Mixed Feelings - A Trip Not Taken
It seems as though milestone posts are the time for self-aggrandizing pontifications - but, that ain't my gig. I tend to focus more on the quality of what one has to say rather than the quantity - but, there is really no way to track that arbitrarily - so, we will continue to mark these milestones. Rather than discuss the value of the friendships I have made, or be thankful for the gift of this web site - which I try to focus on more than just on celebratory posts, I will use my 2,500th post to lament a trip not taken.
This weekend kicks off the 2009 College World Series
- which, as has been noted before, is my favorite sporting event of all-time
. I decided that my summer travel plans could not include Omaha this year about a month or so ago. It wasn't until last weekend - as I watched my beloved Tar Heels secure their fourth consecutive berth (something NO other ACC team has ever done!
) that I realized just how much I wanted to be "back home in Omaha" this weekend. I am going to miss a lot of my familiar haunts.
I will miss "The Greatest Show on Dirt!" (As an aside....the fact that the NCAA hasn't seen fit to license this for t-shirt sales may one of their biggest marketing blunders of all-time)
I will miss my (quasi-)annual trip to Johnny's Cafe
at the stock yards for one of the great steak dinners known to man.
I will get choked up the first time I see one of ESPN's camera crews show one of the first-timer teams (UVA or Southern Miss) gather around this statue - or rub it for good luck.
I will miss Omaha's fantastic burger scene.
I will miss seeing the eight flags of the competing universities flying high against the Nebraska sky (even though they don't lower the eliminated teams' flags any more).
I will absolutely miss the deliciousness of Ted and Wally's Ice Cream!
I will miss how a $9 bleacher ticket can get you this close to the action (at least until someone asks you to remove yourself from their seat!)
I will miss the Henry Doorly Zoo
I mean I am REALLY going to miss the zoo!
I am going to miss elimination games - like this one featuring two powerhouse teams last year - Miami and FSU.
I am going to miss taking wacky drives into rural Iowa to find tacky tourist photos!
I am going to miss just how close you can get to the future stars of professional baseball. That is the #2 overall pick in the most recent draft, Dustin Ackley, who was taken by Seattle, playing first base; the pitcher is the New York Yankees fourth-round pick, Adam Warren. And, if you want to see what a GOOD photographer can do with the same action sequence, check out my flickr page
for what happened during this pick-off attempt.
I am going to miss the way that the whole city of Omaha embraces the College World Series as "their" event - exemplified here by the homemade cookies found in a convenience store a couple of miles from the stadium, near the Old Market area.
As stated above, I am going to miss seeing my beloved Tar Heels play for the fourth consecutive year at Rosenblatt.
I am going to miss the mutant variations of mascots that sometimes show up in Omaha! Which is to say nothing of the seemingly perpetual twi-light that rests over Omaha for most of the night games (6 pm local start time).
I am going to miss the only-in-Omaha tradition of booing (or cheering) the ball girls when foul balls hit the ground after running up the backstop screen. It is a simple system - if the ball is caught, the crowd cheers; if the ball touches the ground, the crowd boos - no matter how "catchable" the ball was.
I am going to miss trying to "bump into" Warren Buffet. You'd think he'd be easier to find.
(Sorry, there is no photo available of me stalking Warren Buffet)
It's rickety, pieced-together, has no amenities of modern ballparks, etc., but I am still going to miss Omaha's Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.
Rosenblatt is on its last legs and is soon to be replaced by a modern ballpark elsewhere in town - surely with less character and built-in appeal.
I am going to miss calling my (pseudo-)adopted Dad from the stands on Father's Day. The first two times I went, that was a developing tradition. He would enjoy hearing about the stadium - and looking for us to show up on television. We never did. It would have been fun to take Dad to Omaha - but, unfortunately, that will never come to pass. Unfortunately, he passed away just a few weeks before the 2006 College World Series - and it was a different experience sitting there on Father's Day.
I can't believe that I don't have a picture of this, but I am going to miss the scene outside of Rosenblatt. The local paper handing out freebies (usually with a free Slim Jim, too!), Baseball America
handing out freebies of their current issue (which includes information on the draft!), one of the church groups handing out free Jesus water, Zesto's
, the merchandise tents, etc.
You get the idea.
We Jews have a saying that I am going to take the liberty to paraphrase....
NEXT YEAR....IN OMAHA!
post edited by The Travelin Man - 2014/06/14 14:40:49