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.
Well here we are again! Opening day is upon us and it’s time to strap in for 162 games where the summer sun beating down on our backs as we watch the boys in blue take the AL Central and head to the World Series.
Wow. . .these are. . . really good drugs.
I’m kidding, no drugs were taken during the writing of this preview although by the end of the season that might be a different story. To be honest if there is anyone that has that positive of an outlook on this season for KC you might want to get a hair sample and send it off to the lab.
Over the past week I’ve been nursing my post-football/pre-baseball sickness that seems to creep in every year at this time. The only cure is to scour the internet for spring baseball statistics, check up on the top prospects and remind yourself of everything forgotten about the last baseball season.
Then it happened. I went to the Kansas City Royals web site. It was right there. . .mocking me.
“The Top 50 Greatest All-Time Kansas City Royals from 50 Years of Royals Baseball.”
I did what I shouldn’t have. . .I clicked the link and No. 50 came up. . .Jarrod Dyson.
Yes, that Jarrod Dyson.
After my computer finished crashing and I stopped swearing at it and the list, I made a decision. I’m coming up with my own “Top 50 Greatest Royals from the First 50 Years.” After all, if you start the list with Jarrod Dyson it’s going to be a flawed list. That’s nothing against Dyson and his time in blue but to even mention him as one of the top Royals of all-time means that you literally started watching Royals baseball in 2014 and stopped halfway through 2016 when they weren’t doing so well.
I completely understand that no “all-time team” will ever be written without criticism. I’m sure this one will be torn apart.
I also understand that the Royals web site list was voted on by the fans which confirms my fear of the bandwagoners leading the voice of the Royals fans now and not the ones who actually watched and paid attention when they were losing 100 plus games a year with Runelvys Hernandez trotting out to the mound as the next big thing. (Note: He didn’t make the list.) Continue reading →
Back in August, Tyler Childers released “Purgatory” as his second ever studio album. Prior to the release, I knew nothing about Childers or his music and the only thing I did know was this album was produced by Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson. Being the Sturgill fan that I am it deserved a listen.
I’m not one to push music on people and I’m not one that listens to an album once and thinks that it’s gold. Usually what I do is check it out over a period of time and see if the music sticks. Ultimately, is it good enough to keep me going back to it on my long drives around the countryside. 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 →
Somethings you just can’t get out of your blood and covering NAIA football in some shape or form is one of those things for me. I don’t have the time these days to follow every team in the NAIA like I used to back in the day but I still keep track of it enough to feel like I can make a few predictions heading into this weekend’s first round of the Championship Series. Continue reading →
Yesterday it was announced that the NAIA has decided to move the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball Tournament from Branson, Mo. after 18 years. This comes after College of the Ozarks became upset that the national office wouldn’t require all student athletes to stand for the national anthem. (Full Story – pay no attention to my comment trolling in the section below the story, haha)
I’ll let you read the story for the full details. However, after 24 hours and seeing all the interactions I felt it was necessary to dust off my NAIA media credentials and comment. Continue reading →
Early last summer I was approached by Rob Brandt of the Victory Sports Network. You see, Rob is the guy I sold VSN to (the second time) and he is the guy responsible for the site’s contents. He and Barry Fouts asked me to write something for the 15 year aniversary of VSN.
I said, “Sure.”
Admittedly I forgot about writing that piece until one night last month when I posted a few photos for nostalgia sake and said, “Crap, forgot to write that.”
But as nostalgia goes. . .it got me thinking. Why not write 15 brief stories that no one knows about the behind the scenes stuff that happened at VSN? There has probably been enough time and distance from these stories to not incriminate anyone, so why not.
So without a big long drawn out explanation, here are the 15 stories from the VSN years you never knew about, sorry mom and dad (again). 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 →