"Sto-ny-Brook, Sto-ny-Brook, Sto-ny-Brook."
I woke up to that chant this morning. Steve Lundy, a radio personality on a country station in Omaha, Nebr. led the charge.
And why not?Last week, few had even heard of the Stony Brook Seawolves. But after several stunning upsets, including a win against the Miami Hurricanes, in Florida, and the LSU Tigers, in Baton Rouge, they are College World Series bound and the talk of Omaha.
Omaha knows how it feels to be the underdog. We're an underdog city in flyover country without any major professional sports teams, but we host one of the best pure sporting events remaining -- one in which players go all out on every play and aren't afraid to show raw emotion. And one in which the little guy believes he can take down the big guy because crowds create an electric atmosphere and convince him that he can.
Once, we had a chance to cheer for own Cinderella team -- the 1991 Creighton Bluejays. We've also been able to cheer for the Nebraska Cornhuskers three times (2001, '02, '05). But when one of our own is not on the field, we embrace the underdog and the Seawolves certainly qualify.
A friend called me this morning. He isn't a baseball fan. In fact, he's anti-baseball, if that's possible. Even he was talking about what a great story Stony Brook is.
The Seawolves were in Division III when Coach Matt Senk arrived in 1991. They transitioned to Division II in 1995 and then to Division I in 2000.
Twelve years later, the 2012 America East champions knocked off Miami, 10-2, in the Coral Gables regional, and then stunned the college baseball world by winning a best-of-three series against six-time national champion LSU in the Baton Rouge super regional. The second win of that series took place in front of 10,620 fans at Alex Box Stadium (an LSU record) on Sunday, June 10, earning the Seawolves the right to play in front of more than 20,000 fans at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.
The Seawolves have won 28 of their last 31 games and are only the second No. 4 seed in the opening round of the NCAA tournament to advance to the College World Series. The 2008 Fresno State Bulldogs were the first. They went on to win the national championship.
My guess is, Omaha would love nothing better than to see history repeat itself.