Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Vanderbilt Hotline: Let's get Creative

It appears Punxsutawney Phil was right (or maybe that's just global warming). The DC Bureau of Commodore Nation is starting to heat up, and not just because the Commies are on fire (I apologize for this corny intro...it was honestly all I could think of).

Kevin Stallings and the boys travel to Starkville tonight in a showdown with the Mississippi State Bulldogs. While a thorough preview will be forthcoming, there are several articles that should serve as a good primer before getting the real thing from Bobby O. In case you hadn't heard, Vanderbilt beat the #1 team in the country on Saturday...it was kind of a big deal. Fans stormed the court, Gators were taking swings at Students, Sportscenter actually devoted more than 10 seconds to Vanderbilt coverage...anyway, I digress. Coming off such a big win, there is always the fear of a let down, something the Commodores can ill-afford as they cling to a .5 game lead for second in the SEC East over Kentucky and a full game over Georgia. Mississippi State is no slouch, and have managed to put themselves in a position to actually win the awful SEC West. Currently 6-6 in conference, they are counting on Vanderbilt looking past them after their big win on Saturday. With that said, Mississippi State is 0-4 against the SEC East.

While there are still games left, attention is quickly turning to Vanderbilt's post-season hopes. While I agree that Vanderbilt is a "lock" for March, the worst thing this team can do is let up in these final four games (You should, however, be planning ahead for March. Click on this link to register for March Madness on Demand to be able to watch all the action from your office). Derrick Byars continues to get a lot of run in the national press. Byars was Dick Vitale's Player of the Week, and was named SEC Player of th Week for the second time this season. Kevin Stallings is also starting to feel the love. While the national press has ripped Stallings for playing "keep-away" with the Frenchman, that didn't preclude Stallings from being a finalists for Coach of the Year. I've said this before, and I will say it again, there is a direct relationship to the quality of Stallings' coaching and the emergence of the Vanderbilt Sports Line. He is CLEARLY reading the blog. And I think the press release announcing Stallings as one of the 15 finalists should read:

Vanderbilt men's basketball coach Kevin Stallings* has been named one of 15 finalists for the 2007 Jim Phelan national coach of the year award.
*Vanderbilt Sports Line is a co-nominee, without whom, none of this would have been possible

Stanimal has a great run-down of the Lady Commies, so make sure to check out his thread below.

As always, Baseball Beat Blogger Woody has a great preview of the "Cross-Town Throwdown" with Lipscomb.

Vanderbilt beat reporter for the Nashville City Paper, Brett Hait has an interesting column about the "creativity" of Vanderbilt Fans. I was quite disappointed that Hait didn't shout out the "Walsh has Crabs" chat of yesteryear, and think his point is off. What do you all think? Don't be shy. I think this would be a good forum to get "creative" and yet another way for the Vanderbilt Sports Line to gain an even greater strangle-hold over Vanderbilt Sports.

2 comments:

Seamus O'Toole said...

I'll be brief (or maybe not):

1) Hait is right. Vandy students should be better than they are at hurling hilariously distracting insults/cheers during games. When I was at Vandy, we weren't one-tenth as clever or insane or pound-for-pound loud as my high school's cheering section. Things may have deteriorated more since then--I don't know.

2) Ease up, Brett. There aren't that many Dukes out there. Compared to everyone but Duke, I'd say Vandy fans do a darn good job of getting in other teams' heads. We did get pretty creative now and again in my day at Vandy. And it's no secret that Vandy students make Memorial one of the toughest places to play. Ask anyone who's done it, especially other SEC teams. Billy Donovan and Bruce Pearl put us right up there with Rupp. So there.

3) Just as our team has stepped up this season, our student section should step up its presence at and preparation for basketball games. Tie one on. Fine.

4) I completely agree about the "overrated" chant. This is one of the most nonsensical ways to diminish a great win that I can think of. But why pick on Vandy for this? Isn't "overrated" the most common cheer heard from every student section at every school for every "upset" victory for every sport in the country?

And if every student section is to blame, isn't this an indictment of our ENTIRE AMERICAN SOCIETY?! Well, you can do what you want to us [Brett/SEC board who fined us $25,000], but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America! Gentlemen! [cue the humming of the national anthem and march-out in unison]

Sissisright said...

Call me crazy, but I thought the point of chanting and heckling was to help one’s team, not to impress esteemed journalists like Brett Hait. Years ago, we yelled “Walsh you suck” and “Walsh has crabs” not to make him chuckle, but to get inside his head. And guess what, he had a terrible game against us - clearly the Vandy faithful got him thinking.

I do agree that we could sometimes be more creative in what we yell, but the point of it isn’t to bring one’s wits to the game, it’s to help the team win. As far as I’m concerned, the Dore nation has been doing a great job getting behind its team. Whatever they are yelling is working and I hope that they keep on doing it. For the UK game, I don’t care if they research Randolph Morris’ mother’s maiden name and make a pun on it or if they call him a dumb-looking ugly brute – as long as they get in his head and Vandy wins, this Dore will be happy.