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Go Omaha! Manning gives Neb. city game copious shoutouts



By ERIC OLSON

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Peyton Manning can't stop shouting about Nebraska's largest city.

The Denver Broncos quarterback used the word "Omaha" loudly and often during Sunday's playoff victory over the San Diego Chargers.

According to an NFL.com video montage, Manning barked "Omaha" before the ball was snapped 44 times during the game.

The reason for the word choice, if there is one, is known only to Manning and the Broncos.

But it provided some unexpected publicity for the city of 427,000, perhaps best known as the home of both billionaire Warren Buffett and the Fortune 500 insurance company Mutual of Omaha (sponsor of the old TV show "Wild Kingdom").

"I think it shows Peyton Manning really loves Omaha," Mayor Jean Stothert said Monday. "I'll personally take him on a tour. He has an official invitation now."

Omaha was a trending topic on Twitter during the game, and the Greater Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau jumped aboard, tweeting: "We certainly appreciate all the love from Peyton Manning :)"

Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Brown said he was watching the game, and he wondered how his agency could capitalize.

Brown said he wants to explore the possibility of hiring Manning, one of the sporting world's top pitchmen, to shoot a promotional ad for Omaha.

"We'd be foolish not to," Brown said, adding that he realizes Manning's fee probably would be prohibitive.

If anything, Omaha once conjured an image of a cow town on the banks of the Missouri River.

But Doug Parrott, executive vice president for the Nebraska-based Bailey Lauerman public relations and advertising firm, said that has changed over the years because of the prominence of Buffett and national media coverage of events such as the College World Series and U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.

Brown said the chamber of commerce has worked hard to woo corporations to locate to "the Big O," as locals call it.

Omaha is home to five Fortune 500 companies, including Union Pacific Railroad, and sells itself on, among other things, a reasonable cost of living and dependable workforce.

A chamber-commissioned study last year found that 100 million people had been exposed to the "Omaha message" in the past decade and that the city is generally viewed positively," Brown said.

"But when people are asked why they feel that way, they can't bring it to a single message," he said.

Quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has been known to say "Omaha" during games and so has Peyton's brother, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

"Sally," ''Alpha," and "Kentucky" are among the many words that amount to gibberish to the typical fan, and sometimes they truly mean nothing.

But the words often are a signal to the rest of the offense to change a play or scheme - and defenses sometimes try to crack the code.

It was apparent that the Chargers associated "Omaha" with Manning's snap count on Sunday because he lured five different San Diego players to jump offside, an unusually high number of penalties for the same infraction.

For the city of Omaha, the value of Manning's shout-outs is impossible to calculate, Parrott said.

Parrott noted, however, that air time for a 30-second Super Bowl ad is $4 million this year. If Manning leads the Broncos to the Super Bowl and yells "Omaha" as many times as he did Sunday, well, that's lots of free exposure.

"Commercials cost money to make, and you have to come up with the idea and hire a production company to make it. It could cost $4 million just for the production, and we get it for free," Parrott said.

"Everybody in Omaha really needs to root for Peyton to take down Tom Brady and the Patriots so we can hear 'Omaha' in the Super Bowl."

What Does Manning's 'Omaha' Call Mean?

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glawre8850 January 15 2014 at 2:25 PM

Omaha bggins with O So he's ready for the snap of the ball on ONE. First verbal after Omaha and the ball is snapped. He used it in Indy when he played there.

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drs19 January 15 2014 at 12:29 PM

"Omaha" is a part of Peyton's repertoire of pre snap verbals which are called "audibles" in the football world. As the article states, only Peyton and his charges know the true meaning, but usually a key word like this is an alert that "all is set for the play and the snap count is coming shortly". Some times it may be a signal for expediency, i.e. the play clock is winding down and the repeating of Omaha means to the center to snap , we are ready "hurry up and get me the ball". Meanwhile, we, along with the defensive folks still have to wonder what the "Omaha Code" is : )

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kime1 January 15 2014 at 12:10 PM

I told my wife at the time,when she ask why does he keep saying Omaha, I said it must have something to do with the Heart land of America, Ohama being in the middle .the play is either going up the middle or aroung depending on how the defense was lining up. Manning would say Ohama and the defense would switch ,then another word was called to either keep the Ohama play or change it.....Just the ramblings of a West coast fan

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Randy January 15 2014 at 2:55 PM

Omaha is easy to spell because you can sound it out. It also is easily understood via articulation. So why did you misspell it 3 times after correctly spelling it the first time?

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Ron January 15 2014 at 12:09 PM

Omaha: Easy word to say and has been used by quarterbacks for years. Notice, though, different pause times before the ball is snapped. Maybe before and after pauses give the offense different signals and also causes the defense problems. As to Omaha beach, I was only 14 years old, but remember it well. We lost over 3000 men that day. Such a terrible loss. GO BRONCOS, GO PEYTON MANNING.

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only1masters January 15 2014 at 11:56 AM

well if the Broncos play better than they did last week Manning will be saying Great Balls of fire

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rxbcknr January 15 2014 at 11:52 AM

It's possible...'Omaha'...could be Peyton's way of Honoring, the young men of the 'Greatest Generation'... landing on D-Day, at Omaha Beach.

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gigi1105 January 15 2014 at 11:46 AM

what a loser!!! just wait til the patriots and tom destroy you this weekend!!!!! maybe you could take some lessons from tom on how to be classy, not a moron!!!

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3 replies to gigi1105's comment
razaminaz January 15 2014 at 11:36 AM

I see a lot of sacasm on here, but I did notice that almost every time he said Omaha the ball was snapped. Could that be the code word for hut?

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tlrhvc January 15 2014 at 11:16 AM

Eli Manning has been doin this for years, as well as many others qb's. whats the big deal.

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Judy January 15 2014 at 12:44 PM

The big deal is that it is PEYTON MANNING yelling it!!!

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valium4041 January 15 2014 at 3:40 PM

He yells Bacon too and? Perhaps he should add BLT, No?

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rplaw10209 January 15 2014 at 11:10 AM

Manning will be saying O my God, instead of Omaha, when Brady gives him a good old fashion woopin when they meet again!!!!!!!!!!!!

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traji January 15 2014 at 11:58 AM

No! Tom Brady and the patriots are going down. lol
Go Broncos!
Oh, I am Giants fan. lol

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