Monday, June 13, 2011

VSL Hotline: Practiced Dogpile, Edition

There are a lot of stories out about the Vanderbilt Commodores' first trip to the College World Series. If you're anything like me, you've agonized since the final out of the Oregon State game figuring out how you were going to: a) get to Omaha, b) get enough time off work to make the most of your trip, or c) all of the above. Some incredibly good fortune, an understanding wife, and a free Southwest tickets have enabled the stars to align for me to make the trip (or so it would appear).

Even though the entire VSL Braintrust won't be able to make the trip, we recommend that everyone who can make the trip, does. Here is the ticket time-line:
-Sunday, June 12 from 1p.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday, June 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Members of the National Commodore Club and Champion’s Circle can call the Vanderbilt Ticket Office at (615) 322-GOLD (4653) and order up to 4 tickets per member for the College World Series. Fans who are not members will be allowed to join (minimum $100 level) during this time. All members that order within this allotted time will be placed in priority registration and will be notified via email after 5pm on Monday if they qualify for tickets. Ticket allotment and seat locations will be based on NCC priority.
- Tuesday, June 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon – Any remaining tickets will be made available to all Vanderbilt baseball season ticket holders who are not NCC members.
- Tuesday, June 14 from 1 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Any remaining tickets will be made available to Vanderbilt alumni.
- Wednesday, June 15 at 8:30 a.m. – Any remaining tickets will be made available to the general public.
Basically, the best way to ensure yourself tickets is to join the National Commodore Club

Here are some articles worth reading as you ponder the trip:
- Jeff Lockridge, Tennessean: Vanderbilt Coach's Blood Runs Blue for College World Series Opener. The most talked about angle of Vanderbilt's first trip to the College World Series is the fact that Commodore Head Basketball Coach Kevin Stalling will be rooting for the other guys when Tim Corbin's squad takes the field. CKS' son, Jacob, is the Tar Heel starting catcher. This is a great story, and among other things, shows what a class act Coach Corbin is.
- Jerome Boettcher of the Nashville City Paper penned two stories worth reading: Commodore Slugger Tops Off Big Night with a Tip of the Cap about Aaron Westlake's moster 3-4, 3 HR, 6 RBI game to send Vanderbilt to Omaha, and Vanderbilt's Long Rehearsed Celebration a Long Time Coming.
- David Boclair, also of the Nashville City Paper, writes the story Long Journey Now Complete: Vanderbilt Advances to College World Series in Omaha, although I suspect there are a lot of Commodores who aren't fully satisfied with merely making it there.
- Camereon Martin take the conversation high-brow with this piece on The Atlantic Monthly's website: Will Vanderbilt Finally Win the College World Series This Year? Don't Bet on It. You can probably guess where the VSL Braintrust is on this one.

David Boclair also has a piece in today's Nashville City Paper entitled simply Loudmouth about Coach James Franklin. The euphoria of the College World Series is too much for me to fully address this article right now. The basic premise, however, is that Coach James Franklin needs to shut up. I really like and respect Boclair's work, but I think this article is wrong. There is no doubt that Coach Franklin has been going on a full-scale sales offensive on behalf of the program, something that's been needed for some time. While it's true that CJF hasn't coaches a game as Vanderbilt's head coach yet, he has been incredibly effective at the off the field responsibilities a head football coach has: recruiting and selling the program. Coach Franklin, with less than 2 months before National Signing Day delivered the best recruiting class in Vanderbilt's history. The Commodores currently have the #24 recruiting class according to and there isn't a sports radio or television show that Franklin hasn't appeared on since coming to Nashville in December. This article from Boclair is a classic "heads I win, tails you lose" construct for Vanderbilt. Boclair writes: "At best, Franklin is walking a fine line between confidence and arrogance. At worst, with each self-aggrandizing proclamation, he wades deeper into hubris and positions himself for a heavy dose of comeuppance." The alternative to Franklin's frenetic pace is the status quo for Vanderbilt football, something all observers of the program agree was and is unacceptable. Coach Franklin is trying to build something at Vanderbilt, and from what I've seen so far, I think he's got a chance to succeed. Does that mean we'll be in a bowl next season? Probably not, but the difference between 2 wins and 4 wins is a lot, especially when you consider the infusion of talent poised to take the field on West End. In my opinion, it's not Franklin who should be told to shut up.

1 comment:

AspenVU said...

Boclair needs a life - who knows how CJF will do, but he is a breath of fresh air for what has been a poor football program (except they have been clean)

CKS should take a page from CTC who recognizes the difference in regular season success and post season success