Thursday, January 1, 2009

52,250 Vanderbilt fans helped Commodores win Music City Bowl

I've already given you a bunch of key stats from the game — rushing yards, third down efficiency, net punting average, etc.

But here's another number, and a really big one:


That's the attendance at LP Field for this year's Music City Bowl. Now consider that Boston College brought about 2,000 fans with them. Now subtract 2,000 from 54,250 and you're left with 52,250 — the number of people rooting for Vanderbilt.

That's about right. I was at the game on Wednesday and I'd say about 4 percent of the crowd was wearing maroon and gold and the rest were wearing black and gold.

It was a special moment, sitting in a big-time stadium that any big-time college football team would be proud to call home, and for one night it was filled with screaming Vanderbilt fans. For one night, LP Field was our house.

"The crowd was fantastic," Bobby Johnson said in the press conference after the game. "I looked around and it was black and gold everywhere. It was cold out there today. For those fans to cheer us on in those elements, it was great."

I was there with my wife and four children and my brother-in-law and his son. It was cold, but it was great. We were in the end zone when Hahnfeldt hit his big kick. Then after the game we were heading out of Nashville on I-40 when we heard Johnson on the radio telling Joe Fisher that the crowd was fantastic. He kept using the word fantastic.

"Hey kids, listen to this," I called back to the two kids on the second row of seats in the minivan and the two kids on the third row of seats in the minivan. "He's talking about you."

And if you were there cheering on the Commodores, he was talking about you too.

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