Danny Kanell Disrespect Motivates Northwestern to Victory

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ESPN Analyst and former Florida State quarterback Danny Kanell is a polarizing figure.

That’s not news, as he’s got a bit of a football Dan Dakich vibe to him at times. “A little bit” as the Robert DeNiro parody on Saturday Night Live would say, “a little bit.” Kanell and his fellow ESPN college football pundits did not think too highly of 6-6 Northwestern this postseason, and NU Coach Pat Fitzgerald was quick to point that out today.

NU were 5.5 point underdogs against #23 Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl, but pulled off the upset winning 31-24.

Thus, setting the stage for Fitzgerald to call out Kanell in the postgame press conference.

“I’d like to give a special shout-out to Danny Kanell and the ESPN crew that told us we’d just be ‘happy to be here’ and that our motivation would be low,” Fitzgerald said,

“That’s the video I showed the guys when we got to New York… and I think 40/40 in confidence points, I greatly appreciate the external motivation…I cannot thank those three men enough.”

“I’m proud to blow up their bowl season predictions.”

A full explanation via the Chicago Tribune (who have Pat Fitzgerald video at this link):

Jonathan Vilma put a “37” on Pitt in his confidence picks — meaning, he gave Northwestern the fourth-longest odds to win one of the 40 bowl games. ESPN’s Danny Kanell then “corrected” Vilma, putting “40” on Pitt.

Danny Kanell took the shout out in stride, tweeting this below:

Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson said this after the game: “Danny Kanell had some interesting stuff to say. I love watching him on ESPN, but that got us riled up. Nothing against him; he made a pick. But we took that personally and we unleashed it today.”

NU safety Godwin Igwebuike on Danny Kanell:

“You know he said some things, he said some things that got under our skin a little bit. We came here to win, we’re Division I athletes, so when we hear things like that there’s only one thing we can do is respond, and we went out and did that. It’s a great feeling”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication and Bold Global.

He also consistently appears on numerous radio and television talk shows all across the country. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram and Sound Cloud.

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