February 6, 2016

Terence Crawford retains his boxing title in front of home town crowd

It had been 42 years since there was a world title fight in Omaha, when  Joe Frazier defended the heavyweight world championship against Omaha’s Ron Stander, winning by fifth-round knockout at the Civic Auditorium on May 25, 1972.  On Saturday night, Terence Crawford, fighting in his hometown of Omaha, for the first time as a professional knocked out Yuriorkis Gamboa in the ninth round of a thrilling fight to retain his lightweight world title at the CenturyLink Center in front of 10,943 fans.

Crawford knocked down the former unified featherweight titleholder and 2004 Cuban Olympic gold medalist four times.

“I told Gamboa he picked the wrong fighter and the wrong city, and I was right,” Crawford said. “I never felt any danger in the fight.”

Gamboa said, “There were just two warriors in the ring trying to get the victory, and he won.”

Crawford knows what its like to fight a guy in his hometown. He was in Omaha a little more than three months after he went to Glasgow, Scotland, and beat hometown hero Ricky Burns to win a 135-pound title on a unanimous decision.  Crawford wanted to make his first defense in his hometown.

According to CompuBox statistics, Crawford landed 146 of 348 punches (42 percent) and Gamboa connected on 82 of 345 (24 percent).


Pro football coming back to Omaha

They keep trying pro football in Omaha. Brian Woods, the founder of the Fall Experimental Football League is expected to announce today,  Omaha and Austin, TX, as the first two franchises in what will be a six or eight team league in what will be known as the FXFL. Omaha would play three Wednesday night games at TD Ameritrade this first season. The six-game FXFL schedule is expected to be released by July 1.

The team will not be called the Nighthawks, the team name used when the pro team played in Omaha for three seasons in the now defunct UFL. In the first year of the UFL, Omaha drew over 22,000 fans per game…with the league in financial trouble in 2012, it drew just 6,000 per game.

Omaha businesses ready to pony up money for Manning

The Omaha business community including ConAgra Foods, First National Bank of Omaha, Mutual of Omaha, Omaha Steaks and Union Pacific, have pledged to donate to Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s “Peyback Foundation” – a combined $500 from this collective of companies – every time the standout QB says “Omaha” during Sunday’s playoff game against the New England Patriots.

Last  Sunday during the AFC Divisional Manning shouted the word “Omaha” on at least 40 plays,  inspiring the Omaha business community to come up with their idea to help his charity.

“Omaha is a city filled with philanthropic MVPs. It’s no surprise our business leaders would take this ball and run with it. We’re pulling for a lot of Manning snaps on Sunday, a lot of ‘Omahas,’ and a lot of money for the kids helped by his foundation,” said David G. Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber.

Brown and Omaha Steaks leaders will be featured in a segment about Manning and the Omaha “shout-outs” on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19. The Broncos and the Patriots kick off three hours later on CBS.



“OMAHA, OMAHA!” What does it mean to Manning and the NFL? (VIDEO)

Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce president and CEO David Brown told ESPN.com that as he was watching the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers on Sunday afternoon, he wondered how his agency could capitalize on the opportunity that Manning’s audibles are creating for the city of Omaha. Brown said he wants to explore the possibility of hiring Manning to shoot a promotional ad for Omaha.

What Brown is talking about, is that several times during the AFC Divisional game, CBS microphones were able to pick up Manning shouting out “Omaha,” among other words, numbers and phrases before the ball would be snapped back to him.

Manning and his Broncos teammates are the only people who truly know what the word means inside their offense, but Omaha is used frequently with not only other NFL quarterbacks, but also defensive players.

A few months back, Fox Sports shot a studio segment with former players Brian Urlacher and Randy Moss. When asked by studio host Jay Glazer what the word meant to him in football terms, Urlacher responded, “opposite.” Urlacher explained in his time with the Chicago Bears, if they needed to switch from one coverage to another, he would should “Omaha” to his teammates.

Moss agreed, saying the quarterback will watch to see what the safeties do and how they align up. If the quarterback feels the play will work better going in the other direction, (whether it’s a run or pass), the quarterback will yell “Omaha” alerting his teammates to run the play differently.

Much of the word has to do with alliteration…Omaha/opposite.

One thing for sure…Google searches will continue to go up for Omaha if Manning and the Broncos beat New England and head to the Super Bowl.

Skip to 1:20 in the video to hear former players talk about Omaha.

Omaha to host volleyball championships in 2015

The NCAA announced that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA) will co-host the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.  The 2015 Championships are slated for Dec. 17-19. Omaha hosted the championship in 2006 and 2008 and the NCAA Division I Volleyball Regionals in 2005 and 2012.

Bidding for 82 of 89 NCAA championships began in July and 1,984 bid applications were ultimately submitted. Each sport committee, per division, selected the host sites it believed would provide the ultimate experience for the respective student-athletes, resulting in 523 total championship event sites awarded.

Nebraska is hosting one of four NCAA Division I Volleyball Regionals this weekend at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln.