Asked what his favorite audible, “Omaha,” means, Peyton Manning played coy with the media.
“Was that like a fan-written-in question? I’ve had a lot of people ask what Omaha means,” said the Denver Broncos quarterback, who yelled Omaha more than 40 times at the line of scrimmage during Sunday’s win over the San Diego Chargers.
“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. It varies really play to play. There’s your answer to that one.”
One thing about Omaha is clear: The Chargers have no idea what it means. In fact, they jumped offsides four times during the news conference.
Looking to capitalize on Omaha’s newfound popularity, Omaha Steaks reportedly is considering offering Manning an endorsement deal that could include calling out its name during a game.
The company, in partnership with four other Omaha, Neb.-based corporations, will donate $500 to Manning’s charity, Peyback, for every time the quarterback yells Omaha during Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots.
We’d prefer Manning reprise his MasterCard commercial role in which he chants, “Cut that meat! Cut that meat!” for his favorite deli employee.
The comedy classic, “Dumb and Dumber,” first established a connection between Omaha and Denver when Jim Carrey’s character, Lloyd, took a wrong turn on the way to Aspen, Colo., and wound up in Nebraska.
“I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this,” Jeff Daniels’ character, Harry, said upon waking up on the Great Plains.
“I was thinking the same thing,” Lloyd said. “That John Denver’s full of (expletive), man.”
■ HOT ROUTE — On the subject of audibles, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady screamed, “Cougar! Cougar!” and “Linda!” before firing a touchdown pass in a comeback win over the Broncos during the regular season.
The audible appeared to be a reference to Linda Holliday, coach Bill Belichick’s 50-year-old girlfriend.
“Well, since it was obviously a good call and a well-executed play, I’ll take a tiny bit of credit — but only for a well-named play,” Holliday told the Boston Herald.
■ LOTT ON THE LINE — Following the lead of 49ers safety Ronnie Lott — who opted to have the tip of his pinky finger amputated rather than miss part of the 1986 NFL season — San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said he’d be willing to trade a finger and more for the chance to play in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.
“That would be an easy decision, yeah,” he said.
Would he trade his house?
“Oh, easy, yeah,” Harbaugh said. “I thought you were going to make it tough like a body part. Could I do without my left arm or one eye? I was kind of going to those extremes.”
While Harbaugh would gladly give up an arm or an eye to play Sunday, the 49ers are reportedly charging an arm and a leg for the coach’s game-worn khakis — which his wife, Sarah, said he bought for $8.
The pair of pleated pants in the 49ers’ team store is on sale for $500.
Don’t act like you’re not depressed.
COMPILED BY TODD DEWEY LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL