Creighton basketball has made significant strides in recent years, but you can thank Dana Altman and a complete lack of anybody worth a shit on the Blue Jay schedule for that. A new team would need to be dynamic, creative and precise. And 17,000 "thanks Omaha, you're the best!" t-shirts wouldn't hurt either.

I hope I get the chance to see if I'm right.

PS - Did somebody mention the AkSarBen Knights are in town? Wow, I had no idea.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Demolition Man said...

AJ -

I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the fact that the "World's greatest fans" have yet to sell out their schoools allotment of tickets.

"Nebraska, which had sold 9,000 of its 12,500-ticket allotment as of two weeks ago, still had tickets Tuesday, sports information director Keith Mann said"

7:57 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Wow. hadn't heard that. Thanks for the tip. I will call my contacts at the athletic department and investigate.

(Yes..I have friends who work there and no, I'm not kidding)

9:04 AM  
Anonymous bhg said...

How well has any sport gone over in Omaha? Which is a shocker because many communities smaller than Omaha have more active teams. What is the common denominator throughout this whole saga. The people of Omaha of course, it's either that, or each person putting together a team is as retarded as the O Royals front office. (Maybe they've all been using the O Royals as a model.) (Maybe those italians that took over the town 80 years ago don't like pro sports.

Maybe it's because Omaha has to be the end all with all these projects. Maybe Omaha doesn't include the neighboring communities (Fremont, Bellevue, Council Bluffs) to devise a plan. Maybe they are unwilling to put together an organization like the Cardinals have (selling your team, not taking support for granted).

12:38 PM  

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