Dubuque man lives Hawkeye dream for dad - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque man lives Hawkeye dream for dad

James Connely III, 21-month-old Nile Connely and Jim Connely, photo courtesy Jim Connely James Connely III, 21-month-old Nile Connely and Jim Connely, photo courtesy Jim Connely

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- One Iowa fan will watch the Iowa-Missouri game that his father had always dreamed of seeing.

"I'd say I'm probably the biggest Hawkeye fan in the entire city of Dubuque. I'll go on record to say that," 1992 University of Iowa graduate and self-proclaimed diehard Hawkeye fan Jim Connely said.

His father James Connely graduated from the University of Missouri in 1966, though the Hawkeyes intercepted his loyalty after his son Jim attended the University of Iowa.

"Number of years ago, Iowa and Missouri were supposed to play in a four-game home and away series, and Missouri canceled. They actually backed out of it," Connely said. "My dad was so intensely disappointed about that because of his pride for his alma mater, but it certainly would've been a great border war."

Finally, this year, the Connelys scored a border war, but it came 13 months too late for his father.

"He passed away a year ago in November, so it's kind of unfortunate that he can't physically be here to see it, but he'll have the best seat in the house tonight, for sure," Connely said.

Jim Connely has passed on his father's love for the Hawkeyes to his 21-month-old son.

"You can tell I'm the biggest Hawkeye fan in Dubuque because I named my son after Nile Kinnick," Connely said.

That sacks a longstanding tradition.

"I'm a fourth generation James, so we broke the mold naming him after Nile," Connely said.

Even though Jim Connely didn't pass on the full family name to Nile, he did share his passion for football.

As for Nile's future school, Connely said, "I'll support him just like my dad did, you know, when I made the decision to go to Iowa."

Though with all the pictures Connely has featuring his son decked out in Hawkeye gear, it seems young Nile is already warming up for Kinnick stadium.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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