As appreciative as I am for Building the Dam’s overview of the Creighton Bluejays’ season, I like to get my information straight from the horse’s mouth, as I did when I asked my friend Lindsey to give us the lowdown on the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles prior to the Bulldogs’ football game against their Division I-AA opponent from the Volunteer State. (This also provides a welcome alternative to offering "all the stats you can eat.")
Believe it or not, my old friend Josh---a former Georgia football walk-on I came to know through the Phi Kappa Literary Society, where I also met Lindsey---has ties to both institutions represented in Friday afternoon’s opening game of the Corvallis Regional. Josh holds a baccalaureate degree from the University of Georgia and a law degree from Creighton University, so I asked him to familiarize us with the Jays and their ways. Here is what he had to say:
Omaha, Nebraska, is home to Nebraska Furniture Mart (a cross between Ikea, Home Depot, and Best Buy, awesome!), Warren Buffett, and, of course, Creighton University. Creighton---named after Edward Creighton, a prominent Omaha businessman---was founded in 1878. The Jesuit University is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, which boasts such members as Loyola Chicago, Boston College, and Georgetown University. The school enrolls about 7,300 graduate and undergraduate students. And we’re smart: 54% of the graduates of arts and sciences go on to graduate or professional school.
Campus life at Creighton is a unique experience. For a university located in a downtown area, it is its own world. Laid out in almost a straight line, the campus runs from 16th Street until the freeway boundary at 32nd Street. Unlike UGA's vast campus, which takes a system of buses, bicycles, cars, and time to traverse, Creighton's facilities are close together and a nice leisurely 10-minute walk is plenty of time to travel the campus from end to end. Although, like at any university, parking is always an issue.
If the walk is too much and you need a rest, almost in the middle of campus, just a short block over, is a student favorite called the "Blue Jay" or "Jay." The Blue Jay, named after the Creighton mascot, is a bar which has been there for about 40 years, and did I mention that it is sitting almost directly in the middle of campus? Ask any student who went to Creighton about the "Jay," and it will likely hold some fond memories and a night or two of, "I did what?" When this reporter went to school there, this beloved landmark and favorite student hangout derived its charm and character from the fact that it was a typical dumpy and run-down college bar with cheap drinks and free beer after basketball games. However, upon investigation for this blog, I learned that, apparently, it has changed ownership, and someone had the notion to nice the place up a bit. They now serve the "best" pizza in Omaha and take reservations? This must be a joke, but it's (402) 345-1979, if you are interested. A local review said the drinks are still cheap, which is good to know.
This brings us to athletics. Creighton has teams in most of the major sports, all but football. The most popular, basketball, has had several trips to the NCAA Tournament, and its soccer team maintained 17 straight appearances in the NCAAs between 1992 and 2008, but the school has never hoisted a national title trophy. As for baseball, Creighton has a few notables. Omaha is the host city for the College World Series, which is a town and student favorite. Creighton's only appearance at the College World Series was in 1991. Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson is a Creighton graduate, as is Chicago Cubs owner J. Joseph Ricketts. Ricketts hired former Creighton coach Jim Hendry as his current GM, so, Georgia, be scared.
My thanks go out to Josh for giving us the inside skinny (also known as "the straight poop") on Creighton!