Rest in Peace, Jason

by The Commish

January 12, 2022

On Sunday, the NPL lost a close friend. Jason Danch, the operator of the Jason JeStErS NPL franchise had his life cut suddenly short in an unfortunate and heartbreaking motorcycle accident.

Some of you were not lucky enough to ever meet Jason in person. That is the nature of the NPL. We are all pretty well spread out. Jason spent his final years in Arizona, but became one of my close friends while living in Cheney and studying at Eastern Washington University, and our friendship endured until his untimely death. It breaks my heart to be writing something like this, but I owe him some tribute and I really have no other platform.

Jason Danch

I met Jason where I met several of you: working at Domino’s in Cheney, WA. When I first moved to Cheney and started school at EWU, I was broke – like, “couldn’t afford a single gallon of gas to get home from work” broke. I literally spent every last cent moving 400 miles to restart my life. My brother, Chris, can tell you how frequently I turned down social trips to his house in Spokane simply because the cost of driving there (20 miles) was too high for me at that point in my life. It’s important I point that out, because the next bit highlights Jason’s quality as a man. When I was piling up pennies and nickels, flattening out my last two $1 bills on the counter at Domino’s, Jason asked what I was doing. I told him it was all I had and needed gas – my car had been on ‘E’ for two days already. I wasn’t seeking sympathy, just answering honestly.

At this point in our friendship, Jason was a work acquaintance, at best. We hadn’t yet spent time out outside of work. It was in this moment that he showed me the generosity that defined him. With a simple, “Dude… no”, he beckoned me to follow him to the gas station near his house. He pulled out a credit card and paid for my gas. A full 15 gallon purchase, well over $50, for a guy he barely knew. I was floored. Speechless. I couldn’t thank him enough. He wouldn’t even take my pathetic two-dollars-and-change from me. He simply said, “I trust you will pay me back, so we’re good.”

From that point on, Jason was in my circle. I started hanging out at his house with him and his roommate Ryan (who also became a dear friend), watching football with him at Wild Bill’s, going to parties he’d host, playing co-ed softball with that little speed demon, you name it. He joined my annual trip to Seattle for Mariners Opening Day – something he continued to do even after moving to Arizona and something we had planned to do again this coming April. Did you ever join me and my friends for “Shot Band”? Jason started that. And he killed us all with “Testify” by Rage Against the Machine (his enthusiasm in trying to hit those notes – I never laughed so hard in my life). We golfed. We drank. We laughed.

Jason Danch

That laugh. My god. Nothing more infectious than Jason’s laugh. That hyena cackle he had when he was truly laughing is something I will miss sorely. I can hear it now and it brings a smile to my face amidst these tears. He had a great sense of humor and while I have numerous stories, one of my favorites is when he was so drunk that fell off the front steps of my house into a pile of leaves. Without missing a beat, working in a perfect pun, Jason laid there eyes closed and said, “It feels like Fall out here.”

It feels weird bringing it back to the NPL at the close here, but I feel a tribute to Jason is in order. I simply cannot ask someone to step in and fill Jason’s spot in the league – not yet, maybe next year. For this season, Coin Toss will fill out that league position (but to honor Jason, Coin Toss has decided to always select the Seattle Seahawks to win). Secondly, you may have already noticed the footer contains a dedication to Jason – the 2022 NPL season will be dedicated in his memory. And lastly, no one won “Player of the Week” more than Jason. He collected that badge 20 times. The next closest player has 12. With that in mind, the Player of the Week award will be renamed “Jason’s Player of the Week”.

I’ll miss you, Jason.

Read Jason’s Obituary Here

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