CWS: Tough act to follow

By Mark Etheridge - June 15, 2006

Last year's College World Series was a fun one. With the "Big Red Army" of Nebraska fans scarfing up every ticket (and parking place) in Omaha, to tradition-rich Texas taking the crown, to Tulane's heartbreaking loss against Baylor, to quite possibly the best college baseball game of the season as Arizona State slugged their way past Nebraska - there was no shortage of storylines.

This year is certain to have its own heroes emerge. Every play is magnified and every decision second and third guessed. That's what you get when the world is watching. We could have our next Warren Morris (and Robbie Morrison).

This is more than a baseball tournament. It is an event where fans return year after year despite not having a particular rooting interest. I had a fan tell me last year, "If I waited for my team to get here, I'd never get to come. And I have too much fun each year to think about missing this."

You'll see Father and child. What a way to spend Fathers' Day. You'll see families sweating together in the outfield before finding their way across the parking lot for a Zestos milkshake.

I've been to football games across the south and outside the stadium reminds me some of the pageantry of some of those college atmospheres. The intensity isn't quite the same outside the stadium - that changes inside late in a close game - because baseball itself is different. But some of the other qualities are shared: The tailgating, the willingness to share food and drink with total strangers, and the ability to have a good time win or lose.

But make no mistake, there are eight programs here intent on claiming a trophy. And they'll make some memories for all of us along the way.

Checking out from the Rosenblatt pressbox,


Posted by Mark Etheridge at 06:25 PM on June 15, 2006

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