Sunday, December 17, 2006

Husker power/Manifest destiny

Husker volleyball
In the interest of completing this online network's coverage of the University of Nebraska women's volleyball team (at Jurisdynamics and at Agricultural Law), I am pleased to report the following dispatch from Susan Franck:
Well, tonight was the NCAA Division I National Championship for volleyball. And it was historic. The two most successful teams in college volleyball (not just this season but also in the game's history) -- Nebraska and Stanford -- were up against each other in the final at Omaha's Qwest Center.

And in front of the largest crowd to ever attend a college volleyball match, the Huskers came into volleyball glory. There were times I wasn't sure they could do it . . . . But in the end, it was a thing of beauty to watch. Both teams played incredibly well. [Editor's note: See game summaries courtesy of Huskers.Com, NCAA Sports, and the Lincoln Journal-Star.] The Huskers won in the end, but even if they hadn't I would have been incredibly proud of them.
For the benefit of my friends whose loyalties favor the University of Oklahoma, I hasten to add that it is the Sooners and not the Huskers who will be representing the Big 12 at the Fiesta Bowl and that any NCAA championship is worth lauding when it eludes the University of Texas.

All that is left, then, is to find some way of connecting this sports item to the larger mission of Jurisdynamics and its network of affiliated websites.

Nebraska and Stanford represent the terminals of what was then the greatest infrastructure project in American history, the Pacific Railway. In a summer when the fate of the Union hung in the balance, Congress passed the Pacific Railway Act, 12 Stat. 489, on July 1, 1862:
Pacific Railway ActAn Act to aid in the Construction of a Railroad and Telegraph Line from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. . . .

Be it enacted, That . . . "The Union Pacific Railroad Company" . . . is hereby authorized and empowered to lay out, locate, construct, furnish, maintain and enjoy a continuous railroad and telegraph . . . from a point on the one hundredth meridian of longitude west from Greenwich, between the south margin of the valley of the Republican River and the north margin of the valley of the Platte River, to the western boundary of Nevada Territory, upon the route and terms hereinafter provided . . . .
Insofar as it pitted teams representing Nebraska and California, the 2006 NCAA championship in women's volleyball should have been called the "Manifest Destiny Match." And while Omaha is a fine venue for such an event (especially if you are a Husker partisan), I recommend that the NCAA try to stage the next Nebraska-Stanford contest in a more neutral and historically resonant venue: the Golden Spike Arena in Ogden, Utah.

Promontory Point

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