AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2007 ARCHIVE
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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28- 1:53 PM
A couple of quick things... since I have been running around campus all day.
I stopped by Vice Chancellor David Williams' "Football 101" lecture in Light Hall at lunch today. He's been giving this hour long seminar for the last couple of years and today was my first time actually attending it. Williams spent the time giving the basic rules and strategies of football to faculty and staff from around campus. It was a cool event to attend... and I think the packed house enjoyed learning more about one of America's favorite games.
Second, I visited Memorial Gym to get a final photo of what the new court design looks like. I had some emails from fans waiting on the redesign, so I apologize for the delay. I think the surface turned out great and after viewing it in person, the new look definitely adds even more life to Memorial.
I'll be heading over to Lacrosse picture day here in a little while to get a behind-the-scenes look.... and will then end up at the women's bowling fall banquet where the team will receive their national championship rings later tonight. I'm looking forward to seeing what they look like.. and I'll try to grab a few shots to share in the blog.
In closing, here's one of my favorite cheesy videos from my childhood. If you're around my age, then you probably had a secret crush on Paula Abdul back in the day. I don't know exactly where it all went wrong for her (throw Mariah Carey into that category, too), but this video may have been what triggered her downfall.
And of course... MC Skat Cat makes his video debut. I didn't realize cats could smoke. I thought they didn't have thumbs. Oh well. Check back later this weekend for some more random stuff.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20- 11:05 AM
I had the pleasure of interviewing former Commodore and current Cleveland Indians
reliever Jensen Lewis this week.... and thought I'd post the audio from the discussion on VUcommodores.com.
Jensen just picked up his first MLB win Tuesday night against division rival and former AL champ Detroit. Since his call-up in July, he's been a consistent performer for a team in the thick of a pennant race (magic number is 3 for the division title). His ERA stands at 2.52 and he's only given up runs in two of his last 14 appearances. I'm personally looking forward to seeing what the Tribe will do in the playoffs. You should know that I've been a Cincinnati Reds fan my entire life... so pulling for the Indians would be considered a no-no in most circles. But since they have a Commodore flavor (Jeremy Sowers was also recalled this week by the Tribe), I have decided to adopt them as my team to root for in the post-season.
Best of luck to Jensen and Jeremy down the stretch.
Here's the audio interview... hope you enjoy it.
LISTEN TO JENSEN LEWIS INTERVIEW
(You can also download it on iTunes sometime before the end of the day... here's our podcasting page)
To close things out... I will be heading out of town later today to go to my 10-year high school reunion in Kingsport, Tennessee. I'm really excited to see some friends from the past and just relax. I also made sure to watch the movie Grosse Pointe Blank with John Cusack yesterday to get ready for this weekend's festivities (10 years, man... 10 years!!!!). If you haven't seen this flick, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.
And as you may remember from a previous posting during the summer... One of my goals three months ago was to drop my weight from 227 lbs. to 195 (so about 32 pounds in 90 days). Well, I fell five pounds short and weighed in at 200 today. I still feel good about it, plus it will give me some more motivation to continue maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Anyway, have a great weekend!
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19- 5:33 PM
Basketball season is just around the corner!
I stopped by Memorial Gym Wednesday afternoon to check out the 2007-08 men's basketball fall photo shoot. Our campus photographers were snapping individual and group shots our our guys to be used in future advertisements including the team poster and schedule cards.
You should also know that these photos in the blog were taken by me.. that's why the quality isn't close to what the photographgers shot. I just wanted to show you some samples before we received a copy of the official photos. So here we go...
First, leading the way will be the 2007-08 senior class... Foster, Neltner, Metcalfe and Gordon.
Here's the freshmen class.... get to know these new faces because there's a lot of them (plus two walk-ons not pictured - check out the entire roster here). From left to right: Keegan Bell, Andre Walker, Festus Ezeli, Andrew Ogilvy, Darshawn McClellan and Charles Hinkle.
Finally, here's a gallery with additional pictures from earlier this afternoon. And if you haven't purchased your 2007-08 season tickets, it's never too early! Call 615.322.GOLD or click here for more info.
VIEW BRANDON'S PHOTO GALLERY
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17- 7:02 PM
You never know who you'll see walking the hallways of the McGugin Center.
Former Commodore All-American Brandt Snedeker was spotted in the building earlier today visiting Vanderbilt men's golf head coach Tom Shaw and assistant coach Justin Emil.
Brandt just capped off an amazing rookie season this past weekend at the Tour Championship. For the year, he finished 20th overall in the FedEx Cup standings, highlighted by his first PGA win at the Wyndham Championship last month.
