Omaha Hosts College World Series, Olympics Swimming Trials, and More

June 26, 2012

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Omaha, the NEW Sports Mecca!

Before any of you accuse me of being a homer, and writing about the city to the east of my hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, let me set the record straight.

I am really not a fan of Omaha. Compared to Lincoln it has a HUGE amount of crime. Many people there have what I would call the quasi East Coast Attitude.

They are the biggest city, their news is the only important news, the rest of the state is…well…hicks so to speak.

Even the Omaha TV meteorologists do not make mention of any storms hitting the rest of Nebraska. But once the storms are close to their beloved Omaha then it is a Major weather event…even if the storms have left major hail, tornados and feet of rain and snow in their wake.

Now that we are past my dislike of the Republic of Omaha, let’s focus on the positives.

The College World Series

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 25:  Robert Refsnyder #2 of t...

Robert Refsnyder of 2012 champion Arizona.

Each year Omaha hosts two sporting events that are incredibly well received. The main crown jewel in the Sports Scepter is the College World Series. It has been an institution in the Big O for many many years. ESPN came aboard and blew the CWS to a whole new level. They even held so much power over almighty Omaha that a new baseball part was built right in the downtown area. This of course was to provide a bunch of extra income to the downtown area, and to also keep all of the drunk drivers off of the roads driving from Rosenblatt Stadium to the downtown area. Now, all of the inebriated people at the CWS just walk back to their hotel instead. (if you don’t believe me, check out the surrounding area next year during the CWS at about 11 PM on any game night)

The Cox Classic


2011 Cox Champion J.J. Killeen

The Nationwide Tour also hosts the Cox Classic in Omaha every year. This tournament is held at the Champions Club, and is viewed by most of the Nationwide tour players as the best event they have all year.

Volunteers turn out in droves to come and help make the Cox Classic a success. The prize money payout is one of the largest on the Nationwide Tour. But the real fun starts after the tournament is over each and every day. Once the golfers are off the greens, the parties start at a number of designated events at the golf course. These parties go late into the night and are known to be the favorites of the locals and the tournament players and staff alike.

I am sure in large part that the success of this tournament has led Omaha to host the 2013 United States Senior Open Championship. Omaha Country Club will be the site of that tournament and I am sure it will be attended by huge masses of people.

U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials

Michael phelps with house speaker Busch.....

He’s back!

The Olympic trials for the swimming events is being held as we speak at the Qwest Center in Omaha (conveniently located basically right next door to TD Ameritrade Park where the College World Series is now held). This is the second time for this event to be held in Omaha, and with crowds over week to be in excess of 100,000 one could argue that these events are better attended in Omaha than they are at the ACTUAL Olympic Games.

Other Events in Recent Years

Omaha has also been host to NCAA Basketball tournament games earlier this year , and the NCAA Volleyball Championships in the recent years. Omaha is centrally located in the United states so while it might not be close for many it is also not near as bad as travelling coast to coast to go to some of these events.

It has a host of Hotels, has the casino’s and dog races right across the river in Iowa, and let’s face it , Nebraska’s State Motto is “The Good Life” for a reason. The people in the Midwest are nice, sincere, and hardworking.

Now if we could only get the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha…wait…they are coming in 2013 as well.

Until Next Time…Stay Classy Ralston, Nebraska – SOUTHSIDE!!!!


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Air Show

August 30, 2010

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I had the opportunity to witness a USAF air show at Offutt Field in Omaha, Nebraska this weekend. It was an incredible experience for many reasons. Air Shows are first and foremost an exposition of what our tax dollars have purchased and why. The fact that it is also very entertaining is just a pleasant side effect.

The show is a two part program; the dynamic show of a limited number of aircraft in flight demonstrations and the static show of a much larger selection of aircraft on the tarmac for close up viewing. Mixed in with the military aircraft are some private shows that are fun for the kids and filler between the military activities. There was a nice little write-up in the Omaha World Herald.

I will admit that I have a fascination with aircraft, military or civilian, so this may read like a sales pitch. On the civilian side, there was the Geico speed aerial show, the wing walker on a biplane, and the Embry Riddle stunt plane along with a small helicopter that was flying when I entered the field. The military flights included the Nave F-18J super hornet demonstrator, Air Force F-22 Raptor demonstrator, the Air Force Thunderbirds (6 F-16 eagles) and a flight over by an Air Force B-2 Spirit Bomber.

I was impressed by the capabilities of the 20 year old aircraft (F-16 and F-18), but the F-22 just blew my socks off. It is so small, fast and nimble. I wanted to have a chance to talk with the pilots but that was restricted to the VIPs, and although I have a high opinion of myself, the Air Force and the Military Police at Offutt do not share that opinion. I had to watch from behind the barriers like all of the other common people.

The static display was much more hands on. There was a B-52 Stratofortress bomber with the bomb doors open so that you could look up inside. There was a C-17 Globemaster transport that you could climb around in (it can hold a couple of school busses. The other modern vehicles included a KC-10 tanker, C-130 transport, E-3 electronics surveillance, AH-64 Apache Attach Helicopter, H-1 Medical Helicopter, and A-10 Thunderbolt Attach Aircraft.

The historic aircraft had flown in the morning and were set up for static display by the time I got there. There were P-51 mustang fighters, a Japanese Zero, P-38 Lightnings, B-24 Hudson and B-25 Liberator Bombers, and several Navy aircraft I did not get to.

All in all, it was a good show. If you really had to have your car there, parking was provided, but there were busses every 15 minutes to several parking lots. There were several watering stations and the food and beverages were reasonably priced (about half what you would pay at a ball game). The organizers (I assume it was the USAF) were also efficient in their security. There were military police from every branch along with the local police. They only searched about every 5th car and they had enough metal detectors so that the entrance lines never slowed down.

What made this air show especially nice is that my teenage son accompanied me. Just the two of us, make spur of the moment decisions as to where to go and what to look at. In addition to the fine company and the excellent entertainment, it was also my birthday. I can write this up as a good day. If you ever have the chance to go to one of these shows, I would definitely recommend it. Even if you do not especially like air planes, you should take a chance to see where a large amount of tax dollars are being spent.