The Kansas City Royals aren’t coming to Omaha this year. So we’ll have to settle for George Brett’s arms.
Omaha Storm Chasers President Martie Cordaro told me some of the club’s promotions for the 2013 season. They include a human cannon ball night on June 1 when, you guessed it, someone will be shot out of a cannon.
Not a lucky fan, mind you. Somebody who actually gets shot out of a cannon for a living.
But that can’t compare to the May 18 promotion: George Brett bobble arm game.
“This is the 30th anniversary of the Pine Tar game,” Cordaro said, referencing the Royals-Yankees game in 1983 in which a Brett homer was overruled because of excessive pine tar on his bat.
“We wanted to celebrate that in some way. So we’re having a George Brett bobble arm. Not a bobble head. The head won’t move. But the arms will. It will be in the pose that Brett was when he stormed out of the dugout.”
Classic. That’s the best bobble head, er, bobble arm, I’ve ever heard of.
>> The only thing that could top that: a Royals exhibition game here in Omaha.
This would take place in late March, the weekend before the season opener. Remember the old Royals vs. Royals exhibition games at Rosenblatt Stadium in May or July? The K.C. players hated playing here in the middle of the season. Understandably so.
A Royals vs. Chasers game before the regular season makes more sense. Cordaro said he and K.C. officials have discussed such a game or games. He said Royals officials are in favor of it.
Such a game would be played at Werner Park, home of the Storm Chasers. Of course, there’s a big, beautiful park downtown that could be available for, say, a big-league team owned by a TD Ameritrade connection. Like the Chicago Cubs.
MECA President Roger Dixon said Cubs officials have toured the stadium and like the idea, but tabled it. Meanwhile, Dixon said the Royals “own this territory” and would have to approve other clubs playing in Omaha.
How about a Royals vs. Cubs two-game series, one at each park?
>> Sure, Wichita State’s Final Four berth has to sting Creightonians. But the sting will go away about the time Marquette and St. John’s pull up to the CenturyLink Center next season.
It would sting a lot more if the Jays were in the Missouri Valley next season and had to look at all the Wichita State Final Four shirts.
The “which would you rather have” game is interesting. Final Four trumps conference title. But membership in Big East, with national TV games, trumps one Final Four. Of course, Wichita fans will say different. As they should.
Both WSU and CU won here. They both got their walk-off moment from the rivalry.
Maybe the Shox can raise their Final Four banner next year for the UMKC game.
>> UMKC in the Valley? Hello?
The Kansas City Star reported that the Valley is looking at UMKC, Illinois-Chicago or Valparaiso as the replacement for Creighton. I have not taken UNO seriously as a Valley add. Maybe I should.
What that list says is that Creighton is going to be awful hard to replace.
>> The knee-jerk reaction to a mid-major in the Final Four is that the coach has one foot out the door. I don’t see Gregg Marshall leaving. Not this year, anyway. Bad job market.
Marshall now has the best job in the Valley. You only leave the job in a conference for a similar job in another conference. Minnesota is not one of the top jobs in the Big Ten.
For reference, see Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens. Marshall can join that select group now. He can be picky. He may leave, maybe next year. But it will be for a great job. Otherwise, why not stay? It’s not like you can’t get rich, and get to the Final Four from Wichita.
>> Tubby Smith to Texas Tech? Why?
>> The NCAA tournament can’t be a jury on conference strength. The bracket is a series of matchups, good and bad, and NCAA games are decided by who shows up. That said, the Big Ten needed to have a team in the Final Four. It was the best league, the deepest league, all year. Michigan, the No. 5 seed in the league tourney, just validated that.
>> I received some emails from readers the last few weeks alerting me about a local boxer named Terence Crawford. Watch for this up-and-coming junior welterweight, they said.
Well, I missed Crawford’s big fight on HBO Saturday night, but reportedly Crawford looked terrific in defeating Breidis Prescott in a bout in Las Vegas. He opened a lot of eyes in the boxing world in his first 10-round bout. And wearing “Omaha” on his shorts, he left no doubt about his hometown.
Looks like Omaha has a new contender in the ring. I think we’ll be talking and writing more about Crawford in the future.
>> Love the idea of Jamal Turner with a big presence on Nebraska’s special teams. This unit needs a jolt. It needs to contribute. Turner can be a playmaker in a lot of roles. He can be a difference-maker as a return guy.
>> NBA mock draft update: nbadraft.net now has Doug McDermott at No. 20 in the first round going to Atlanta. USA Today has him going in the first pick of the second round to OKC. CBSsports.com has Doug going in the last pick of the first. In other words, not much change from a month ago. It’s going to depend on what the teams with the last several picks in the first round want.
>> My apologies for missing my Monday chat on Omaha.com. Apparently I brought something unwanted home from Philadelphia last week: a case of pneumonia.
I should be healthy — and hungry — by Tuesday, April 9, for my lunch series at the Omaha Press Club. Guest of honor will be Damon Benning, former Husker running back and co-host of 1620’s “Sharp and Benning” show. See you there at noon.
>> One more and I’m outta here: Bellevue University is starting an athletic Hall of Fame and it can only open it with one name. Athletic Director Jerry Mosser will be the one and only inductee at the event April 20 at BU. In a 35-year career, Mosser won more than 200 games as men’s basketball coach, oversaw building projects, constructed a new conference and added women’s sports to the BU landscape. We’re a better community because of men like Jerry Mosser. Congrats, sir.
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