He plans to take some time off before traveling overseas for a couple of tournaments later this year.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14- 4:59 PM
Vanderbilt baseball practice officially started earlier today at Hawkins Field.
Practices are open to the public, so if you'd like to come out one day, here's the tentative schedule. Times and dates are subject to change, though.
One thing that fans in attendance noticed about the team was that everyone had their name on the back of their practice jersey. I think this is the first time I've seen names on any kind of jersey during Coach Corbin's tenure (not positive). It did help me when trying to sort out all of the freshmen class.
We'll try to catch up with Coach sometime next week to get a fall practice update.
Also, there's a new feature on VUcommodores.com called "Ask A 'Dore." Every week during the year, fans will be able to email in questions for a pre-selected Commodore. We're currently accepting questions for senior outfielder Dominic de la Osa... so if there's something you want to ask Dom, email it here and we'll have him answer the best ones. And in case you missed it, check out the very first "Ask A 'Dore" with women's golf coach Greg Allen.
In closing, here are a few more pictures from practice. I'll see you in Vandyville tomorrow afternoon.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12- 5:20 PM
The football team will be back in action Saturday against Ole Miss at 6 p.m. at Vanderbilt Stadium. If you haven't purchased your tickets, call 615.322.GOLD today. Half the ticket proceeds will be donated to Monroe Carell Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. Read more about this fundraiser here.
Thinking back to last year's heartbreaking loss at OM, one play sticks out in my mind. It was Chris Johnson's bone-crushing hit on Rebel Dexter McCluster on the opening kick-off. Unfortunately for McCluster, he sat out the rest of the year due to head and shoulder injuries sustained from that play.... and hasn't played a snap in 2007 because his shoulder continues to nag him. I do hope to see him get back on the field at some point. Prior to getting hurt last October, McCluster had 15 catches for 232 yards and a touchdown in five games.
Here's a clip of the play in case you haven't seen it. And let me tell you... I was standing right next to it on the sideline and it has to be the most vicious hit I've watched from field level. It was like a VW Bug trying to steamroll a freight train.
Check out more Commodore video and audio on our Podcast and YouTube page.
Now, I know there are fans out there that have doubts about our season due to last weekend's performance against Alabama. I'm not going to try to change your opinion - you're entitled to feel that way. But for me, I'm going to rack it up as a bad day on the gridiron... and I'm not ready just yet to pull out the white flag. We still have 10 games left to fight for that coveted bowl birth... and I'm sticking with them until the end.
I thought there was no better way to sum my feelings than in the words of "the Boss."
No retreat, baby..... no surrender.
In other news, I was thrilled to see the Philadelphia 76ers sign Derrick Byars yesterday. DB will receive the NBA's first-year minimum... giving him a shot at making the team for the duration of the year. It was good to see him back on campus a few weeks ago hanging out with staff and players in Vandyville prior to the Richmond game. Best of luck, Derrick. Here's an additional article on the signing.
In closing, be on the look out for a video interview sometime Thursday with Vanderbilt women's golfer Jacqui Concolino. We'll also post head coach Greg Allen's repsonses to your "Ask A 'Dore" questions before the end of the work week. VU will open the season early Friday morning at the Mason Rudolph Championship at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin. There's free admission and it's our only home event of the year.... so it would be great to see some fans out there supporting our new coach and the 07-08 squad. Plus, there should be really nice weather... What better way to spend it than on the golf course!
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7- 1:03 PM
A couple of things for Friday.
First, I'd like to announce that we just launched a new website called "My Name is Earl Bennett dot com" (www.MyNameIsEarlBennett.com).
The site has almost everything you need to know about number 10. While working on this project, I really enjoyed finding out about some of the things that make him tick as a player and as a person. He's an exceptional kid and great role model for our University. It was also fun to look back at his 2005 highlight reel from his freshman season.. especially some of the moves he made on kick returns.
Anyway, check it out when you have some free time.
Next.. in yesterday's post, I wrote about some of the new things going on around athletics. Something I failed to mention was the recent addition to the Corridor of Captains (see image below).
Following each football game, a few members of the team are chosen by the coaches as the "Player of the Week" for both sides of the ball. The staff then hangs a couple of banners just outside the locker room to recognize the standout performers. I think the whole player banner concept is another nice touch for the program.
Finally, I'll close today with a dance video to keep you moving into the weekend.
This one comes from the season finale of the HBO show Flight of the Conchords. It took me a few episodes to get hooked, but now that I am, I love it.
Here's Bret's angry dance.. a clear spoof of Kevin Bacon's moves in Footloose.
