Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Letter from Bobby Johnson

For those of you who are members of the National Commodore Club or have signed up to VUCommodores All-Access, you probably got this email. If you are reading this blog and are within 3 hours of Nashville, chances are you were going to the game anyway. But just in case you were on the fence, or know some people in the Nashville area, take CBJ's plea to heart and Black Out Vanderbilt Stadium.

Dear Fellow Commodores,

We often talk about creating new fans of Vanderbilt Athletics. This Saturday, all of us have a golden opportunity to do just that.

On Saturday, your Commodore football team faces a critical test - and an excellent opponent - when the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks visit Vanderbilt Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff. We're trying to win No. 5 this season, and build on last week's win over nationally ranked South Carolina.

The team needs your support – and the support of your friends, associates and relatives.

People around Nashville are talking about your Commodores – and they're talking about this particular game. For such a great day of college football, we need to fill Dudley Field with the spirit of Commodore fans cheering our guys to victory. That's where you can help. On Thursday and Friday, take the time to encourage your close friends to attend the game. If you're planning to come alone, bring a guest. If your family is coming, invite another family.

We're asking that you spread the word! Tell others why you appreciate this team - and why you support the Commodores so much. Let's try to create some new Vanderbilt fans this week.

Admission tickets are discounted to $22 for the game, and are available today, Friday and on game day starting at 11:00 a.m. You can always just call 322-GOLD.

On behalf of the Vanderbilt student-athletes, coaches and staff, I want to thank each of you for the great support this year. You've been loud, vocal, and very supportive every game – and you've done it with total class. Let's take it to the next level, and make it even better!

Again, thanks a lot for the time and consideration.

Your Football Coach,

Bobby Johnson

The Commodore Creed ... Practice like a champion, play like a champion, live like a champion.

Click here to order tickets


Anonymous said...

Sounds like CBJ is doing the old Lou Holtz trick in talking up Miami (OH) as a "great team." Miami (OH) just lost to Temple. Being from Philadelphia, myself, I know that's no easy task. In fact, winning by less than 21 over Temple would involve a kneel down policy in the 3rd quarter. Black out the stadium, fans, but expect a blowout.

Anonymous said...

CBJ is a so dumb by doing this, save the fan support speeches for a big opponent or to try to get people to travel. Instead of sending out a letter why not go and interact with the students, and drum up support that way. Why not have a simulated practice on alumni lawn to gather fan support?

A letter is a cheap trick!!!

Seamus O'Toole said...

I think it mostly has to do with the fact that opposing SEC teams' fans have bought up most of the tickets for the remaining in-conference opponents. The idea here being to get as many Vanderbilt supporters in the stands for the games where one might actually be able to tell that we outnumber our opponent's fans.

I agree that the letter comes off pretty cheesy. The reality is Vanderbilt fans will show up if they think we've got a good chance to win (see basketball and baseball). Still, some credit is due for the call to arms. It was directed to NCC supporters, so I'm guessing the goal was to bring in people who clearly support Vanderbilt sports but might not be showing up to football games the way they do for basketball games.

Woody said...

Slightly off-subject here, but for those of you in Nashville, if you've got a baseball itch that needs scratching, the Fall Practice season is closing this weekend with the Black - Gold scrimmages. It's three games, Friday, Sunday, and Monday. So, if you want to get a bead on this year's squad and/or nurse a hangover at a baseball game, I encourage you to do so. Oh yeah, Free admission.

Resume discussion of CBJ's

Bobby O'Shea said...

I've got to be honest, I don't see this as anything other than a very reasonable attempt to drum up support from the community. I don't think it's any more or less cheesy than email solicitations from the school asking for money or support.

Just because CBJ put his name to this letter doesn't mean that this is his only way of interacting, but rather one of many ways to interact. While anonymous is absolutely right that there are things the team can do to get the students involved (I heard rave reviews from Aaron on Vandyville and the tailgating opportunities they've set up for the students specifically), I don't think it's an all or nothing proposition.

As to Seamus' point, he is absolutely right to say Vanderbilt will get support when they win. However, with 3 of our last 5 games at home, and a legitimate shot at a bowl for the first time since MTSU broke our hearts in 2005, it's not too much to hope that the same fans who jumped on the bandwagon with basketball and baseball will take a leap of faith for football.

Nowhere is this more true than with the UK game. That game is now sold out. All I can hope is it's not a sea of blue on November 10th. With 5 games left, Vanderbilt has a legitimate shot to get on TV in their last 4 games (a topic discussed on the latest podcast). While that is great for a recruiting, a team this close to a once forbidden land, will doubly impress recruits by being on TV and playing in front of a rabid crowd. This will be particularly difficult against Wake given that it comes the Saturday AFTER Thanksgiving break. It is my hope the school will open up the dorms early and encourage students to come back to and watch their Commies reach the Promised Land (which will likely bear a striking resemblance to Shriveport or Memphis).

Seamus O'Toole said...

I don't disagree with any of Bobby's points, except his claim that the email doesn't come off sounding cheesy:

"Tell others why you appreciate this team - and why you support the Commodores so much."

Pure, unadulterated, cheese.

Anonymous said...

I think his email made people stay away. The crowd was dismal.