by Pat Dooley
One thing about another trip to Omaha, it’s easier not to get lost.
There is a certain familiarity after being here for last year’s College World Series and Florida’s first two games in the NCAA basketball tournament. I mentioned to someone today that I was here three times with Florida when it was at Rosenblatt Stadium (which is being demolished next week) and it was like I was in a different city from the one I am in now.
This is Mike Martin’s first trip to the new stadium after so many trips to Rosenblatt and he was overwhelmed by TD Ameritrade Stadium.
“I was going to take the family out to Rosenblatt tomorrow,” said the Florida State coach. “I don’t want to see Rosenblatt the way it is now. I want to remember the way it was.”
Since I’m staying kind of far away, Florida is going to have to win some games before the gouging hotels will come down in their prices and I can get closer to the stadium and downtown.
Instead, I’m out in La Vista (Marriott points, of course), a suburb of Omaha that was one of those places that looked like it was booming before the economy turned. Now, you have a bunch of sidewalks that stop in the middle of a street and not much else.
I did find an oasis in the Island Grill, which is kind of an odd name and decor (surfboards, constant surfing videos playing) for a place that couldn’t be much further away from the ocean. But they have great wings so I imagine there will be a few trips there.
More than anything, the coolest thing about being here is the view from the press box. It’s pretty amazing unless there is a violent storm coming as it did last year and you’re sitting there wondering if this is the glass is shatter proof and then they evacuate you to the bottom floor.
Stay tuned. I’ll try to give you some of the flavor of this College World Series.