Today's World-Herald reports that MECA and various interests are still working on identifying an independent league baseball team to play at TD Ameritrade Park. Make no bones about it; independent league baseball is inferior to AAA baseball from the aspect of the game itself. But the success of minor league baseball has little to do with the game itself; fans go to be entertained. It's about the promotions, it's about the event. The Omaha Royals know this; they've done a great job in recent years to improve the promotion and event atmosphere at their games. But with the Royals leaving Omaha for southwestern Sarpy County has created an opening for a second team in town. 23% of Omahans said they'll attend fewer Royals games now that they've left town, and that's a market that a new team could exploit. An independent league team will lose to the Royals hands-down on the quality of play, and has a tall task ahead of them to compete with the Royals on a promotion basis, but if they can pull it off, the convenience of playing in a central location could make an independent league team viable. I know from my perspective that working downtown, I'm more likely to attend a game downtown than in Sarpy County. Likewise, I know that folks that live or work in Gretna or Papillion are more likely to attend a Royals game.
Two different takes on yesterday's Nebraska-Missouri game from the Missouri perspective. First, Dave Matter, the excellent sportswriter from the Columbia Daily Tribune, talked about how the Pelini brothers outcoached Gary Pinkel and Mizzou offensive coordinator David Yost. Matter compared it to a chess match, but from what I saw yesterday, Missouri's coaching staff was playing checkers. Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch went off even further on Pinkel and Yost. But all the complaining about the officiating is getting a little old. Did the officials miss a few calls? Yep. But calls were missed on both sides of the field. Yesterday's game wasn't affected by the officiating, unless you only selectively choose which missed calls should have been overturned. I wonder if a certain WHB talk-show host is going to go into this tomorrow?