I may have to steal a few steps from him.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6- 3:50 PM
If you were on campus for last Saturday's season opener against Richmond, you probably noticed a couple of new things added to the gameday experience. From Vandyville expanding to 30+ tents (three times it's original capacity and still growing)... to the new videoboards in each endzone... to the bigger star walk sign.... and so on.
Well, something else was added just a few hours ago. Check it out below.
That's right. A giant 36' x 42' football banner just outside the player's tunnel at Star Walk... you'll notice the sign sports the final three sentences of the Commodore Creed in addition to an image of our helmet and star logo.
I tell you what... It's really a sight to see in person. Here's how it happened:
After the initial design was created (great job Lacey), Joslin Signs printed the artwork into three pieces of mesh material. It was then sewn together by Nashville Tent and Awning... and finally hung on the outside of the south end of the stadium. The bars around the banner also had to be painted black.. which took an entire day.
If you're here Saturday for the big game, check it out as you cheer the team on at Star Walk.
In other random news...
1) I received several hilarious emails about some of the videos posted the other day. I was also given some more info on the show Kids Incorporated.
Apparently, Fergie (from Black Eyed Peas) was one of the singers on the show.. as well as Mario Lopez (better known to us all as A.C. Slater). Don't believe me? Then check out this video that Brian from Colorado Springs sent me.. it's Fergie (Stacy Ferguson) singing Lionel Richie's classic "Say You, Say Me."
And a side note to this video... I really don't know how the clown fits into it (oh, you'll see what I'm talking about). I guess it could have been worse.. like a mime or something.
2) I posted a music video by Matthew Wilder (Break My Stride) last week. Well, Jacob sent me a note that Mr. Wilder is actually a professor at Vanderbilt. Who knew??!! That's awesome. I need to find a way to meet him. ((Aint nothin' gonna break my stride.. nobody's gonna slow me down... oh no... i got to keep on movin!))
3) I also have to give props to Matt in Seattle. He's flying in all the way from the West coast for Saturday's tilt with 'Bama. I'm sure there are some more of you out there traveling from other parts of the States to cheer on our guys. We truly have some dedicated fans.
4) Be sure to pick up the latest copy of Sports Illustrated (Appy State cover). Just saw a copy of it. There's a solid four-page spread on Jay Cutler (written by Peter King). Grab one at your local newsstand and tell them I sent you... you can also view it here.
Well, that's it. I am going to try to make another post sometime tomorrow. In closing, here's a cheesy video that was submitted by John in Nashville. We definitely need to reclaim "our house" Saturday. And if you have other great videos from the past, shoot me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, be good.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4- 1:14 PM
Since some fans emailed me.... here's an updated picture of the new floor surface in Memorial Gym (scroll down to a previous post for more info). Not completely finished yet, but I thought you might want an updated look. I'll post another image when it's completed.
Since it's Alabama week, I thought I'd post this youtube highlight from the 1996 game... Commodore punter Bill Marinangel takes a fake punt and runs 81 yards to the house. This play never gets old to me.
Finally, in my brief posting today, I'll close with a video a fan sent me. It's from an 80's program called Kids Incorporated. Somehow I missed this show growing up.. but after viewing it, I'd say it ranks right up there with Zack Attack's smash single "Friends Forever." Thanks for the link, Rob.
Oh, what the heck. Since I mentioned Zack Attack... here you go.
And it's not just a dream, Zachory.. it's real. All too real.
(By the way, if you're keeping score at home, that's two cheesy videos for the price of one. Feel free to email me your favorite videos from back in the day and I'll post them)
Have a great day.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1- 12:04 AM
There was no better way to start the athletic season than what took place at Hawkins Field Friday night.
Over 1,200 Vanderbilt freshmen packed the stands for a pre-season football pep rally led by the campus group Vandy Fanatics.
The rowdy crowd was treated to non-stop entertainment for an entire hour including several big screen videos of the team, performances by the Commodore cheerleaders and Spirit of Gold band, a pep talk from head coach Bobby Johnson and the 2007 captains, appearances by student-athletes from every varsity squad, and booming fireworks to close the show.
The atmosphere was amazing. It was electric. It was so inspiring that I wanted Saturday's game to start right then and there. The noise of the cheers and chants for sixty straight minutes actually brought me back to the NCAA Baseball regionals this past June. If you were in attendance for those five days, you know what I'm talking about. Senior defensive tackle Theo Horrocks even split the students up and led them in the black and gold cheer... reminiscent of those right field bleacher bums shouting back-and-forth with the third base die-hards.
The whole thing gave me chills once again. Not to mention... the Richmond Spiders had to perform their walk-thru next door at the same time as the pep rally because their flight was delayed earlier in the day.
