* Despite all the Twitter vitriol the name change from Royals to Storm Chasers appears to be working. The team announced a 475 percent increase in merchandise sales for November. Good enough to place Omaha in the top five in merchandise sales among all Minor League Baseball teams for the month. Not bad considering the team announced the change Nov. 15. If you want some of that new Chasers gear, the last Holiday Sale at Rosenblatt Stadium — and likely your last chance to get into the stadium — runs Dec. 10-13. On your way, pick up a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the Open Door Mission’s Project Santa and you can score a free Rosenblatt poster. * It’s early but so far the Civic Auditorium hasn’t been quite the snake pit for opposing teams the Omaha Vipers brass likely hoped for. After winning their debut on the road against Missouri, the Vipers lost three straight at home, the latest an 8-6 loss to the Milwaukee Wave Dec. 2. But if you’re thinking about taking in a game, don’t let the home record deter you. I went to the home opener and, while I had a few dusty memories of watching the Chicago Sting play on Sports Channel Chicago ages ago, I came away pretty satisfied with my first true Major Indoor Soccer League experience. It’s fast and fun to watch. The near constant blaring of mash-ups during play gets a little grating but it’s all okay when you see a player pass the ball to himself off the back wall and then finish with a goal on his own assist. It’s not credited that way in the box score, of course, but I swear I saw it happen. * In case you haven’t noticed, Doug McDermott is pretty good at basketball. The Creighton freshman — mandatory acknowledgment that he’s the coach’s son here — won the Missouri Valley Conference’s Newcomer of the Week honor three straight weeks and will likely pick up his fourth award this week after putting up 20 points and 12 rebounds against 21st ranked BYU Dec. 1. McDermott ranks third in the conference in scoring and leads the MVC in free throw shooting because, as of Dec. 2, he hadn’t missed one. That’s another stat that requires me to tell you he’s a coach’s son.


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