The Jump

Growing up in a tiny town with one cracked asphalt court that had an actual chain-link “net,” tennis was one game that wasn’t on my sports radar. Basketball, soccer, football, hockey, hurling, lacrosse, Gaelic football, horse racing, rugby, field hockey, golf, I’ve seen all of those played professionally, but never tennis. That’ll change Dec. 3, when Omaha native Andy Roddick and tennis legend Pete Sampras hit the Qwest Center for Rock-n-Racquets. The charity event — $2 from each ticket sold will be donated to ConAgra’s “Shine the Light on Hunger” program — returns to Omaha after a stop here in 2007. Rock-n-Racquets, founded in 2002, has never made a return trip to a city it has already visited. Omaha’s growing reputation as a sports town brought them back. It being an exhibition I’m not expecting the U.S. Open, but that might be a good thing. Maybe Roddick and Sampras will occasionally take a little off their rocket serves and bat the ball around a bit. Tickets are on sale at the Qwest Center box office or at Congrats to the Nighthawks for selling out their second game of the season. Combine the Nighthawks’ sellout streak with the Huskers and the two biggest football teams in the state haven’t had unsold seats since 1962. Is it too late to add that little fact to the celebration of football currently ongoing at the Durham Museum? Maybe that’s a stretch, but so far so good for the UFL in Omaha. n Speaking of the Durham, if you haven’t made it there to check out 100 Yards of Glory your status as a true football fan is suddenly in question. While the stories of former Omaha gridiron greats are compelling enough, there were two true highlights for me. One, a 1939 photograph of Creighton football players tackling an Adolf Hitler caricature. Great bit of Americana. Ironically enough, it was World War II that essentially ended the CU football team. Two, the story of the 1960 0-0 tie between Creighton Prep and Omaha Central at Rosenblatt. It’s perhaps the greatest football game ever in Omaha and the two schools will return to the old ball yard Friday for a reprise of the historic night. My recommendation? Cut out of work early, hit the Durham for a little context then to Rosenblatt. Status as a football fan secured. The Jump takes you behind the local headlines. Email and look for daily updates at

posted at 04:36 am
on Tuesday, October 19th, 2010


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