The Lincoln Journal-Star reports that ESPN's Ivan Maisel rates the 1997 Huskers the "second most overrated national champions" in his upcoming book, "The Maisel Report". I guess he's entitled to his opinion; opinions are like rear ends...everybody's got one. Not sure how much credibility I'd give to a guy who thought that Matt Davison (you know, "Nice Catch, Matt") would have won three Heisman trophies if he'd have switched to quarterback.
Wait a minute... Three Heismans? I've heard that one before... Does the name "Ron Powlus" mean anything to you, Ivan? Or should I call you Beano instead?
Maisel points out two reasons why 1997 Nebraska was undeserving of a title. The Davison "Miracle at Missouri" catch off of Shevin Wiggins' foot, and Tom Osborne announcing his retirement before the Orange Bowl. And to be fair, Osborne's announcement probably convinced a few coaches to switch their vote from Michigan to Nebraska...probably enough to change the outcome of the coaches poll. But if you're going to talk about the Missouri game, you need to be fair and mention Michigan's game against Northwestern as well as the missing final seconds of the Rose Bowl game. Heck...even Brian Griese's dad and Keith Jackson were surprised that the officials walked off the field after the Rose Bowl clock operator let the final seconds run off after Ryan Leaf spiked the ball.
(Fast forward to about 4:30, when Griese exclaims "I think it's over, Keith! The referees are leaving the field!", as he suddenly realizes that his son has just finished his career with an undefeated season.)
If anything, I think you could make a better case for 1997 Michigan to be undeserving... but I doubt that Beano Maisel is going to make that claim in his book.
The World-Herald reported last week that Sarpy County is now actively pursuing the Omaha Royals. Why would Sarpy County pursue the Royals? Hard to say. I still see almost no advantage for a Sarpy County stadium by Cabelas. The economics of the CWS make a lot of sense for the investment by the city, though it took a lot of work to make that financing plan realistic. (And even then, people scoffed at it.) What are the economic benefits to Sarpy County for a new stadium? You won't be able to charge for parking; people will just park at Cabelas. Extra development? That area is already in a growth spurt with Cabelas, hotels, PayPal, etc.
Probably the funniest line in the whole story was the idea that a new stadium could be built for $25 to $30 million. Haymarket Park was built 8 years ago for $30 million, and is about half the size that the Royals would need. (4500 seats vs. 9000 that a AAA team would need.) Sarpy and the Royals probably should plan to spend at least double that amount... maybe more.
Is this serious? Maybe. But more likely, this is just another political stunt and negotiating tactic in the continuing soap opera of Omaha's stadium debate.