Anyway, don't really know how else to describe tonight's activities... so here's a photo gallery from the event (and there are notes next to each image). And kudos to Alison Bush and her crew for organizing the event.
VIEW PHOTO GALLERY
Can't wait for kick-off. I'll see you at Vandyville!
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29- 1:12 PM
In case you haven't heard.. some good news on several fronts concerning VUcommodores.com.
1) Mac computers can now view All Access content. Here is the info you need. I've been told it has to be viewed through the Safari browser plus you have to download a simple Flip4Mac program. Here's more info:
Operating System: MAC OS X
512 MB RAM
16-bit sound card and speakers
65,000-color video display card
Internet connection: High Speed Broadband Connection at least 500kbps
Web browser (see above); cookies enabled
Minimum Screen Resolution 1024 x 768
Flip4Mac plug-in (by Telestream - free download): With Flip4Mac, you can play Windows Media files (.wma and .wmv) in QuickTime Player and view Windows Media content on the Internet using a web browser
Flip4Mac System Requirements:
QuickTime 6.5 or higher
MAC OS X 10.3.9 or higher
The Flip4Mac plug-in may be downloaded at the this link
Click on "Free Download" button and then click on the "Download" button.
We recommend that you review the Flip4Mac download and installation
instructions on the same page as the Download button before downloading.
2) Vanderbilt's contract with Yahoo! has ended. That means VUcommodores.com will offer a live radio stream of Joe Fisher's call in All Access -- which is free. They will be listed in the football section, under the title "Live Games." They haven't been loaded yet, but will be available by gameday. Here's more gameday media information.
3) Also, Coach Johnson's Commodore Call-In Show will be available in All Access. You can listen to it live or click on archived programs. Click to read more details including directions on how to listen to previous shows.
In other news, I hope you've been able to keep up with all of our new content on the football gameday page. You'll find the following:
*A new Commodore History Corner by Bill Traughber. This week's feature is an exclusive interview with Watson Brown.
*The latest episode of reVealed with George Smith at team picture day earlier this month. Keep your eyes open for two more reVealed segements later this week.
*We recorded video of Monday's press interviews with 2007 captains Jonathan Goff, Theo Horrocks and Chris Williams.
*Plus a bunch of other stuff to get you ready for the Richmond Spiders.
Speaking of spiders.... this clip has me rolling everytime I see it, even though I haven't seen the movie.
In closing, a friend sent me a great video from the past. This song has been redone several times, especially in tracks for rap music. Let me warn you, though, it will be in your head the rest of the day. I love everything about it, too. Matthew Wilder has the perfect hair-do, the cheesy mustache, the outdated double shirt and what looks to be leather pants.. plus the awkward movements of his stage dancers is entertaining. It's simply classic. Enjoy and thanks Jay.
And if you ever have other random music videos or any clips like Spider Pig, feel free to email me the link and I may post it. Of course, it needs to be clean.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 28- 7:55 AM
Yes. It's game week. (Check out our Richmond gameday page)
If you weren't pumped up enough for the start of a new season, I thought I'd share a video that my brother sent me last week.
I know it's not Vanderbilt related (and you've probably seen it a hundred times), but everytime I watch these highlights, it immediately reminds me of why I love collegiate athletics.
Boise State's miraculous overtime win over Oklahoma in January's Fiesta Bowl will be something I'll never forget. I remember watching the end of it by myself on my living room recliner. It was already past midnight on a work week... but that didn't really matter. The unbelievable ups-and-downs of this BCS bowl game had me cheering at the top of my lungs as if I was in Tempe. When it was all said and done, I knew that I had just witnessed one of the greatest sports events ever. (Yes, I said ever)
And it wasn't just the fact that David took down Goliath... it was the way it happend. The Broncos executed three amazing plays (gimmick plays if you want to call them that) -- each in do-or-die situations. In fact, even the Miami Dolphins used one of the razzle-dazzle plays on Saturday in an exhibition game. The no-look handoff worked for an 11 yard touchdown run on third and nine.
Anyway, enjoy the video and remember... Tickets are only $12 to Saturday's home opener against Richmond. We need you in the stadium. Call 615.322.GOLD!
Also, we just started a vucommodores YouTube page. We'll add videos to it throughout the season. And if you use iTunes, make sure you subscribe to our Vanderbilt Athletics podcast to download free Commodore audio for your iPod. VANDERBILT'S ITUNES AND YOUTUBE PAGE
Finally -- to get you rocking for the rest of the day, here's another cheesy video from the vault. Thanks Brett.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24- 12:40 PM
Well, it's Friday... and we're only eight days away from opening day at Dudley Field.
