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Saying goodbye to Rosenblatt

June 30, 2010 at 4:14pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

The College World Series is now over and South Carolina won their first baseball championship in school history (and only their 2nd NCAA title in school history, the other being womens outdoor track).  But the over riding story throughout the week was the final CWS at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. Looking back on the games, this was a very boring series in term of the action on the field. Weather delayed and put a damper on a good portion of the middle of the tournament. But South Carolina and UCLA provided Rosenblatt with a proper send off.

But my question is, we all know that this is Omaha’s event. But how is this event viewed in Lincoln?  Do people get as wrapped up in Lincoln as they do in Omaha? Or is it just another event?

Where in Lincoln is this?

June 28, 2010 at 1:29pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog


EDIT: Unsolved.



June 26, 2010 at 11:44pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den


Team USA, that is, courtesy of Ghana. This should become known as the “Ghana Curse” since it’s the second time now in recent memory that the Ghanaian team has sent us out of the World Cup. Team USA’s run this year can only be described as both frenzied and wildly manic, as illustrated by their play today. Still, not many people expected the team to get past this stage, so in that sense we can chalk this one up for another great performance overall for the USA, which consistently seems to do “pretty good” in the World Cup. Of course, “pretty good” isn’t enough, but it has still been a great experience for USA fans.

I am really looking forward to the Germany-England match tomorrow morning. Needless to say, it’s always a huge event anytime these two hated rivals play one another.  I am supporting Germany, and believe they will easily dismantle England. There is no question that Germany has great team play, great attitudes, and a powerful attack in Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose, and their new star Mesut Ozil. Miroslav Klose has scored more goals in the past few World Cups than England has as an entire team. What does England have? An overrated domestic striker who chokes on the international level, and a very dubious goalkeeping position.

3-1 Germany over England. I can already hear the England fans groaning in misery.

Out in Ohio

June 25, 2010 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

If all has gone well, by the time you read this I will be in or near Dayton, Ohio after a long night of driving. As I write this (on Thursday morning) I shudder to think how much caffeine I will have consumed by now (on Friday morning). I’m headed to Dayton for the 2010 Midwest Regional Youth Soccer Championships. I will be one of about 15 referees representing Nebraska at the tournament. Matches begin on Saturday; semis are Tuesday and finals are on Wednesday.

I’ll try to post a bit while I’m gone, but no promises. I’ll probably have to post from my phone so don’t expect any lengthy dissertations. You can check in on me via Twitter if you like your updates in 140 character increments.

See you next week!

Lincoln is Just Lincoln

June 24, 2010 at 1:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

While reading about the Omaha metro’s growth last year I began thinking about how Lincoln hasn’t really developed any suburbs the way Omaha has. Plenty of cities Lincoln’s size—or even smaller—have suburbs around the edge. Lincoln? Well, we have Waverly, but it’d be a stretch to call it a suburb. Same with Hickman and Emerald and Bennet and the other small towns in the area. Whatever suburbs Lincoln had were absorbed years ago. Havelock, Bethany, College View, University Place, West Lincoln ... they were all brought into the fold decades ago.

It kind of makes you wonder what sort of place Lincoln would be if those suburbs had retained their own identities and grown up apart from Lincoln, rather than as a part of Lincoln.


June 24, 2010 at 4:39am By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Wednesday will go down as one of the biggest sports days we have seen in quite some time.

In what some people are calling a defining day in US Soccer history, the United States defeated Algeria 1-0 to move onto the Round of 16 in the World Cup. The US, before the game, knew that a win and they were in. A tie and they needed some help in the England/Slovakia match. When England went up 1-0 in their match, and the US still tied at 0-0 with Algeria it looked as if the United States would be sent home neither winning or losing. Time and time again the US attacked and were turned away by either the woodwork, the goalkeeper or just plain missing the net. With only minutes to spare in the match, Landon Donovan, the anointed poster boy of US soccer, cemented his legacy as one of the greatest US players ever as he kicked in a rebound to put the US ahead 1-0 to win the match.

It will be rare to see a tennis write up in this blog (dare I say the last) but 6/23/2010 did not see an ordinary tennis match. In fact, this tennis match was so great it is going to take at least 3 days from beginning to end.  John Isner and Nicolas Mahut are playing in the longest tennis match in recorded history. No, its not for charity, no they’re not trying to break a world record…they just can’t finish the damn thing.  On Tuesday Isner and Mahut played, what can only be described as, a good 4 sets of tennis that nobody cared about and was postponed until Wednesday because of rain. It was their 5th set, on Wednesday which made headlines around the world. Currently the score sits at 59-59. That’s right. 59 games to 59 games. The two men played 118 games in one day. The 5th set has spanned over 7 hours, which by itself breaks the longest tennis match ever played by 3 1/2 hours. Add on the 3 hours of Tuesday night play and the two have played 10 hours of tennis and have yet to decide on a winner.

