Thursday, June 20, 2019

Bird Droppings

In November of 1978, I attended the Oregon State at Creighton game as a Creighton student. It was much different than that game I watched from the upper reaches of Civic Auditorium six years earlier. As a student, I felt much closer to the game.

Tom Apke’s Bluejays opened the 1978-79 season with six straight victories, including a 78-61 drubbing of in-state rival Nebraska. Things changed when they went on the road and by the time Larry Bird’s #5 Indiana State Sycamores came to town in late January of 1979, the Bluejays were stumbling along at 9-6.

The Sycamores were undefeated (15-0) and on cruise control headed toward their March championship game against “Magic” Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans. The Bluejays and Omaha were nothing more than a bump in their road coming in. But the sellout crowd of just under 9,000 fans in the old Omaha Civic Arena had different ideas.