Catching up on things I missed during a recruiting-induced coma last week:
Sarpy County is literally throwing the kitchen sink at trying to make SOMETHING happen in Chalco. The latest: horse racing. Of course, it could be an ingenious way to pay for it. Turn the entire ballpark into a large off-track betting parlor, then hold a single turf horse race in the outfield of the new ballpark. So far, that seems to be the most realistic way to fund this ballpark that's emerged so far. I sense that one Sarpy County board member is getting a little nervous that there's been no visible progress on an agreement to build a ballpark with the March 15th deadline just five weeks away.
Sarpy County had tried to bring the Omaha Lancers into the mix, but last week's announcement that they are leaving Council Bluffs to return to Omaha chilled that talk. Frankly, that's probably the most realistic option for Sarpy County. The Lancers deal to play in the Civic is just a one year deal, with options for two more years after that. Certainly gives Chalco and/or Gretna the opportunity to put something together. But frankly, the Civic is probably a better fit for the Lancers than heading even further away from the population base.
Speaking of hockey, it was yet another dismal weekend for the UNO Mavericks, culminating in another rout on home ice on Saturday night. The handwriting seems to be on the wall for Mike Kemp at this point, unless the UNO administration chooses to take back their expectations for UNO hockey. I have mixed views on this: I like Kemp, and always found him personable and a great leader and have the greatest respect for what he did to start the UNO hockey program. But I share the expectations of many UNO fans who wanted this program to do something more in recent years. Making the CCHA Championship game in year three was thrilling. Making the NCAA tournament in 2006 was great as well. But was that it? Is that all that UNO is capable of? I want to give Mike Kemp every opportunity to do it...but at a certain point, it seems UNO is going to have to shake the man's hand, thank him for all he's done, and find someone else who can take the program to the next level.
Maybe there's a hockey equivalent of Doc Sadler out there. After coming oh-so-close against Oklahoma, Kansas, and Oklahoma State, Doc's men finally got their pelt against Texas on Saturday. Even more impressive than the fact that they have a winning record in the Big XII is that they've been competitive in every game despite a huge size mismatch in the opponents favor. That speaks volumes for the type of basketball program Sadler is building in Lincoln.