What’s Your Omaha?

As we gear up for the Super Bowl, we are inundated with the stories surrounding the game.  Will Manning be able to throw in cold weather?  Can the top offense beat the top defense?  Will Richard Sherman snap and  eat a baby?  Anything is possible!

One of the stories we have heard quite a bit is about Peyton Manning’s “Omaha” call.  What is it?  According to Manning, it could be a lot of things.

“Omaha is a run play, but it could be a pass play or a play-action pass depending on a couple things: the wind, which way we’re going, the quarter and the jerseys that we’re wearing. So it varies, really, play to play, so, that’s — there’s your answer to that one.”

The truth is, apparently, that Omaha is a hurry-up call to get the ball snapped.  Usually.  Unless it is a non-hurry-up call to try to draw the defense.  But let’s stick with the first use for a moment.

The idea of an audible around the need to move quickly or in a pre-defined way isn’t all that new.  Heck, we used them playing Dungeons & Dragons when I was in college high school junior high school.  Anyone called out “red flag,” everyone knew to turn their attention in that direction for one round, usually to deal with a wraith, dragon or Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.  So most of us know from an audible.  But are you using them in the workplace?

Often the default setting for letting people know something is important is to be REALLY LOUD about it.  That’s also the setting for being angry, working in high winds, or finding yourself  in a country where you do not speak the local language (though this includes speaking slowly as well).  How useful would it be to have your own Omaha that, when called, let’s everyone know “hey, this is really important, we need to move quickly, and I’d really appreciate if anyone with a free moment could jump in to help take care of it, knowing that I will have your back as well should the situation ever call for it.”  Think of all the hurt feelings and misunderstandings that you could avoid, not to mention the productivity surges on critical items with no need for long project meetings.

You aren’t required to use Omaha, of course.  Feel free to use any Nebraska town or Counting Crows song.  You’ll be better for it.




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