Sunday, September 11, 2011

James Franklin shows Voice of Commodores who's boss

Coach Franklin is quick to correct somebody he thinks is wrong, especially somebody involved in his football program. One example is how he lit up Josh Grady last week about his "Hey, I'm redshirting" Twitter. Another example is when he sprinted down the field and lit up players who were celebrating Vandy's second touchdown.

And then there's Joe Fisher, the Voice of the Commodores.

Last week after the game, Fisher asked Franklin about "the Larry Smith situation."

"I don't know what you're talking about, 'the Larry Smith situation,'" Franklin snapped. "I don't know what that means."

Joe said he was only referring to the injury Larry suffered toward the end of the game. Franklin said Larry was going to play in the next game.

It gets better. On Saturday, in his interview with Franklin after Vandy's big win, Fisher asked this question:

"What happened in the second half, coach? You’ve got the lead 14-3 and then UConn sort of begins to assert itself a little bit more and takes control of the game and they scored to come back and take the lead?"

I was wondering if Fisher saw the same game I did when Franklin replied in the same exasperated tone he used when referring to "the Larry Smith situation":

"They didn’t 'assert themselves' and they didn’t 'take control of the game. We just made some mistakes and didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing. The blocked punt obviously was a big play and we gotta get that cleaned up. But they didn't 'assert themselves,' and I want to make sure we’re clear on that... We just gotta play smarter. We didn’t protect the ball this week, but this will be a great opportunity for growth for us."

About a minute later, Fisher, giving it the old college try, asked this: "When you get into conference play, that puts another edge on a game, doesn’t it?"

To which Franklin replied, "No. It’s the same old deal, it’s the most important game on our schedule is the next one. They’re all important, every single one of them. We’re going to take them one game at a time. Not one game we play is any more important than the next one."

Franklin doesn't answer reporters with that same tone of voice. Fisher's not a journalist, he's employed by Vanderbilt University. And Franklin's message in every interview with Fisher seems to be "you work for me."

Can't wait to hear Joe ask one of those questions after a loss.


Anonymous said...

I'm surprise at your article. CF is trying to change the culture of VU Football. And that includes the media. I don't think CF meant any disrespect to Mr. Fisher. I think he is trying to get even him to buy into what he's selling. And that you can have best of both worlds, SEC & Great education. So he want to focus on the positives. When are you, going to be "All In". And no disrespect intented....

Another Loud-Mouth Vanderbilt Alum said...

That's fine. Fisher is doing his job as is Franklin.
I've seen Kevin Stallings get REAL short with the media......but as you say, that's after a loss.


When am I going to be all in? Are you kidding?

I love what Franklin's doing. I love how he responded to Fisher. I like Joe Fisher, but by now he should know Franklin's message and how he'll respond to questions like that.

Joe Fisher is not "the media." He's the Voice of the Commodores. I think Franklin is doing an exceptional job of dealing with the media as well as with Fisher.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a little of both being at fault. Joe's never been a Larry Munson type homer, and CJF doesn't seem like the Aw shucks SEC type. Could have gone like this: "Coach, Larry took a hit there and you brought Jordan in. Was Larry all right?"
"Yeah, we were gonna take him out the next series and get a look at the other guys, Joe. I told Jordan to go ahead and go in. We were up, so I needed Larry to save some for UConn. He's a tough kid, he's ok."
"Coach, looks like after a couple of tough three and outs, UConn was trying to getting some momentum going."
"Well, it certainly looked like it, Joe. But we just weren't executing and making them look good. I knew if we took it up a notch and played to our abilities, we'd pull away."
See, it's all in how you ask and answer. Gonna have to be some give and take.


Excellent point and a good analysis. In this relationship, Joe's gonna be doing a lot more giving than taking.