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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?

Join the discussion

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srober8549 January 15 2014 at 10:26 AM

Could it mean the troops landing at Omaha Beach?

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teecee656 January 14 2014 at 11:22 PM

Omaha, Ohio, Oklahoma and any other audible starting with an "O" usually directs a play or receiver to the OUTSIDE." Indian, Indiana, India or Idaho, all with an "I" do the same but for the INSIDE. Usually the longer word, goes to the strong side and the shorter the word goes to the short side (the one with the wide receiver on the line). Of course, the QB can always tell the huddle before the play to disregard the audible so not to tip off the defense. Just as Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, or January, February or March can be used to denote snap count, the linemen can use words beginning with "L" for left and "R" for right for cross blocking. The variations are all a little different for each team but the basics remain.

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2 replies
bandicoot5 teecee656 January 14 2014 at 11:58 PM

So, why not yell, "Orgasm", and see how the other team reacts? LOL

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jnc4251 teecee656 January 15 2014 at 1:03 AM

Thanks.

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mets867333 January 14 2014 at 9:18 PM

eli does this all the time also

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jeanniangelmag January 14 2014 at 8:23 PM

Peyton Manning is Just Great!! Thanks for Always making Football so Amazing!!

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Steve January 14 2014 at 11:43 PM

Once he yells 'Omaha!', the opposing team is simply powerless and may as well forfeit the game.

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Tony L January 14 2014 at 8:00 PM

Eli has been saying that for years. I guess sometimes you need to act like your younger brother to succeed.

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nicolascar954 January 15 2014 at 9:35 AM

our shout on d-day as i hit the beach on jun 6 1944!!

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ree7777777 January 15 2014 at 12:20 AM

i think its great that he uses Omaha and yes Omaha is a great city not only does it have fourtune five hundred companys but is host to the collage world series and one of the best zoos in the nation Henery dorly Zoo, and is a great place to live.

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1 reply
ultimtdisc ree7777777 January 15 2014 at 5:09 AM

Unfortunately, Omaha's schools don't seem to teach spelling and grammar.

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Priscilla January 14 2014 at 7:48 PM

Peyton has many audible's and they all work for him and the Broncos as they did for the Colts. He is beyond intelligent at the game of Football. He is the Master of the Game. 1-12-14 is not the first time Peyton has used the audible "Omaha"...HURRY HURRY

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1 reply
hyllfl1gga Priscilla January 14 2014 at 8:33 PM

Unfortunately Manning's playoff record is 10-11 with 8 one and dones. While Brady is 18-7. Manning is the greatest regular season QB; Brady the greatest playoff QB.

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applesmom1952 January 14 2014 at 7:39 PM

As a former resident of Omaha, having given birth to my two older children in Omaha and our entire family being lifelong BRONCOS fans even after we moved from Denver, a HUGE shout out to Mr Manning! My older son passed, but you can bet he will be sitting in his heavenly recliner watching his BRONCOS win the Super Bowl once again. He was one of the kids born in Omaha, and a Cornhusker fan.

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