NAIA Ramblings of Jason Dannelly from 8/25/2006: The Start of the Season . . . . FINALLY!

For ten years I have conducted interviews and covered sports in some way shape or form. Working with this level of athletics has been the purest experience of my life in that regard. Because of that, you the fan, reap in all the benefits. The information we put out is unfiltered and straight from the source.

So let’s get this season fired up! I knew I had the football bug. But it bit me pretty hard yesterday as I started covering the Hastings College preseason camp for my “Two-A-Day Tour” series. Even though the first report will not be filed until Wednesday I got a chance to see the new crop of freshmen go through conditioning tests and equipment checkout.

The scene brings back memories for anyone who played college football or worked around it. Wide-eyed freshmen trying to figure out which way is up while others rush past them. The “cocky” freshmen who seem to think they have things figured out already and the freshmen who are just trying to blend in to start.

The first day freshmen are at practice is also comical because of the attire you see most of them wearing. “State Playoff T-Shirts” to prove what high school they went to and other memorabilia are a must for day one. It’s usually that or a brand-new-never-been washed college shirt that the “newbies” get on day one.

I do not envy any of them. New place, new friends, and a new life plus they all want to compete for a starting job or playing time without even knowing what they are up against. Everyone is full of hope and dreams which surrounds the situation with an energy like no other place in the world. Businesses don’t bring in 45 new employees and get everyone excited about being there with just the sound of a whistle. You cannot start a family of 45 people one day and get them all encouraging one another two hours later. The only place for this type of energy and this type of feeling is on an NAIA Football field.

AHHHHHHHHH!!!!! It is football season … . . and I’m more than ready for it.

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