One local sporting event I wished I hadn't missed was last week's Olympic swimming trials. The scheduling just didn't work out for us, but I did catch some of it on television, and I've got to admit it was much more compelling than I thought it would be. It sure sounds like it was a win-win for both USA Swimming and Omaha, since they seem to be anxious to do it all over again in 2012.
The swimming trials is sure to bring a renewed interest in competitive swimming in this area based on past Olympics. It should be even higher since many people experienced the excitement first-hand rather than on television. Not to mention the story of Grand Island's Scott Usher who unsuccessfully bid for a second trip to the Olympics last week. Usher originally accepted a scholarship offer to swim for Nebraska...then days later, Bill Byrne dismantled the men's swimming program after NCAA violations were discovered. So Usher enrolled at Wyoming instead. One wonders whether the renewed interest in swimming will renew pressure to bring back men's swimming in Lincoln, especially with the connections of Husker women's swimming coach Pablo Morales. Earlier this spring, Tom Osborne disavowed any plans to add sports, including men's swimming. But could this change his mind? First, Nebraska would need to find the funds not only for men's swimming, but also for another women's sport for Title IX purposes.
OMG! Cody Green committed! Seriously, it's good news to get a commitment from a "five star" recruit. But remember... perspective. At least this should silence the "Pelini can't recruit" blather for a few minutes.
KMTV-Channel 3 had some video last night that shows some initial designs for the new Chalco Ballpark for the Royals. I had two reactions: (1) repeatedly the question came up "whether Sarpy County could afford it" and (2) this site is nearly a mile and a half away from the nearest Interstate access point. Contrast that with the new downtown stadium... you have three Interstate access points available, and the furthest is just one mile away. (Yes, Kevin... I know the new stadium will be right next to the Interstate...but there's no interchange close by.) Then this morning, GrowOmaha's Trenton Magid told KFAB radio this morning that he thinks the Royals will either play downtown or in Wichita, Kansas. He also agrees that Sarpy County won't be able to pay for a new stadium.
The problem with this whole stupid "Royals to Chalco" situation is that it takes pressure off of both the Royals and MECA to make a deal downtown work, since there's this silly Chalco idea as the backup plan. Nevermind it's not very practical. But it gives both sides a reason to hold their ground, refuse to compromise, and hope that Sarpy County &/or LaVista somehow saves minor league baseball for the Omaha area.
I think ESPN's SportsCenter began it's long decline about the time that Keith Olberman joined Dan Patrick and somehow the sports highlight show began it's slow decline into entertainment. Although I initially thought the problem was Olberman, but over time, I've realized that I just can't stand Dan Patrick. I thought he was weak when he was on CNN, and somehow ESPN picked him to be their lead SportsCenter guy. Even his radio show was rather uncompelling. Now comes word that NBC is reuniting Olberman and Patrick on their Sunday Night football pregame show. Uggh. Give me Chris Berman and Tom Jackson on NFL PrimeTime anyday.