I've been slacking on the blog this week. So I thought I'd add a few random tidbits in today's entry...
my SUPER-SIZED edition!
First, as you may know, ISP and Vanderbilt extended their contracts in June. Part of the agreement was to replace some of the old video boards in several facilities. We've already seen the new baseball videoboard, which debuted at the NCAA Regionals.
Here's a picture of the north endzone jumbotron at the football stadium. As you can see, the main board has already been replaced.... and at the bottom, you'll notice an LED ProAd board which can be used for additional graphic displays.
Also, the opposite endzone (south side) has a new scoreboard and clock. The matrix board above the stadium seating (not pictured) --- which has been inoperable the past two years --- will be up and running for the home opener. This will be great for fans wanting to view other scores from around the country.
And, since I'm getting antsy about kick-off... I thought I'd throw in a stadium shot. Can't wait to see the victory flag flying high atop the press box... and hear that fog horn sound one more time. (and if you haven't purchased your tickets to Nashville Night vs. Richmond next Saturday... what are you waiting for? Here's more info! We need the stadium packed for opening day!)
And something else that you may find interesting.....
The basketball court in Memorial Gymnasium is being redone. The actual finish of the floor will look similar to the Phoenix Suns court (if you eliminated Phoenix's paint designs and replaced them with ours, of course). The floor still needs another coat on it plus the final paint job. There will also be a couple of minor tweaks.
1) The logo at center court will now be the official star logo, instead of the regular star. Plus it will be bigger.
2) The lanes won't be black.. instead, they will have a similar wood-like color as the rest of the floor. The conference name "SEC" will be in black text at the free throw line.
3) The court will still have the black out-of-bounds box surrounding the entire floor with the school's name inside it.
I've been told it will all be finished by Labor Day. Check back for more photos.
Another picture from behind the hoops.
In other news, the 2007-08 athletic year officially starts tonight when our women's soccer team hosts Virginia Tech in an exhibition at 5:30 p.m. Twelve players return from last year's NCAA team plus 12 talented freshman, rated No. 1 by the Soccer Buzz website, have joined Coach Coveleskie's squad. We'll also be testing our first webcast of the season in case you out-of-towners want to watch. Here's the season preview with all the links you need (plus a couple of video interviews).
Finally, Kix Brooks (of Brooks and Dunn) and some other area VIP's are helping with a ticket fundraiser centered around the Ole Miss football game on September 15. Half of the ticket proceeds from the game will be donated directly to the Children's Hospital. It's definitely a great cause... Click here to get invovled!
And here's a video commercial of Kix's talking about it.
Have a great weekend!
MONDAY, AUGUST 20- 12:20 PM
Sunday was scheduled to be an off day for me.
But as you find out in sports, there's always something going on.
For the first time in several years, we were shooting video headshots of each individual football player, so I decided to stop by and check it out. The past couple of seasons, the headshots were just a cutout of their picture with some background animation to spice it up. This year, the starting lineups will have more of a Monday Night Football feel with the players introducing themselves to the crowd.
Also, we shot some player fan prompts to use throughout the season. The guys have always expressed how important it is to have fans rowdy and loud throughout the entire game to give them that extra edge, so we filmed them leading everyone in a few of our most popular chants.
For example, as loud as the black and gold cheer was at the NCAA Regional baseball games in June, could you imagine the impact it would have at Dudley if 40,000 fans were screaming those words?
With the new videoboards in the north and south endzones of the stadium (thanks to ISP Sports), these in-game elements will be a nice addition to gameday production. Here are some photos from the shoot.
PHOTO GALLERY: VIDEO SHOOT
And here's an outtake featuring linebacker Marcus Buggs. SeeSportsMedia, a local production company that handles our video display elements (as well as the Titans and Kats to name a few), was responsible for the three-hour film session. You'll notice the green screen in the background.. it's used so the player can be cutout and placed into a different background.
Video shoots are always a little awkward for the person that's in front of the camera because you have to say your lines over and over again in a silent setting. But once the final piece comes out, it all makes sense and looks good. Hope you enjoy this outtake.
VIDEO: MARCUS BUGGS OUTTAKE
Finally, a football ticket update. With only 13 days remaining until kick-off against Richmond, our season ticket total is now up to 14,047. Last week, the ticket office sold and processed 418 season tickets, taking us down to roughly 600 left. Also, over 10,000 pieces of mail will go out again today promoting season tickets and single game orders for all but Alabama. So if you haven't bought your tickets, I would call 615.322.GOLD (option 1) immediately.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17- 12:28 PM
Happy Friday to all. It's hard to believe we are only two weeks away from kick-off against Richmond. And in case you don't have season tickets yet, less than a thousand remain, so call 615.322.GOLD as soon as possible to secure your seats for the season.
