Shatel: My hero at home, in a fight for her life - Omaha.com
Published Monday, April 8, 2013 at 10:22 pm / Updated at 3:58 pm
FIRST downs and second guesses
Shatel: My hero at home, in a fight for her life

We look for heroes up in the press box. Some days you get lucky, and there's a 7-year-old hero running down the field, looking for daylight.

And sometimes, you find heroes when you come home.

My hero isn't new to my life. She cooks and cleans and drives the taxi service to girl scouts and soccer games and occasionally tells me where to go. She's the boss, and not even the boss at The World-Herald would dispute that.

But last week the boss was the one who needed a ride, to Methodist Hospital, where she had a double mastectomy.

Breast cancer entered our lives recently, and got stubborn, so we took action. I always figured I would be the one who would need to have breasts reduced. Yes, I used that lame joke. Hey, the doctor laughed.

We've taken a positive, and spiritual, approach to this battle. Nobody has been more positive, or stronger, than my hero.

When there was a decision to be made, there was no question which path she wanted to take. When she researched it online, she thought the stories being told were too depressing. So she called up some old friends at KETV. Brandi Petersen and Channel 7 interviewed her and plan to do a story on her experience. She wants to show the world that it doesn't have to be scary.

You want to know what's really scary? She's home now and I'm in charge of the house.

By their nature, Nebraska women are tough. I may be living with the toughest. She's sleeping in the other room, and I sneaked away to write this, because I wanted to tell you about my hero, my inspiration, my beautiful and tough wife, Jennifer.

HOFFMAN STARS AT SPRING GAME
Click to read more about 7-year-old cancer patient Jack Hoffman's star turn at the Husker spring game.

>> Bo Pelini did Nebraska proud on Saturday. It doesn't matter whose idea it was to put Jack Hoffman in the backfield. It was done because this is the culture Pelini has created at Nebraska. For me, that was the greatest “Nebraska Way” moment or play I've ever seen. It defined how Nebraskans want their program to be and also what they aspire to be.

Pelini won a lot of admiration nationally. Here at home, too. How can anyone say Pelini isn't a Nebraska coach, or doesn't represent the program? You can't. The coach will be back under the heat lamp next fall. But what happened Saturday certainly puts 70-31 into perspective, doesn't it?

>> Look, I'm not the smartest guy in the press box. But I've never heard of a defense that had to study the playbook over the summer in order to get better. The best defenses are put in a cage over the offseason and fed raw meat.

The schedule is softer next season for NU, but the state of the defense puts a different spin on that. Certainly, the UCLA and Northwestern games look more interesting.

>> It finally feels like baseball season. Huskers vs. Jays tonight, Bob Gibson and friends on Wednesday and Thursday, and the Storm Chasers opener on Friday. So of course there's rain in the forecast.

>> It's painful to imagine, but it's absolutely time — past time — to modernize Wrigley Field. The key is to keep the neighborhood and surrounding atmosphere. That's what makes the Wrigley experience. At some point, old ballparks just get older, not better.

Tom Ricketts has some interesting decisions to make about the future of the Chicago icon, but there's nobody more suited to make those decisions.

>> Reportedly, the University of Illinois-Chicago is the frontrunner to replace Creighton in the Missouri Valley. Chicago market? Check. But it will be hard for the Valley to make a ripple in that market. Better ask Gregg Marshall for his opinion. Wichita State looks like the boss of the Valley for the foreseeable future.

>> A lot of people are asking if Grant Gibbs will try and petition the NCAA for an extra year. Gibbs better ask his body first if it's OK.

>> The list of the top five contenders for the Masters this week are all named Tiger Woods. If the great one has the putter going, then there should be a pool to see who finishes second, and have a payoff for that. My pick to finish second this week is Justin Rose.

>> There's a movement back east to have the new Big East hire Danny Gavitt as its first commissioner. Gavitt is the son of the founder of the Big East, the late, great Dave Gavitt, and runs the Final Four for the NCAA. If Danny is as good at consensus-building and marketing as his old man, he would be an inspired pick.

>> If this is how Alex Gordon is going to hit, and the Royals are going to win more than they lose, Interstate 29 is going to be a very busy stretch of highway this summer. This will be Royals country again.

>> One more and I'm outta here: Please join me for lunch at noon Tuesday at the Omaha Press Club, where my guest Damon Benning will break down, among other things, Jack Hoffman's 69-yard touchdown run.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1025, tom.shatel@owh.com; twitter.com/tomshatelOWH

Contact the writer: Tom Shatel

tom.shatel@owh.com    |   402-444-1025    |  

Tom Shatel is a sports columnist who covers the city, regional and state scene.

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