Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 11.1: Omaha Storm Chasers, Omaha, NE. In Which the Storms Are Chased, and the Fat Lady Sings.

Like the scrappy journeymen we are, we made up for yesterday by taking in two games in different Nebraska cities today. At least I think it was two different cities. I dunno, Nebraska pretty much looks the exact same for 400 miles. What follows is an account of the first, and a later post will recap our night in Lincoln.

There's not a ton to talk about aside from the game, as we pretty much woke up and jetted off to Omaha for a 1205p start. But in case of any of you were wondering why the game didn't happen yesterday, this would be why:

Tornado watch.
Baseball watch.

Oh, and for any of you wondering, don't worry. The levels of radiation from that flooded nuclear plant north of Omaha are only enough to give us superpowers, not cancer.

Anyway, to the game!


1.) Deeelicious craft beer stand, including a (sort of?) local brewery called Tallgrass. More importantly, this was one of the first stadiums we came across that included a price differential for better beer. Anheuser-Busch crap was cheaper, and they actually charged a (small) premium for the good stuff. Normally I don't respect higher prices, but I'm sick and tired of seeing stadiums put the two types of beers on the same plane - and even sicker of seeing people shell out the exact same money for such "beverages." Bah!

2.) Food highlights included a tasty steak sandwich (duh, Omaha!), though Ben and I didn't really know which if any condiments to put on it. I went with BBQ sauce and mustard, which seemed to work decently. They also had a legit Mexican restaurant and an "Omaha dog" that it turned out had sauerkraut and 1000 Island dressing. So, a Reuben dog. Who knew there were so many Jews in Omaha? I mean, I guess you can't spell Omaha without "ham."

3.) The stadium is in the middle of freakin' nowhere. It's 15 minutes outside of Omaha, which is like 2 hours outside D.C. I mean, I'll give them this: at noon on a Monday the stadium was about a third full. If you build it, Nebraskans apparently have nothing better to do than to come?

4.) A Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Braves fan? In Omaha? I'm not moving here, but apparently I have friends.

5.) They had two pipes shooting fire like an oil refinery after a HR. Every stadium needs this.

6.) 1/2 price burgers? Don't mind if we do.

7.) The "Hurl the Pearl" promotion. For $2, you get a soft baseball you can hurl at a truck driving by in the 5th inning. If you get it in, free meal from McDonald's and you're entered to win a trip to Kansas city! Alas, I missed. And the really fat kid next to me nailed it.

8.) The 4th inning stretch? Well, in a day with two 7-inning games, I guess I understand. But it still felt premature. Like holding a welcome victory party before the NBA season even starts.

9.) A Memphis Redbird thinking he could score from first on a dropped foul pop. Then him standing confusedly at the dugout for a full 2 minutes before heading back, head hanging, to first. Oh, Minor Leagues...

10.) "LeBron James, please report to the guest relations booth." Wait what? Pretty sure we heard the name wrong, but Ben and I had the same thought.


12.) Omaha wins? Ah, not so fast, says the announcer: It's not over until the fat lady sings. Naturally, out comes a girl in a fat suit, and proceeds to sing the Spongebob Squarepants theme song. By which I mean not naturally. Like, at all. But it was still awesome.

Regularly Scheduled Metrics:

Price of Beer
6 pts: $6 for 24 oz of crappy beer, or $8 for good beer. But we didn't specify that in the rubric, so...

Most Caloric Concession Item
3 pts: As an 80s guy, my one regret is...I didn't try...the Torta!

Minor League Personalities
4 pts: Little League team? I guess it's summer, so noon on a Monday isn't too surprising. Teenagers on a Date? Guess it's not as romantic in full daylight, eh? Lots of Families out for a Nice Day Together, though. Minor League Diehards? Dude, noon on a Monday. But no drunkards? Nebraska, I'm disappointed. It's totally 5 o'clock in London or Riyadh or whatever.

Willingness to Give Random Bloggers Free Seats
0 pts: BOOOOOOOOOOO. Couldn't even get free parking for the rain delay.

1 pt: Noon game. What do you think this is, football? Please God let there be a season...

Funniest Roster Name
4 pts: Chuckie Fick. I mean, I certainly wouldn't go by CHUCK in this instance, but Chuckie? Honorable mention to Paulo Orlando. Pretty sure I saw both of them in one of of those straight-to-Internet cinema masterpieces, too.

Promotion Quality
5 pts: Hurl the Pearl was awesome, even though I missed. Plus free Taco Bell! Wait, should that be -5?

0 pts: They let Jews in Omaha, now?

Men's Room
5 pts: Man, even Nebraska's gone all Hollywood on me.

Bonus points
+1 for the correctly priced beers, +1 for Dolphins fan, +1 for Braves fan, +2 for a non-ironic Palin T-shirt, +3 for the fire pipes, +5 for a guy trying to score on a foul pop, +1 for Homer's D'oh! montage on the PA, +2 for (fake?) Bron Bron, +4 for finally gettin to see the Fat Lady singin', +1 for the Fat Lady actually being a hot chick

Total: 48 pts

Final take: A solid experience, but the rain delay put a damper (ba dum, ching! Thanks folks, I'm here all week) on things. The smaller crowd hurt, as did the early day vs. later afternoon atmosphere. Still their team name is so awesome they got me to buy a T-shirt, so that counts for something, right? And our seats weren't bad either. 6.5/10.

He scores! And not on a foul pop!

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