The fun may have stopped for the rest of the country but the College World Series provided a night cap for Nebraskans in this amazing sports day. Adopted fan favorite TCU was down 7-3 going into the top of the 8th inning against Florida State, both fighting to stay in the College World Series. Two runs started the rally for the Horned Frogs but a mammoth grand slam that had to have traveled 450 feet over the center field fence, put TCU ahead 9-7. Another 2 run home run in the inning gave the Horned Frogs 8 runs in the 8th inning that gave them the 11-7 winning score. TCU moves on to face UCLA in the bracket championship. TCU must win twice to go to the national championship series, while UCLA needs only one win.  In the other bracket, Oklahoma and South Carolina will play Thursday for the right to play Clemson in the other bracket championship.

As a new day dawns, its good to look back at one heck of a sporting day.

No Surprises

June 23, 2010 at 2:03pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Some folks seem a little surprised that Mayor Beutler is pledging not to raise property taxes for this coming budget year. After all, after several straight years of deficits, declining sales taxes, and the double whammy of a massive snow season and then a war against potholes, increasing the city’s revenue makes sense.

Yet after the arena vote, raising property taxes this year would be political suicide. Expect another round of here-and-there user fee increases, and programmatic changes or reductions in hours or personnel in order to make the budgetary ends meet.

The property tax nuclear trigger won’t be pulled until at least after the Mayoral election next year, if not 2012. 

The Green Eggs and Ham Effect

June 23, 2010 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I’ve been trying all sorts of new foods lately. As a consequence, I’ve had several green eggs and ham moments. You know, that moment when you realize that after years of resisting a food, you realize you actually like it. It can be a jarring experience. For example right now I’m sitting here eating pineapple. I hate pineapple. Or rather, I hated pineapple until about two weeks ago. That was when I spontaneously popped a chunk of pineapple into my mouth and realized, “Hey, that’s not half bad!”. The same thing happened earlier this spring with guacamole and avocados. And tofu.

Believe it or not, I had a green eggs and ham moment with what would become one of my favorite restaurants. That’s right, years ago I refused to try Oso Burrito. I don’t know why. Something about it just seemed weird to me I guess. Then one day a friend and I went there for lunch. I was hooked. All these years later I have eaten literally hundreds of burritos at Oso. Thank goodness for trying new things.

What are some of your favorite green eggs and ham experiences?

The New School Days

June 23, 2010 at 1:50pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Aaaaaand it’s finally official.

The School Board took a while to get around to it, but they finally approved a calendar for 2011-2012. That’s news because it’s the first school calendar—or at least the first in many years—that finishes first semester before Christmas and second semester before Memorial Day. Unfortunately it also begins on August 16. Early, yes, but not too horrible.

I’m not sure why I’m so worried about LPS’s calendar. We’re planning to home school so our own calendar will differ. I suppose it’s because I’ve been after this kind of calendar ever since I was in school. A late victory is still a victory.

Those Flooded Roads

June 22, 2010 at 1:05pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Speaking of rain and floods, it seems so odd to me that some roads—think North 48th Street as it passes under the railroad tracks at Cornhusker Highway—were practically designed to flood. It seems like such a quaint, even backwards, situation. I can only imagine how different those roads would look if planners and engineers were able to start from scratch. For now we just get to look at those spots and think, “Oh, how cute! It’s like it’s still 1955!”

What Could Have Been

June 22, 2010 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Over the years the Lincoln area has seen many flood control and flood prevention projects. Trouble is, since the floods many of the projects are designed to protect against are so rare, it’s often difficult for the public to know if the projects “worked” and if they were worth the cost. Lincoln hasn’t seen many major flooding events in recent years. How does Joe Public know whether to credit Mother Nature or that $2 million project upstream that was put in place back in 1992? Generally, he doesn’t.

Lincoln has received something like 300-400% of its “average” rainfall for the month of June (so far). That’s a fair amount of water and it’s legitimate to wonder just how beneficial projects along Dead Man’s Run or Beal Slough or whatever have been for basements around the city. It would be nifty if we could occasionally see analyses of “what could have been”. It would help the public understand what we’re paying for. Not that dwelling on the past is necessarily the best use of our resources; if the choice is describing what didn’t happen versus working to prevent what could still happen in the future, I’ll choose the latter. Still, curious cats like me wouldn’t mind the occasional computer simulation.

How many of you know that your situation is improved thanks to completed flood control projects? Do any of you still face regular water problems that could be addressed by the City?

