Sweet-talking Omaha puts moves on Denver

MICHAEL KELLY


• The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce has sent another love-video to Denver — and this one is downright hot.

Two years ago, after Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning kept shouting "Omaha!" as he stood at the line of scrimmage, the chamber sent a couple of videos with scenes of Omaha. They said "Best of luck, Denver" from "Your neighbor, Omaha."

One was innocently signed XO XO, as in hugs and kisses.

With the Broncos and Manning again in the Super Bowl, the Omaha chamber's video message now is, shall we say, more direct, with a lot more innuendo:

"Denver, it's obvious you haven't forgotten about us. And, honestly, you made it hard to forget about you.

"We know that screaming our name helps, but you're not the only one.

"Sunday, let's Big Game and chill. We'll scream your name, too. And tell Peyton thanks — for the hookup.

"Forever your neighbor and No. 1 cheerleader, Omaha."

Whoa. To "chill" long has meant to "relax." But in today's slang, it means something far more specific, as in "Let's Netflix and chill," which means let's watch a movie and fool around.

So the video's "Let's Big Game and chill" on Super Bowl Sunday seems to invite Denver to think of Omaha a lot more — well, intimately.

Naah, that can't be it. Probably the Omaha chamber is innocently saying: Denver, you know we want you bad — to win. (Ha.)

David Brown, 58, the chamber's CEO, said North Sea Productions of Omaha and the chamber staff collaborated on the script. He said he wasn't aware of the modern slang until Friday afternoon, after the video was posted.

"For us old guys," he said with a chuckle, "'chill' means grabbing a beer with buddies and watching the game on TV."

Who knows? Some Omaha hearts may be palpitating at the thought of Peyton screaming our name.

Las Vegas is said to be taking "prop" or proposition bets on how many times Manning will shout "Omaha!" in the Super Bowl.

Singer-songwriter Karen Sokolof Javitch of Omaha is re-releasing her "Awesome Omaha" song in honor of Super Bowl 50.

"Being born and raised in Omaha," she said, "I say in my song that Omaha 'lives in my heart and my soul.' "

With catchy country music, a male voice sings, in part:

"I'm from an awesome place in Nebraska. (Backup singers: 'Omaha!') Don't know why I left so long ago.

"I'm going home where the Cornhuskers roam so I can get on my feet and cheer; with the guys, I'll have a beer."

Javitch has released 13 CDs, written four musicals and raised more than $350,000 for charity with her music. She credits Chuck Penington for musical help on "Awesome Omaha."

In the wake of the Iowa caucuses, members of the Omaha Business Men's Association were told that they could expect a visit at their weekly Thursday luncheon from either Donald Trump or his staffers.

It was a gag, as the 28 attending expected. Entering the meeting at Anthony's restaurant were two men wearing "Make America Great" ballcaps. One wore a wig to represent The Donald's comb-over hairstyle, and the other wore a T-shirt that read, "We Shall Over-Comb."

They vowed that Trump would "make Omaha great again."

Jim Fogarty and John Prescott, the impersonators, are veterans of past Omaha Press Club spoofs of public figures. At the luncheon, they sang about presidents, including Chester Arthur, who (I didn't realize) had practiced law for two years in Omaha.

Arthur had been vice president, taking office when President James Garfield was assassinated in 1881. On Thursday, to the tune of "Barney Google," the two jokesters sang: "As president, he's twenty-first; not the best, but not the worst. Chesster Arthur, had his roots in Omaha."

The OBMA doesn't date quite as far back as Chester Arthur's time. The group started in the 1930s as the Young Business Men's Association and remains one of the few clubs with no female members.

The 55-member Orchestra Omaha presents "Omaha's Musical Heritage," a concert at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Salem Baptist Church, 31st and Lake Streets.

Before the Super Bowl, attendees will also hear some superior teenage talent — Renee Santos and Robert Hwang, violins; and Christina Youn, piano.

Under the direction of conductor Kenneth Meints, the community orchestra will play Symphony No. 1 "Afro-American," composed in 1930 by William Grant Still, an oboist.

His symphony was one of the first — if not the first, Meints said — written by an African-American composer and performed by a major American orchestra. Still's symphony was inspired by the blues.

Dan Cerveny, secretary-treasurer of the Omaha Musicians' Association, said he appreciated my colleague Lauren Brown-Hulme's obituary on Jack Feierman.

Although Feierman hadn't lived in Omaha for more than 50 years and was a member of both the Los Angeles and New York locals of the American Federation of musicians, his death came 10 days short of making him a 70-year dues-paying member of the Omaha local.

"They don't make them like that anymore," Cerveny said. "But you might be surprised to know we still have a few 50 and 60-plus-year members here."

Contact the writer: 402-444-1132, michael.kelly@owh.com

'BIG GAME AND CHILL'

The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce has a sultry message for Denver. Watch the video at Omaha.com/kelly

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