Saturday, February 28, 2009

Face it, Vanderbilt's got a heck of an intramural program

The fellows over at VSL have declared, and I quote, a "jihad" on AJC columnist Mark Bradley for referring to the Commodores as an intramural team. You guys taking a class on the Middle East or just watching a lot of cable news?

I actually thought Bradley's comments were funny. Here's what he said about Bobby Johnson:

"Everybody likes him. Even rival coaches like him. Except when they lose to him and his intramural team. Then they hate him for getting them fired."

Yes, that's really how other universities and their coaches and fans think about Vanderbilt. We don't even have an athletic department. Instead of an athletic director, the football program falls under David Williams, the Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Student Athletics. Vanderbilt has a different approach than other universities. Here's what Williams says in the football media guide:

"We believe in a well-rounded experience for our student-athletes that includes academics, athletics, community involvement, and a college social life. It will make them better in all areas. At Vanderbilt, while we strive to win, we define winning very broadly."

I promise you no one in the media guides for Florida, Georgia, Tennessee or Alabama says, "We define winning very broadly."

Nobody at any other SEC university expects to lose to Vanderbilt. And when they do lose to the Commodores or have worse records than the Commodores, their coaches do get fired. I've documented this pretty well in the past. You can ask Tommy Tuberville, Tony Franklin, Ray Goff, Ed Orgeron and the list goes on and on.

I don't always agree with Bradley. But what he says here, I think, is funny. And true. No, our football team's not wearing flags and playing the Buzz Kills for the championship. But our football team and football players are more a part of student life — on days other than Saturdays in the fall — than you'll find on any other SEC campus.

So lighten up, fellas. And let's all have a laugh when our intramural squad gets another coach fired.

1 comment:

Bob Loblaw said...

I like the tempered attitude there, but Bradley's still a jerk.

Congrats to the Dores on beating USC Jr. - too bad the Cats couldn't hold up their end of the deal.