Here we are, tomorrow is game day. In a little over 24 hours we will be watching the Huskers take the field for the first time in the 2018 season. The final county in our countdown is Douglas County. As of the 2010 census the population of Douglas County was 517,110. The population of Nebraska is 1.2 million, which means it houses over 25 percent of the whole state.
Douglas County is located on the eastern edge of Nebraska and you can sniff the worst state in America from it.
Most people in Nebraska, especially millennials and iGens, say that Omaha is the best place in the state. Of course you always hear the cliche statement of “there’s nothing to do in Nebraska besides watch football and grow corn,” from all the other states. Well in Omaha there’s a lot more to do than that. To be honest, I’ve grown to dislike Omaha a little just because Creighton is there. That doesn’t take away from the fact that there is a ton to do in Omaha. For starters, Omaha has been the home of the College World Series since 1950. Fans come across the country to watch their team play in the tournament, and I hope they continue to spread the word Nebraska is awesome because there’s more than just corn and football. Omaha is also home to one of the world’s best zoos in the Henry Doorly Zoo. I have to say I’m spoiled because I was able to go to the zoo every summer as a kid and I got to experience seeing every animal I would ever want to, and probably too many.
For a while Omaha was home to two semi-professional football teams. I don’t remember what the leagues were called, but the teams were the Omaha Nighthawks and Omaha Mammoths. I remember Marlon Lucky signed with the Nighthawks and there was a lot of buzz around that team before their first season. I think one of the reasons it flopped was because the games were mainly held on weeknights. On the other hand, the Omaha Mammoths had possibly one of the best sports logos I’ve ever seen. I was disappointed when the Mammoths were cut after just one season, but hey maybe the XFL can make its comeback in Omaha.
As I stated in the article about Lancaster County my dad used to take me to Omaha Beef games. I used to love them as a kid, and even now I’m sure they’d be a fun night out to spruce things up a bit. The main husker player I remember playing for the Beef was Courtney Grixby. Other former Huskers involved in the organization include Cory Ross, who was the head coach from 2015-2016 and Imani Cross signed with the team, but I couldn't find anything on his statistics. In his twitter bio it says he’s currently a running backs coach, but it doesn’t say where.
Omaha is home to some famous people including Gerald Ford, Warren Buffet and Malcom X. Ford was the 38th President of the United States, and he moved to Michigan in his early years, and he went to the University of Michigan for his BA. I’d be curious to know if he was a Husker fan or if he bled maze and blue. If anyone has that information feel free to post it down in the comments. Warren Buffet is one of the richest people in the world with wealth in the billions of dollars. Malcom X was the opposite of Martin Luther King Jr., another civil rights leader, and he argued for black supremacy and keeping races separate.
Speaking of Malcom X and racial tensions, a historical event I learned in-depth about in the spring was the Omaha Race Riot of 1919. It ended in a horrible way with Will Brown, a black man, getting lynched and then brutally beaten. In this mob event the mayor was almost hung, and two white men were killed. This event was heard about throughout the country and a lot of people wanted the murders prosecuted, which ended up happening.
Other important historical information about Omaha includes the transcontinental railroad. As I learned in my Nebraska politics class in the spring, the mayor from Chicago wanted Nebraska to become a state because he believed Omaha and Chicago could connect for a transcontinental railroad. This railroad ended up becoming Union Pacific, and it’s still around today with one of the largest buildings in downtown Omaha.
Besides Omaha, there are a few other cities in Douglas County including Bennington, Valley and Ralston. I’ve never been to Valley or Bennington, but I have been to Ralston a ton throughout my life. Ralston houses a pretty good 4th of July parade every year. I’m not sure it beats the Papillion Days parade, but it’s pretty great to see everybody enjoying themselves on what always seems like a blazing hot summer day.
Before I move on to Husker stuff I just wanted to take a minute and go back to what I said about the cliche of “there being nothing to do in Nebraska.” As we’ve gone through all 93 counties in Nebraska we have shown that there is much more to do in Nebraska than football and farming. I hope one day I’m able to travel across the state and visit all of the cool locations I’ve found out about because of this series.
Famous Huskers to wear number 1:
Lawrence Phillips (All-Big 8 IB 1994) and Zach Bowman (DB 2007)
Current Husker to wear number 1:
Tyjon Lindsey So. WR
Nebraska’s first season was in 1890
Let me know if I missed anything in the comments and also tell us what your favorite county was in the countdown.