Last summer on July 2nd the world, the NAIA, college athletics, and most importantly the Parker family, lost a great man. His name was Bruce Parker and he was my friend. At the time when he passed away, I stated on social media that I would give Bruce his due down the road. I’ve always been a bit miffed on how we honor someone when they pass away and then we hear nary a word about them until some posthumous award is given to them or a building is named in their honor.
So many people knew, loved, and respected Bruce. If I would’ve written about him last summer my experiences would’ve been lost in the outpouring of love and grief displayed for Bruce. So I am being a bit selfish writing this down the road and wanting people to pay attention to what I have to say. There are a ton of stories I would like to share about Bruce, but for now I want to focus on a few things that made him special and how he helped me personally.
Bruce understood what I was trying to do when I owned the Victory Sports Network and he saw what it meant to schools, athletes and alumni. He was a trusted advisor to my business and did everything he could to help me grow it into the national media for NAIA athletics. He also understood the struggles that I had with NAIA national office early in my career. I was the young kid poking them in the side all the time. I’d ask them questions they didn’t want to answer and often times did not following their protocols. They didn’t hate me but they didn’t exactly like me. The NAIA tolerated me. Then a moment in November of 2007 changed it all.
While I can appreciate the “Big J” journalists doing their best to understand small college football, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out they are doing a terrible job.
Recently ESPN published their attempt at “The 50 best college football programs over the last 150 years.” They characterized the list as being put together as “college football’s greatest programs across all divisions” while in the same breath leaving out the NAIA. Ahh, the “Big J” journalists doing their finest work.
I’m sure they will make the argument, “Well we counted the NAIA championships for teams in DII and DIII.” But nevertheless, there isn’t one current NAIA program on the list.
South Dakota State’s Jacob Ohnesorge Wins First Rimington Award in School History
New York, NY – Jacob Ohnesorge of South Dakota State University headlines the 2017 Rimington Award winners for the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA divisions. This year’s selections mark the 15th time the top center of each respective level has received the award.
Ohnesorge, a senior from Waunakee, Wis. is a three-time All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honoree, earning first team honors in both his junior and senior seasons. Additionally, Ohnesorge excelled in the classroom being named to the MVFC Academic Honor Roll in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Jacob has started 53 consecutive games which ties a record for the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits and has already graduated with his degree in Mechanical Engineering. After starting all four seasons, Ohnesorge was part of one of the best offenses in SDSU school history this year averaging 38.8 points per game. Ohnesorge is the first Jackrabbit to ever receive the Rimington Award. Continue reading →
“I wonder what that guy who used to write about NAIA football all the time and sells farm equipment now thinks about the current state of the Nebraska football program?”
Well you’re in luck! It’s cold in North Dakota today, the Bison are on the road and Nebraska doesn’t play until later. So that gives me plenty of time to throw out a bunch of polarizing ideas that will have half of my friends blocking me on Facebook and the other half rolling with laughter. Keep in mind, I’ve done zero research before writing this article.
Plus I took the under in this Mississippi State/Arkansas game and that doesn’t look promising right now. Kinda like the future of Nebraska football unless something changes, other than the coaching situation. So here you go folks! Continue reading →
It’s been 25 years this fall since we were blessed with “The Program.” I remember going to the movie theater with my parents. At the time it was one of the most anticipated moments of my life. A real life college football movie! Tackles, YEAH! Touchdowns, YEAAHHH! Trash Talking, YEEEEAAHHHHHHHH! Face paint, FACE PAINT, YEAAHHHHHHHH.
The movie brought in 23 million dollars at the box office and nearly every person I played football with had a VHS tape of it. (Remember those?)
But let’s be honest, from a football perspective this movie is a steaming pile of garbage. I fully realize if 13 year old Jason was here right now he’d put a beat down on me. Partially due to the fact he’d be in much better shape and because I was obsessed with this movie so much I probably watched parts of it every week during my high school football career. Continue reading →
Considering the five hours I spent yesterday on Twitter talking about the NAIA postseason as well as the selection process from the week before, I figured today would be a good day to weigh in with some thoughts. First I’ll hit on yesterday’s games and then I’ll get into the postseason selections, travel and how all that is done.
We all knew Saint Xavier traveling to Morningside was going to be interesting, we just didn’t know it would be THAT interesting. With a final score reminiscent of a basketball game, Morningside pulled it together to win 75-69. Before everyone goes off the deep end about the No. 1 seed almost losing to a lower seed you have to understand the type of season SXU had that was riddled with injuries. This weekend’s game was really the first game of the entire year where the Cougars were at full strength and it was nearly good enough to knock off the best in the NAIA. Continue reading →
Marian and Southern Oregon will lock it up this Friday in what I consider to be one of the more mysterious NAIA football championship games in recent memory. It seems like even though in recent years we had new faces in the title game everyone knew what the teams in the game were about or had seen them rise to the top of the NAIA.
Both of this year’s participants were long shots to make it to the title game at the start of the season and even bigger longshots when the season got over. But these teams showed moxy and battled their way to Daytona Beach being the first NAIA football teams to christen the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Marian is a different team with a different staff from just a few years ago when they defeated Morningside for their first ever football title. Southern Oregon is in their first football chipper ever and is a team that a few years ago many had figured would wallow in the seas of mediocrity for the foreseeable future. Continue reading →
I’m going to be completely honest. I hate round two of the NAIA Championship Series. I hate the way it’s put together, I hate when it’s played and I hate that after umpteen years no one has done anything to change it.
Some of my argument for change goes back to what I touched on last week via twitter and the need for the NAIA and its football coaches to consider a major rewrite of the NAIA Championship Series. Just like every other division of college football, things have changed. But the NAIA is the only organization that has not made a major change to its postseason qualification since it adopted its current form in 1997.
And there isn’t a person in the world that can convince me the state of NAIA football is the same now as it was in 1997. Continue reading →