Ramblings of Jason Dannelly: Nebraska Wesleyan leaving the GPAC

If you follow small college athletics you have no doubt already heard the news that Nebraska Wesleyan is leaving the Great Plains athletic conference and going full-fledged into NCAA Division III.
To be honest I wasn’t sure how much I really wanted to write about this subject. It doesn’t particularly pertaining to NAIA football and it’s really more of a membership issue of the NAIA. But given the fact that the NAIA will be losing a football member I thought I should weigh in briefly on the subject.

My biggest issue with the entire situation is how things played out for the remaining members of the Great Plains Athletic Conference. There is no doubt that Nebraska Wesleyan was always a little bit different animal with their dual affiliation in the NAIA and NCAA. In fact for the last 15 years of the Great Plains athletic members in the conference have wondered what Nebraska Wesleyan’s intention would be if they kept their dual affiliation. Continue reading

Nebraska Needs to Legalize Gay Marriage

same_sex_marriage_ban_in_nebraska__giacomo_cardelliby Jason Dannelly
It’s my hope that in the coming days U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon will overturn Nebraska’s ban on gay marriage.

There. . .I said it.

Anyone that knows me understands I don’t particularly like writing things that are controversial. I enjoy discussing my views with people that are close to me and don’t often venture outside of the world of sports and comedy when it comes to the written word. Mostly because I understand that once you write something, it’s there and it’s not going anywhere.

Since 1998, I’ve considered myself a journalist. I had been working in radio and when I was in college I got the opportunity to begin writing a column every few weeks in the local Blair, Nebraska newspaper. Not a college paper, an actual for profit paper. Since then I never really wrote anything that wasn’t sports related or involved some sort of comedy or entertainment.

The main reason was because of my fear that my actual opinions on “real life situations” would alienate what few readers I actually had or anger people that I worked for. Continue reading

Remembering Brad Fossberg, The Rimington Banquet and The Fight Against Cystic Fibrosis.

Brad Fossberg

The view I had of Brad every morning for two years.

This Saturday the Rocco Theater will fill up with people who adore sports and are infatuated with college football for the annual Rimington Trophy Presentation.

People much like Brad Fossberg.

They’ll want to listen to Hall of Fame Coach Bobby Bowden speak. They’ll rise and applaud the official honoring of Reese Dismukes of Auburn as the nation’s top center with the Rimington Trophy. The event itself is something I absolutely love attending and I’m certainly not a “banquet” person. The underlying message, the reason for everyone getting together will be to spread awareness about cystic fibrosis and raise funds for finding a cure for the disease.

For the last few years I have helped to select the Rimington Award for the DI-FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA levels of college football. Basically I reach out to experts and scouts at each level of college football, review film and narrow down the candidates before selecting the winners of each division. I was honored to be asked and the selection process is something I take great pride in being a part of every year. Continue reading

My Favorite Shots of 2014

This year was a bit of a resurgence of my photography work and needless to say I had a lot of fun. During interterm of my junior year at Dana College I took “Intro to 35MM Photography” and I can safely say it is the one class at Dana I walked away with a tangible skill I could use in the real world. Don’t take that as “I learned nothing else at Dana” because that’s not true. I was a writer and a broadcaster and college got me better at those two things.

But that photography class. . .that’s the one where I walked in knowing virtually nothing and left knowing the basics of a skill I could use the rest of my life. Keep in mind this was pre-digital photo days so you had either 24 or 36 chances to MAYBE get it right before you went back out and did it all again after you developed your film and realized you had zero clue what you were doing. Continue reading

Jason Dannelly Movie Review: The Interview.

The_Interview_2014_posterYep. . .I was that guy today. I didn’t have any interest in seeing “The Interview” in theaters when I first saw the trailer. It looked a lot like most James Franco/Seth Rogen comedies. Then the two did an interview with my favorite radio show “Opie and Jimmy” and I was intrigued to maybe check it out.

Then. . Sony hack, no release, limited release and ultimately on demand release sparked my interest even more.

I logged into my YouTube account, bought the movie and watched it with my buddy Kevin sitting in my own living room. Simple. I realize this might hurt movie theaters in the long run but when I see movies like this coming out I can’t help but think on demand might be a better avenue than traditional venues. Louis CK started the trend offering his comedy specials online for $5. Joe Rogan also did the same. Continue reading

Jason Dannelly’s Top 10 Most Played Songs of 2014


Sam Hunt found his way onto my playlist this year.

Anyone that knows me understands how much music I listen to and more importantly how often music has been a part of my life. When I was 14 I started my first “non-farm” job as a mobile wedding DJ. Then when I turned 16 I worked at a local Columbus radio station called KLIR. Up to that point I was primarily a hard rock listener despite the radio in the milk barn being tuned to country 100 percent of the time.

In fact, I’m pretty sure the only times the radio ever switched signals in that milk barn were when there was a sporting event on another station or when I was on the air. And even when I was on the air I can remember my Grandpa Dannelly and dad both saying the station would be better if they played different music.

Continue reading

NAIA Football National Championship Game Preview: Southern Oregon vs. Marian

10339739_1703721843187182_1827114446610379474_nby Jason Dannelly

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

Jason Dannelly Previews the NAIA Football Championship Series Semifinals

Depending on what side of the fence you are looking, you’re either really excited or really disappointed in the NAIA Championship Series semifinal round. There aren’t many that would have predicted two weeks ago that we would be looking at SOU traveling to Saint Xavier and Marian traveling to Morningside to determine who would head to the national championship.

If you aren’t excited for the match ups then you obviously weren’t paying much attention from 2002 until about 2010. Every year the season would start and you could predict the top four teams in the NAIA and have a 50/50 shot at getting the national championship team correct. Continue reading

Jason Dannelly Previews the NAIA Football Quarterfinals

560204_10152799750429477_7500933386025271825_nI’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

Jason Dannelly Selects Winners of the First Round of the NAIA Football Championship Series

10339739_1703721843187182_1827114446610379474_nWe’ve been on the “road” for so many years that its odd for me to envision a “race” to the NAIA National Championship. Especially given the driving conditions I had cross country the last few years getting to Rome. Although two buses stranded on I-75 in Georgia and the stories from all those involved is still one of my favorite memories from 2010.

But this year the NAIA will embark on the first of three title games in Daytona Beach aptly title the “Race to Daytona.” Previous incarnations of the game saw us on the “Road to Savannah” and the “Road to Rome.” The racing moniker fits the host and also the attitude of several of the NAIA’s best who are definitely in the fast lane towards the NAIA title game. (See what I did there?)

It’s so tough for me to pick any major upsets in the first round of the NAIA Football Championship Series in any given year. Typically if you select the chalk, you are bound to get five or six of the eight games correct. Last year the only upset was Tabor defeating Benedictine in the first round (11 over an 8). In 2012 there were two upsets, same with 2011.

But that’s not to say the NAIA postseason doesn’t go without it’s occasional craziness. In 1998, five underdogs garnered victories in the NAIA’s opening round of the championship series seeing the No. 1, No. 2, No. 5, No. 6 and No. 7 teams in the county knocked off in game one of the postseason. This led to a national championship game where the No. 8 Azusa Pacific Cougars won their first national championship game over the No. 11 Olivet Nazarene Tigers. Continue reading