We've added a lot of new content over the past few days. Here are some links:
The women's basketball team won their first game in Europe last night. They'll play in two more games during the next two days and will then head back to the States Sunday. Check out our online photo journal of the trip.
Football Preseason Central has some new video including interviews with Hamilton Holliday and Bryant Hahnfeldt as well as some other additions.
We've also added another episode of our new series called reVealed. The latest is part one of our behind-the-scenes footage of Earl Bennett and Jonathan Goff at SEC Media Days in Birmingham last month. Look for part two later this weekend.
One of the things I've enjoyed the most about working with our staff on these videos is having the chance to see some of our guys in different settings. We truly have great kids at Vanderbilt. For example, you couldn't meet two nicer people off the field than Jon and Earl. Here's some bonus footage from reVealed of our football SID Larry Leathers asking Jon about how he balances his academics as an engineering student while being a football athlete.
VIDEO: EXTRA GOFF FOOTAGE - REVEALED AT SEC MEDIA DAYS
Finally, congratulations to David Price on signing with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Another guy in our program that is not only an exceptional athlete but a tremendous person. Just listen to Coach Corbin talk about what a special kid he was during his three years for the black and gold. Or maybe you watched some earlier video we posted about him spending his summer helping out kids at Vanderbilt baseball camp when he really didn't have to.
After he signed the other night, I remembered some footage that our video guys took during post-game of the final SEC home series of the year against LSU. The video is of Price and teammate Pedro Alvarez in the dugout in a classic battle for the ages. To watch the video outtake, sign-up for All Access -- it's free!
VIDEO: PRICE AND ALVAREZ OUTTAKE
Have a great weekend.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15- 12:35 PM
What a great way to start the day! In case you hadn't heard, Coach Corbin is staying at Vanderbilt. Coach and his staff have spent the last five seasons committed to building a national powerhouse on West End. I'm thrilled that he will continue to lead our program into the future. One of the things that stands out about Coach is that he's not only great at what he does on the field for the program, but also a first-class citizen and role model to the community. There's no better baseball coach in America than Coach Corbin and I can proudly say that he's a Commodore.
We'll bring you video of his afternoon press conference later today, so stay tuned in to VUcommodores.com.
Also, there have been a lot of questions from fans wondering when football season tickets are going to be mailed out. The ticket office has informed me that they will being mailing them out starting this Friday and fans should be receiving them anytime after that date. If you don't receive them by August 27, please give them a call at 615-322-GOLD (option 1).
And if you're wondering what the tickets will look like this year, here's a sneak peak!
In other news, Tammy emailed me this photo of the practice round times at last weekend's 89th PGA Championship. Look closely to the left under the 9:10 a.m. tee time... You'll see former Commodore Brandt Snedeker's name on it (by the way he finished tied for 18th - another solid outing). Brandt has had a successful rookie season on the Tour, making the cut in 19 of 24 events with five top 10 finishes.
MONDAY, AUGUST 13- 8:59 PM
Well, two-a-days are officially here.
As I type, the Commodores are just completing their first two-session practice of the fall. The team will only be practicing once tomorrow, though, since NCAA rules do not allow schools to have two-a-days on consecutive days.
I took some photos from this morning's practice, as well as some shots at team picture day yesterday. Team picture day always takes place a couple of hours prior to Dore Jam. And by the way, what a great turnout by the Commodore Nation at Dore Jam (DJ photos) especially since it felt like it was a million degrees on the turf. I was able to catch up with some fans, but to be honest, I didn't get to speak to as many as I would have liked to because we were shooting some more episdoes of the "reVealed" series for the web site. We've had some positive feedback so far on these videos and the guys have been naturals in front of the camera. Who knows, I could be out of a job soon!
You can watch the first three episodes of reVealed on our football preseason central page. This week, we hope to post a two-part series with Earl Bennett and Jonathan Goff filmed during SEC Media Days. After that, we'll show some footage from Dore Jam, team picture day, and our summer poster shoot.
Here are the photos from the past two days:
MONDAY MORNING'S PRACTICE PHOTOS
SUNDAY'S PICTURE DAY PHOTOS
Oh, and check out our first group of photos of the women's basketbal team in Spain. 'Dores in Spain
Have a great Monday.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12- 5:51 AM
I shot this picture at the end of practice Saturday night. Check out some more photos.
For the second day in a row, the squad scrimmaged in full pads at the tail end of practice. To me, there's nothing more exciting right now than when the players have gone through their position drills and techniques for two plus hours and then the whistle suddenly blows signaling the start of scrimmage. The guys instantly get really amped up... sending waves of excitement through the veins of onlookers like myself.
