How many times can someone yell 'Omaha!' in a week? One Seahawk will find out

Yahoo Sports

NEW YORK – When the Seattle Seahawks' defense lines up to face Peyton Manning on Sunday and hears him scream the famous "Omaha" cry – the word that has led to drinking games, charitable donations, consumer discounts and letters of thanks from city elders – it won't seem like anything new.

That is because ever since the celebratory moments that followed the Seahawks punching their ticket to the Big Apple with an NFC championship nail-biter against the San Francisco 49ers, the Legion of Boom secondary and the rest of their defensive cohorts have been inflicted with a never-ending barrage of Manning impersonations from one of their teammates.

Offensive right tackle Breno Giacomini started off screaming "Omaha" every time he passed a defensive colleague in the CenturyLink Field locker room just after the 49ers game. It began as a joke, before Giacomini stumbled across the thought that it might actually do some tangible good.

Super Bowl preparation tactics take many forms and the 28-year-old's method of vocalizing a Nebraskan city's name might be one of the more unusual ones, but that hasn't stopped him from believing it can give the Seahawks an edge against Manning and the AFC champion Denver Broncos.

"It just started out as fun, I found myself over there by the 'D' and I was yelling it out," Giacomini told Yahoo Sports. "But then I'm like, why not keep doing it?

"We keep it real loose in here and that is one of the great things about this team. Those guys are going to be hearing it from me all week, screaming 'Omaha' every time I see them. They will probably be sick of it, but they will be ready."

"Omaha" fever has already kicked in at the start of Super Bowl week, with one Las Vegas bookie taking bets on the number of times Manning says it at MetLife Stadium. The opening line was over/under 27.5, a shade below his 31 utterances against the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.

Giacomini is in his sixth season out of Louisville. After spending time on the Green Bay Packers' practice squad before joining the Seahawks in 2010, he appreciates the opportunity he has earned in Seattle.

One of the biggest jokers of the Seahawks locker room, he was given the nickname of "The Big Russian" by Marshawn Lynch, because he, er, grew up in Brazil. (Go figure).

Yet he insists his "Omaha" repetition carries nothing but tones of respect for Manning, who has used the code word at the line of scrimmage for years before anyone took notice. 

"Peyton is the best, man, but to be the best you have got to beat the best," Giacomini said. "We wouldn't have it any other way. By calling out 'Omaha' I am just keeping the guys relaxed. Peyton is just awesome, but he is the guy we have to go out there and try to beat.

"If they hear 'Omaha' enough maybe it will make them feel comfortable with it, then when they hear it on the field they will be relaxed and focused and make a great play."

Giacomini's teammates speak highly of his laidback approach and center Max Unger insisted his locker room positivity was the kind of intangible that can greatly lift a team.

"Breno's the man," Unger said. "Core guy, awesome off the field. He is one of my best friends. He brings a lot to the table."

As for Manning, he has seemingly enjoyed the sudden obsession with his play-calling trickery, telling reporters that "Omaha" could be a run or pass play, depending on the wind, the direction the Broncos are facing, the time of the game and the color of the team's jerseys.

Maybe he was being serious, or maybe Giacomini isn't the only one who likes a joke.

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