OMAHA, NE - He's the President of the Omaha Royals, but Alan Stein is a native Kentuckian and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. No surprise then that he has made a friendly wager that the Wildcats will emerge victorious when they become one of the marquee basketball names to visit Qwest Center Omaha next Monday night in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Stein was hoping to make the wager with Creighton University Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen. However, Rasmussen is not allowed to do that by NCAA rules. In stepped Jill Rasmussen, Bruce's wife, to carry the flag for the Bluejays.
If the 21-13 Wildcats win, Mrs. Rasmussen will be sending a box of Omaha Steaks to Stein. If the 27-7 Bluejays pick up the victory on their home court, Stein will be shipping Mrs. Rasmussen a basket of Kentucky Proud products, which will include a bottle of the world-famous Maker's Mark bourbon.
"I am absolutely confident that the blue-and-white will prevail on Monday night," Stein quipped, as both teams wear those colors. "I can't wait to attend the game."
"Bring it on," Mrs. Rasmussen simply said.
ABOUT THE ROYALS: Readers of Omaha Magazine voted the Omaha Royals as Best Omaha Sports Team in the magazine's 17th annual Best of Omaha Awards, published in its January/February 2009 edition. In 2008, 349,376 fans attended Omaha Royals home games, making the Royals the largest-drawing sports team or event in the metro area last year. It also marked the team's largest season attendance total since 2001, while the average of 5,375 fans per game last season was the club's highest figure since 2000. Omaha's Triple-A franchise has drawn over 300,000 fans a year to Rosenblatt for 21 consecutive seasons, dating back to 1988.