Once the action begins, you can really see the pride that both sides of the ball take with every snap. Neither unit wants to lose a battle and every string fights to make a play to get noticed. I've really enjoyed watching it unfold.
The guys have Sunday off for team picture day and Dore Jam, the annual fan day function. Come out to the practice field from 4-6 p.m. to meet the team and get autographs.
In closing, I was emailed an update on former Vanderbilt tailback Norval McKenzie, who played for the Commodores from 2000-2004 and led the team in rushing during his last two seasons. Norval's trying out for the newly formed All American Football League, a professional spring league to debut in 2008, most of whose teams will be hosted by Division IA universities. Outside of the AAFL tryouts, he teaches government classes at Hiram High School in Georgia and coaches running backs for their football team. On top of that, he's working on his Masters degree in special education.
Here's a short video interview from Youtube of Norval at AAFL tryouts. Best of luck, Norval... and thanks to Amani for sending me the update.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10- 3:02 PM
As you probably know, the football team will be in full pads tonight for the first time during 2007 preseason camp.
I was able to catch up with Luke Wyatt, the head football equipment manager, earlier today to talk about his staff's involvement with the program. Luke has worked at Vanderbilt for 25 years... which is amazing in my book. He's also one of the biggest Commodore fans you'll ever meet.
To watch the video, sign-up for All Access -- it's free!
LUKE WYATT INTERVIEW
Also, we've added a lot of content over the last few days.
I hope you had a chance to watch our women's basketball video interviews with Coach Balcomb (video) as well as sophomores Merideth Marsh and Amber Norton (video). The team leaves for their preseason tour in Spain tomorrow. We'll have periodic updates on the main site, so be sure to check back.
We've added a few more videos in the reVealed series with George Smith and Bryant Anderson. They're linked on our football central page.
One more football related note. You can listen to Earl Bennett's interview with Birmingham's 690 AM radio station at this site.
And don't forget -- Dore Jam is this Sunday from 4-6 p.m. CT. This is your chance to meet and greet with the entire football team as well as several other Commodore programs. For more info, click here.
Finally, thought you might enjoy this web video of presidential candidate Mike Gravel. Try telling this guy you're not buying season tickets this year!
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8- 9:02 PM
Ran into some old faces that you might remember, so I grabbed a photo of these two Vanderbilt greats -- Julian Terrell and Matt Freije -- after their pick-up game at the gym. Julian said he's getting ready to leave at the end of next week to play professional basketball in Turkey, while Matt's waiting to find out his next destination. That 2003-04 year was my first year as a 'Dore and it's something I'll always remember. Best of luck to those two guys.
In other news, I was able to attend women's basketball practice this afternoon. Now, you may be saying to yourself, how can they practice this early? Well, they are getting ready to leave for a basketball tour in Spain starting this Saturday. They'll be traveling all over the country during the week and will close the trip with three games. I've never been to Europe, so I am jealous. Anyway, we just posted some photos from practice, so check 'em out. I'm not a pro with the camera -- plus the lighting inside is always tough for me -- so you'll have to bear with me on these shots. Also, stay tuned for a couple of video interviews with Coach Balcomb and sophomores Merideth Marsh and Amber Norton later this week. They'll also talk about their upcoming trip overseas.
And don't forget to check out our daily updates on our preseason football site. Today, we added a second photo gallery from Steve Green plus notes from Tuesday's practice.
In closing, I was sent this video earlier today. Absolutely love it. Who doesn't like to dance?
Plus, this guy is GOOD.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 7- 7:12 PM
We've updated the Preseason Central site. Check these links out --
Day One Report | Green's Photos Part 1 | reVealed with George Smith - Faculty Cookout
And those in and around the Vanderbilt area, be on the lookout for the new athletics wrapped shuttle bus. In an effort to further promote the faculty-staff benefit of discounted season tickets, Vanderbilt athletics has partnered with the Vanderbilt Credit Union to wrap a full size VU Medical Center bus that provides transportation from the parking lots to the Med Center.
Here are some photos:
MONDAY, AUGUST 6- 11:25 PM
Well, the first day of football camp has concluded. And boy is it good to be back on the gridiron.
We've posted a couple of new items in the last hour that might interest you.
First, you can watch interviews with Coach Johnson, Theo Horrocks and Chris Nickson from earlier today by clicking here. All you have to do is sign-up for Commodore Nation All Access to view the footage (It's Free!).
