» The Peyton Manning/Omaha story has been trending this week on the Internet and social media, but at least one Omahan got in on it long before it became trendy.
Leslie McMahon, who works for the Kiewit Corp., has worn an original T-shirt design since the second week of the season. Using an additional word that Peyton often audibles at the line of scrimmage, the shirt reads: “Omaha Omaha/Hurry Hurry.”
The mother of three is a longtime Denver Broncos fan, and a friend who owns a T-shirt shop made the shirt for her. At a game against the Chiefs in Kansas City, she turned down several offers for the shirt, including one of $100.
“I was sitting in the 11th row and I was really hoping Peyton would spot me in the crowd,” she said. “Obviously, that didn't happen.”
Meanwhile, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce sent a 30-second good-luck video to Denver in advance of Sunday's game against New England, featuring scenes of Omaha.
The chamber said its media-tracking consultant, Universal Information Services, had found 1,021 stories about Peyton and Omaha — worth an estimated $10 million in publicity.
There is a hint of envy. The San Diego Union-Tribune referred to “America's new obsession with Omaha,” and a Chattanooga Times Free Press writer urged Manning to switch to shouting “Chattanooga!”
On top of all that, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer carried a Peyton-Omaha story Friday, and ESPN plans to feature Omaha on its Sunday pregame show.
Hotels.com said searches for Omaha on its website increased by 21 percent. If Manning says “Omaha” at least 50 times Sunday, the site will offer travelers a 15 percent discount coupon at any Omaha hotel through June 1.
And Omaha corporations will donate to Manning's charity every time he says “Omaha.” So shout it loud, Peyton, and shout it proud: “Omaha! Omaha!”
» Two pre-kindergarten classmates in Omaha share a nominal connection to a historic event — Capt. Sully Sullenberger's 2009 landing of a disabled airliner in New York's Hudson River.
The boys' names? Sully and Hudson.
Hudson Chapman turns 5 in March. On Jan. 15, 2009, his expectant parents, Clayton and Bernadette, were discussing what to name their son, and one name on their list was Hudson.
When they heard of Sullenberger's emergency landing in the Hudson River that day, saving 155 lives onboard, they agreed right away — their future son would be Hudson Chapman.
On the same day, Ryan and Jen Haney of Omaha became parents of a son. They named him Sullivan “Sully” Haney.
|Columnists Michael Kelly, Erin Grace and Matthew Hansen write about people, places and events around Omaha. Read more of their work here.|
It would be nice to report that they named Sully after the heroic pilot who guided the plane after it struck a flock of geese on ascent from LaGuardia Airport, but it was coincidence. The child was named Sullivan after his maternal grandmother's maiden name.
Still, both sets of parents, when they met at an open house at St. Pius X/St. Leo School, got a kick out of their Sully-Hudson connection.
» The notion of a Nebraskan taking a big job in the Big Apple was bound to raise an eyebrow among a New Yorker or two.
After University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken was named chancellor this week at CUNY, the New York Daily News ran an editorial Friday under the headline “Big town, huge job.”
New Yorkers, the editorial said, are being asked to make a leap of faith “that the trustees of the City University of New York have chosen wisely.”
The editorial ended up wishing Milliken a seemingly sincere “best of luck” but noted that in Nebraska he heads four campuses with 50,000 students. In 24 locations, CUNY enrolls 270,000, which the newspaper noted is more than the population of Lincoln, Neb.
Milliken is not the first Nebraskan to head a university in New York City. Former Nebraska Gov. and ex-Sen. Bob Kerrey, who still lives in New York, served as president of the New School University in Manhattan from 2001 to 2010.
» The memory of Jill Schrier Folsom has been honored with the naming of a patient room at Children's Hospital & Medical Center.
Known for her caring nature and service on various volunteer boards and activities, Jill died unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism in 2010. The wife and mother of two was 49.
The patient room is in the hospital's renovated Newborn Intensive Care Unit, where she served as a volunteer. Children's said it received many contributions in her memory to help fund the NICU renovation.
» Partly personal: When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fired aide Bridget Anne Kelly for emails she wrote in the recent “Bridgegate” scandal, our family and friends noted her name's similarity to that of our daughter, Bridget Ann Kelly of New York.
The names sound the same but are different by one letter. After a day, we thought that was the end of it.
But then World-Herald Publisher Terry Kroeger told me this week that he had received 10 calls asking if the fired assistant in New Jersey was my daughter, who grew up in Omaha and whom I have written about. No, not the same.
Bridget told me that she introduced herself in a New York office just after the story broke and was asked if she was the woman fired by Gov. Christie. Bridget was chuckling Friday as she told me the person's response to her denial that she was that Bridget Kelly: “You better hope this blows over fast.”