Where in Lincoln is this?

June 21, 2010 at 2:29pm By: Mr. T Posted in The Lincolnite Blog


EDIT: Arghh!


Were Your Stones Bigger Than Mine?

June 21, 2010 at 1:10pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

We didn’t see a lot of hail at 625 Elm Street last night, and the hailstones we did see were pea-sized. Maaaaaybe dime-sized. But I’ve seen reports that some places around town saw hail in the golfball and baseball range. Did any of you see hailstones that large? Do you have any photos?

As for the rain, I hope all your basements stayed dry. Ours did, or at least has so far. Knock on wood.

Happy first day of summer!

World Cup 2010 Commercials

June 20, 2010 at 10:04pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den


Some times you just have to sit back and enjoy it.

There have been some pretty awesome pre-tournament commercials this year, like ESPN’s ubiquitous main theme teaser, its #10 commercial, and Telkom’s commercial.

As we enter the final week of group play, we’ve already been inundated by that Budweiser penalty kick commercial, and those really strange “Lord of the Ring”-style Adidas series of ads with Zinadine Zidane (full version here).

Clearly, Nike’s Write The Future ad is the king of this tournament’s commercials (so much better than the Adidas’ Star Wars one despite the cool cameos and concept). Not only is Write The Future the best commercial of the tournament, it might be the best sports commercial ever. The Nike ad featuring some of Didier Drogba’s philanthropy and work against HIV/AIDS is also an excellent one. There are also some memorable shorter spin-offs from Write The Future like the brief clip with Roger Federer on his cameo,  and another rather prophetic short about Rooney messing up.

Speaking of England, a month ago England supporters were boasting that their team would win the World Cup. Now they are praying to survive group play. But there was a really nice EA ad for FIFA10 featuring Rooney (I consider it World Cup related), and another South African commercial poking fun at England’s rivalry with Germany. 

Nike also has a few commercials of the Mighty Orange for the Dutch market which are cool, like this one and this one.

Pepsi has some feel-good commercials featuring Henry, Drogba, Lampard, Kaka, and Messi, like their main ad, and this spin-off.

Sticking with the Africa theme, Puma has a really cool “Journey of Football” short celebrating African teams and fans, another focusing on Ghana’s Black Stars, and a short film called “Of the Same Earth” with Samuel Eto.

Of course, one of the reasons we like soccer is because it DOESN’T have television advertising until half time. But all in all, this has been a pretty good World Cup for commercials.

World Cup Heartbreak?

June 19, 2010 at 12:47am By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den


What a strange and exciting first week World Cup 2010 has been. Few people realistically expected Team USA to do well this year. But contrary to popular predictions, England’s performance has been remarkably poor, FAR worse than ours. You have to be sorry for veteran English footballers like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard who are excellent players but are cursed with playing for a national team that always seems to do so badly when it counts. And let’s set the record straight about Wayne Rooney: what a dismal disappointment he has been for England.  After our tie with Slovenia today, one could only have prayed for an Algerian win over England. Although that didn’t happen, the next best thing did with an Algeria/England 0-0 draw. What a disaster England has been so far, as I predicted. This means that USA is now ranked 2nd in group after Slovenia based on goals. It’s very likely we could get out of group into the knock-out stage but we have to beat Algeria next, or England has to lose against Slovenia if we draw with the Algerians. But make no mistake about it: we could lose against Algeria easily.

There have been some amazing upsets this week, including Spain’s loss and this morning’s upset in the Germany/Serbia game. Personally, I have been supporting Germany, France, and USA. This week’s play has thus been emotionally difficult for me because all three of these teams have fared significant challenges. After an awesome performance against Australia by Germany, I was stoked this morning to watch Germany’s insane scoring robots Lukas Podalski and Miroslav Klose.  I am a big fan of both these footballers, especially Podalski. What a boot today against Serbia and a card-crazy referee. Although Mr. Wilson concurred that the second yellow against Klose was clearly a trip, one has to ask to what extent the game becomes dominated not by the players but by the referee after 8 yellow cards are drawn.

Germany’s group is wide open and tomorrow Ghana plays against Australia. This will be an interesting game to catch seeing as how we’ll end up playing SOMEONE in group D if we get out of group.  Every game counts, and in that sense this tournament has been awesome so far. I’m just disappointed that the teams I’m supporting have had such difficulties this first week.

In anycase, if anyone is looking for some excellent World Cup-related podcasts, check out the Worldview interview with Simon Kuper, author of Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport. This was a really interesting interview breaking down the relationship between national economic conditions, fan and athletic culture, and performance in football. Really good stuff.

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