Omaha, NE- There are only a few events in sports that can compare to what you get in Omaha with the College World Series. The crowds that overtake the city from eight different teams might be a bit overwhelming for some, but think of this as a College Basketball Elite Eight on steroids.
Taking a stroll around the area of Charles Schwab Ballpark, you’ll see a variety of fan bases, some of which aren’t even participating in the event. It’s an attraction, the woman from Cleveland, Tennessee told me, as she was riding her scooter around the area, while her son sported a Tony Vitello jersey. It’s the same for the LSU fans that made the trek to Omaha, even though their team’s season ended a while ago.
I’ve covered numerous events before, but the shear amount of people in Omaha for almost two weeks is amazing, even if your team is eliminated early on. Some decide to stay and soak in the atmosphere, which I can’t fault them, especially with how nice everyone is.
I made the trek over to Rocco’s to see the Jello-Shot board, which I can say I attributed to last season and Thursday. I felt the obligation to help out the Stanford fans, even if just in spirit. Yes, there were two Cardinal fans still hanging around Omaha who I bought a shot for. No, I didn’t put it on the company dime.
It looks like whoever is here between Arkansas and Ole Miss fans over the weekend will be the one’s who break the record. Also, the owners will be donating a portion of the money made during the College World Series to a food pantry in Oxford and Fayetteville. Arkansas fans had paid over $37,000 for Jell-O shots as of Thursday afternoon
I was awoken at 2:37 in the morning to Arkansas fans calling the Hogs in my hotel. Deep in a decent sleep, I heard the rallying cry that usually makes opposing fans lose their mind. I couldn’t complain about this one, with their team just winning an elimination game and staying alive for another day.
But one of the weirdest things I witnessed around 2:41 was the security guard participating with the Razorback fans, getting sucked into the moment.
But that perfectly entails what this event is about, which is how the fans are the ones who make this event special. The tailgates around the stadium or the fan fest that goes on in the College World Series plaza, it’s hard to beat this type of atmosphere.
As you’re reading this, Arkansas and Ole Miss are playing in an elimination game, hoping to be the team to play Oklahoma for a National Championship. There’s truly nothing like Omaha, which many can attest to, especially the ones who stay for more than two days.
As I walked the concourse, I ran into two Texas fans who had a very big smile on their face, which was pretty obvious. Heading to their seats, one of them must’ve felt the Manning wind build up inside because his next words caught me off guard a bit.
“We might not be playing, but we got Arch Manning.”
It’s not just baseball that fans talk trash to each other about in Omaha, it’s a variety of sports, which makes this place special. I imagine there will be more crazy stories to come out of the College World Series, but this one deserved to be about the fans that make it something like no other.