Second, I thought I'd share some of my photos from practice. FOOTBALL DAY ONE
Also, one of our official photographers, Steve Green, was on hand today, so look for a gallery by him sometime Tuesday. And be on the watch for a report from practice in the near future. By the way... you can keep track of all our preseason news by visiting Commodore Preseason Central.
Finally, we will start posting a couple of summer behind-the-scenes videos hosted by George Smith and Bryant Anderson (as well as a few other players) later this week. We'll put these in the preseason section as well.
It's been a long day, so I am calling it a night. Don't forget Dore Jam is this Sunday -- come meet the team!
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3- 1:55 PM
I hope you've had the chance to see a few of the new items we've posted on VUcommodores.com.
First, we just posted part one of our interview with offensive coordinator Ted Cain. Look for our season previews with Cain as well as defensive coordinator Bruce Fowler during the weekend.
Second, I know you're probably ready for football to start just as much as I am... Here's a short video to get you pumped up.
Changing subjects, I recevied another fan email with pictures, so I thought I'd share them with you.
Commodore die-hard and Vanderbilt graduate Mike Braddock emailed me some photos of Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Flaherty and Mike Minor playing summer ball for Team USA. Mike is an engineer in Huntsville, Ala., and had the chance to see USA play recently at Regions Park in Hoover.
VIEW MIKE'S PHOTOS
Thanks for the photos, Mike. And fans, if you ever have pictures you'd like me to share with the rest of the Commodore Nation, email them to me at email@example.com.
Well, to conclude the theme of the week.. here's another bad video that's pretty awesome.
Hey, if Abe Lincoln can get down to Starship's grooves, then you can to!
Plus, it's almost scary how they sing to the camera the entire time. I feel like they're speaking directly to me. But what are they really telling me to do? Build a city of Rock 'n Roll?
Anyway, have a great weekend. Hope this doesn't ruin it.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 2- 9:20 AM
As you know, I like to spotlight some of our great fans from time to time.
If you ever have pictures you'd like me to share with the rest of the Commodore Nation, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So from the rest of today's blog, I'll let Christy Waggoner take over with this special message for her father, Jim.
Hello Commodore fans!
I'd like to take this opportunity to celebrate my Dad, Jim Waggoner, former Vanderbilt student and athlete. He has to be one of Vandy's most passionate and dedicated fans, today and over the years. If you came out to support this year's incredible baseball team, you may have seen us cheering from our season ticket seats. My Dad drove ten hours, one way from his home in Virginia, to support every Vanderbilt home weekend series and share it with his daughter. He and I had invaluable times (I was going to say "PRICEless," but we all know why that word just wouldn't work....Go David!) enjoying the spirit and excitement that the team and fans created, and I cannot wait for next year.
My Dad has loved Vanderbilt for many years. He lettered in baseball in 1963 and continues to stay very active playing tennis on a regular basis, and he could run circles around us so-called "youngins." He is to me one of those unsung heroes, passionate about the game, and even more passionate about the people who make the game happen. After Vanderbilt, he went on to work as a chemical engineer and played for his DuPont team. He has always been an example of drive and dedication to me.
So, here's to my Dad. Avid Vanderbilt supporter and most of all, loving father.
Please join me in your hearts to wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! August 2, 2007
Many thanks to Tim Corbin and the Vandy team, for setting a stage of spirit and energy this past season, and thanks to Brandon Barca for letting me trespass on his blog space!
We'll see you at the football stadium in the Fall as well!
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1- 2:30 PM
Happy Wednesday and first day of August.
We just posted a summer question and answer session with junior football safety Reshard Langford. If you missed any of the other Q & A's from the past few weeks, here are some links. Hope you enjoyed the series.
Something to look forward to... Starting Thursday, we'll start airing our two-part video interviews with Ted Cain and Bruce Fowler leading into Monday's first day of football camp. Not only do the interviews give you their thoughts heading into practice, but also a closer look into how they ended up where they are today.
And something else I thought you might enjoy... here's a picture of the Athlon football cover in Denver. Seems like only yesterday Mr. Cutler was leading last-minute drives for victory in hostile SEC environments.
Finally, keeping with this week's theme.... here's something you probably won't enjoy.
Eddie Murphy, at one time, was a triple threat.
Eddie could deliver on stage as a comedian, he could make you laugh on the movie screen, and then he could also make you laugh with his music (unintentionally). Growing up, you had double threats in Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and D.J. Dozier (okay, maybe D.J. doesn't qualifiy since his baseball career wasn't much to brag about), but Eddie was the true triple threat. If he wasn't so busy, maybe he could have been an athlete, too.
Watch for Rick James in the footage below... although I didn't see his brother, Charlie. Plus, they're in the studio for the shoot (Turn my headphones up!).